The reflection of six years of the conflict in the eyes of children. Dima
The fourth story about six years of the ongoing conflict in the east of Ukraine is the story of Dima, 14-year-old boy from Toshkivka, east of Ukraine. Dima is a young artist and inventor who lives together with his family. When the shelling was really intense, his mother was trying to make everything possible to protect an emotional well-being of her two children. For instance, they were playing various games making the music was louder than the sound of the conflict. Since then, until now, his family keeps gathering together to help Dima with his creative work and support him in his dream of inventing something that would facilitate peace on this planet.
“Inspiration, as it is – it may appear, may disappear, out of a sudden. Everything I see, I want to reflect somehow in my art. Since childhood, I was amazed by plasticine. I take it and start making it softer and softer, and then, the silhouette of what I would like to make appears in my head. Then the shape and form become being visible. Then, details, they can be the most difficult part. I need to develop my skills. Here, in Toshkivka, I do not have much opportunities.
I have always wanted to do something meaningful and useful for all the people on the planet. I would like to start with my grandpa. Before I was borne, a motorcyclist hit him and drove over his legs. After that, my grandpa became disabled. Of course, he has lots of prostheses, but I would like to make a more technologically advanced one, that he feels like a human again. This prosthesis could be used for other people as well. We probably have lots of people like my grandpa.
I remember when my mom was turning on the loud music when the shelling was ongoing, so I was not scared. Thinking about all of that, I wanted to construct a bulletproof jacket. It could protect many people as well.”
Oksana, the mon of the boy is saying “Dima is very talented, however, we cannot do much to develop his skills. I remember how I was walking around the market looking for the head of a mannequin, because he wanted to learn how to make a human scalp of placticine. He was very happy when I succeeded.
I remember vividly when everything just started and the projectiles were exploding in around 500 meters from our home. What could I do, I was turning on the loud music, so my children could play and do not hear the sound of the conflict.
I am happy that Dima lives in his own world. He thinks of medieval knights and does not think much about what is happening around now. He is completely absorbed by his arts. He even started going to drawing classes during the conflict. So, I happy to keep him in this world, happy to stay long evenings helping with his creations, happy to search the whole market for that mannequins”
“My dream is to invent something which would be useful for the whole planet. That there would be no war, that there would be peace in this world. I like listening when people are saying what children can do to make a difference. For instance, I have attended almost all the trainings of Avalist [Save the Children partner organization].”
Save the Children together with its partner organization Avalist with the financial support of EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO) established Schools Safety Committees in schools along the contact line in the east of Ukraine. School Safety Committees predominantly work on risk mapping and mitigation, as well as improvement of the safety in school through activities led by the Committee. Schools Safety Committee prevents children from feeling powerless and gives them a chance to exercise their right to be heard and to have their views taken into account
Those videos are the confirmation of the successes we achieved in empowering children we work with and for.