When the war broke out in Ukraine, we felt powerless to help the thousands of Ukrainian families seeking refuge within our borders. Many had fled with only the barest necessities, which, not surprisingly, did not include a stack of children's books. Yet what could be more comforting to a refugee child in those first confusing weeks than a colorful picture book with words and images reminiscent of home? This was the inspiration for the project Books for the Youngest Ukrainian Refugees. With the money raised here, our team provides Ukrainian-language picture books to Ukrainian children in European refugee shelters, schools, families and host families, and hospitals.
We've joined forces with the Ukrainian Embassies in the Netherlands and Belgium, the Ukrainian Book Institute (UBI) in Kiev and Ten Brink Publishers in the Netherlands, to print and distribute a selection of beautifully illustrated, softcover Ukrainian children's books. The UBI supplies free layouts and contractual material, while Ten Brink prints the books at an exceptionally low rate, specially for these children. This, together with your generous donation, enables us to order thousands of books at a time. The books are provided free to refugee shelters and families and sold at cost price, in sets of 5, to schools and hospitals. The first 20,000 books have already been distributed, and we are currently invitingnewdonations so that we can print many more. Because sadly, the end of the war in Ukraine is nowhere in sight.
Each set of books contains the following 5 titles, described below in Ukrainian and English. The books are suitable for children aged 3-8:
Про бідного парубка і царівну (The Poor Boy and the Princess)
Українська народна казка. Бідний парубок з добрим серцем живе заможно в царському палаці, а підступна царівна горуює за морем. (Ukrainian folk tale. A poor boy with a good heart lives like a prince in the royal palace, while a treacherous princess reigns across the sea.)
softcover, 36 pages
Дідова дочка та бабина дочка (Grandfather's Daughter and Grandmother's Daughter)
Українська народна казка. Життя дало однаковий шанс обом героїням, але чому такі різні наслідки? (Ukrainian folk tale. Life gave both heroines the same chance, but why such different consequences?)
softcover, 24 pages
Тринадцять загадок з малюнками-відгадками. (Thirteen riddles and guessing games.)
softcover, 16 pages
Женчик, женчик невеличкий (The Little Reaper)
Чотирнадцять скоромовок про все на світі. (Fourteen tongue twisters about everything in the whole wide world.)
softcover, 16 pages
Колосок (The Ear of Wheat)
Українська народна казка про двох лінивих мишенят та працьовитого півника. (Ukrainian folk tale about two lazy mice and a hardworking rooster.)
softcover, 12 pages
This project will continue for as long as there are Ukrainian children living in other parts of Europe who cannot yet return to their homeland.