Donate
ua en

“Nobody believed that the school would be restored, but now we are watching how renovation is going!”: inspiring stories about the return of hope

The demolished roof, damaged facade, broken windows, faded ceiling and walls — even a year ago, it was difficult to recognize the Savynska Music School in this building. ‘It was painful to look at this, — Viktoriia Zaritska remembers the first time she saw what the institution had turned into during the Russian occupation of Savyntsi, Kharkiv region. The woman is the head of the department of culture, tourism, youth and sports of the Savynska settlement council.

Before Russia’s full-scale invasion into Ukraine, 69 children from various settlements of the Savynska Territorial Community studied here on the second floor. In particular, they mastered playing the piano, violin, accordion, guitar. On the first floor of the building, before the arrival of the Russians, the Savynskyi Cultural Center worked.

Music school in the urban-type village, named Savyntsi, Kharkiv region.
October 2023. Photo by Caritas-Spes Ukraine.

On March 2, 2022, the Russian military invaded Savyntsi. Later, they turned the music school into their "headquarters", and, according to locals, Russian snipers were on duty on the roof. ‘The Russians made toilets just in the offices. I don't understand why, if all the conditions are here’, — Viktoriia says. The Savynska Music School managed to save its musical equipment, because at the beginning of the occupation, one of the employees of the institution prudently took it away. However, after the deoccupation of Savyntsy, the school did not work for a year due to inappropriate conditions.

‘This building was built in 1949. The roof has always been a problem, and after the occupation even more so. No roof — no facility. Nobody believed that the school would be restored. But now we are watching how renovation is going and it’s such pleasant worries! And we understand that this would be impossible on our own. We are thankful to Caritas-Spes Ukraine for the help!’, — says Ms. Zaritska. 

The process of roof renovation of music school. The urban-type village, Savyntsi, Kharkiv region.
October 2023. Photo by Caritas-Spes Ukraine.

The Religious Mission "Caritas-Spes Ukraine" started the restoration of the Savynska Music School in cooperation with the organizations Habitat for Humanity and CRS, later Caritas-Spes Slovenia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia joined the reconstruction.  

Caritas-Spes Ukraine with the help of a contractor repairs the roof and ceiling of the facility. In addition, new toilets are being installed, and windows and doors have already been replaced with new ones.

The process of ceiling renovation of music school. The urban-type village, Savyntsi, Kharkiv region.
October 2023. Photo by Caritas-Spes Ukraine

‘Now we will even have a treble clef on the front door!’, — Viktoriia rejoiced at the design decision. To help children to realize their potential and cherish love for their native land, according to the official, these are the plans of the Savynska Music School after the restoration.  

The head of the department of culture, tourism, youth and sports Savinsk settlement council Viktoriia Zaritska shows the process of renovation of music school. The urban-type village, Savyntsi, Kharkiv region. October 2023. Photo by Caritas-Spes Ukraine.

Besides this educational institution, the Religious Mission "Caritas-Spes Ukraine" has seven more beneficiaries (note: those to whom the assistance is providing) in Kharkiv region. Among them is 72-year-old Arkadii Alf, a resident of the village named Korobochkyne. The man was never idle: he was an engineer who repaired agricultural machinery, worked at a bicycle factory and a heating room, grew onions and pumpkins, and even maintained a small farm.

The beneficiary named Alf Arkadii. The village Korobochkyne, Kharhiv region.
October 2023. Photo by Maryna Tsaveliuk, Caritas-Spes Kharkiv

However, now Arkadii lives alone, his income is only a pension. On the eve of Russia’s full-scale invasion into Ukraine, his eldest son died — this seriously affected the health of Arkadii's wife, who had a sick heart. The woman died in March 2022. 

The beneficiary shows a photo of himself with his wife in youth. The village Korobochkyne, Kharhiv region.
October 2023. Photo by Maryna Tsaveliuk, Caritas-Spes Kharkiv.

After 24th of February 2022, during only 2 months, there were six “arrivals” near Arkadii's house. During the regular Russian shelling, one of the missiles hit the yard between the house and the barn, the windows were shattered by the shock wave. Arkadii didn’t have money to restore the mutilated house on his own, so with the help of Caritas-Spes Ukraine, 10 new windows were installed in the man's home.   

The beneficiary named Alf Arkadii in front of his house with new windows. The village Korobochkyne, Kharhiv region.
October 2023. Photo by Maryna Tsaveliuk, Caritas-Spes Kharkiv. 

The Kharitonov family, Dmytro and his 5-year-old son Sashko, residents of Shevchenkove village, Mykolaiv region, also suffered from Russian missile attacks. Their house was hit by a Russian missile, in particular, the summer kitchen and the outbuilding burned down. In addition to the roof, the ceiling, windows and doors were damaged. ‘When I saw a house for the first time, I started to cry. I counted eight holes in the roof from shards, it was like a sieve. Everything is destroyed. Tears were flowing, and I didn't know what to do’, — Dmytro Kharitonov shares memories.

The man and his son survived because they were in another place at the time of the shelling. Namely, they were in a hospital where Dmytro's wife was being treated for cancer. The woman died in March 2023, shortly after a Russian shell fell into the house.

Now Dmytro is raising his son alone, that’s why he is temporarily not working while the kindergartens are closed. In spite of the difficult circumstances, the family continues to live on and even helps the Ukrainian military. ‘I repair cars for boys for free. They tried, of course, to give me money, but I refused, because it’s for the good of our country. They protect us, they put their heads down for us, and we help as much as we can’, — says Dmytro. 

The beneficiary named Dmytro Kharytonov. The village Shevchenkove, Mykolaiv region.
Photo by Mark Zurzha, Caritas-Spes Odesa.

The family lives on two pensions, which are paid due to Dmytro's disability and for the maintenance of the child due to the loss of the breadwinner. The Kharitonov family is one of those who received financial assistance from the Religious Mission "Caritas-Spes Ukraine". Now Dmytro has an opportunity to rebuild his home. ‘I have already made the ceiling, completely replaced the metal tile. Thank you very much for your help!’, — the man reports and admits that he would not have been able to cope with the reconstruction on his own, taking into account the financial situation and the extent of the destruction. Dmytro plans to complete the reconstruction and buy a new tablet to study online conveniently.   

The Religious Mission "Caritas-Spes Ukraine" thanks Caritas Slovenia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia for cooperation, the opportunity to help and restore hope to those who really need it!

This project is co-financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia. The project/ statement etc. expresses the opinion of Caritas-Spes Ukraine/Slovenia and it doesn’t represent the official position of the Slovenian government. 

30 October 2023
Donate
Система Orphus
Переверните устройство для лучшего отображения