We are driving from Kyiv towards Irpin, Bucha and Borodyanka. Everyone knows these small towns on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital. Their names have even begun to sound like the names of battlefields from history books, except that the dust has not yet settled. The stench of smoke and decomposing bodies is still in the air. The inhabitants are trying to do anything. From under the rubble of their homes they pull out gardening tools, utensils and individual items. “Burnt, but it can still be of use.” The 85-year-old Mrs Maria shows us what’s left of the hoe that she used to dig in her home garden for most of her life. She treats it like her best friend. She is glad that at least it survived. Tears run down her cheeks.
In the village of Teterivske, we are giving food parcels and basic necessities to the inhabitants. Although the Ukrainians managed to liberate this area a few weeks ago, the most basic humanitarian aid is very much needed here. Of the 800 houses in the entire village, only 30 have survived. The Russians looted and burned the shop. The forest, the fences and everything that sticks out above the ground has been battered by a barrage of bullets. Over 200 Ukrainian soldiers were killed on a several-hundred-metre stretch of road that runs through the village. No one knows how many Russian soldiers, as no one wants to risk walking through the mine-laden forest in search of their bodies.
We want to do more for these people. Food parcels are of course needed, but the residents need to finally get back on their feet, to have somewhere to buy basic products, to be able to start farming in the demined fields, to slowly rebuild their farms and their whole lives.
Today we will be discussing very concrete ideas for development assistance with our partner, Yevhen, who is staying here and will coordinate the work on site. Keep your fingers crossed for him and for us! If you can, get involved now, support our fundraiser, so that our ideas can turn into tangible production of good as soon as possible.