Welcome to the village of Bogdanovka in the Brovarsky district of the Kyiv region.
Before the occupation, it was a flourishing community. Children played in the streets. People built careers. Families grew and thrived.
Now everything is gone. Darkness and silence fills the streets.
Since the Russian invasion, families have been hiding in their basements. They live without electricity or gas. Grocery store shelves sit empty. Day and night, the people here live under rocket and artillery strikes.
We visited one of the destroyed schoolhouses. Outside, we found the twisted metal of a school bus that had been burnt down to its tires. Inside, the sun shone through the bullet holes covering the walls. A barely intacted blackboard sat in front of scattered desks and burnt notebooks.
Bogdanovka has lost so much and many families have fled. But not all of them. We met teachers and children who refused to walk away. They welcomed us to their homes. They thanked us for our help and shared their incredible tales.
The people of Bogdanovka showed us the incredible optimism and faith that can exist even under the worst conditions imaginable.
While it was inspiring to see families still laughing and smiling, the conditions were dire. Schools and daycare centres have been destroyed. Children have nowhere to study. They have nowhere to play. These young souls have matured in an instant.
Moved by her experience in Bogdanovka, Anna talked about how the families here “continue to smile and a thirst for life burns in their eyes… All of us who have managed to escape the war should learn from their optimism and good spirit.”
We must not forget about the war. As global citizens, it is our duty to do everything in our power to stop this brutal occupation.
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