We’re so proud of the community we’ve created, and the communities we support worldwide. In light of the invasion of Ukraine, we’re donating 20% of our blue saffiano products (The Colette, The Erin Clutch, and The Heartbreaker) to Project Soniashnyk, a non-profit that provides trauma therapy support for children of Ukraine’s Armed Forces and Fallen Defenders during the tragic time of the Russian attack on Ukraine.
Just back from her own trip to Ukraine, we asked our friend Uliana to share her first-hand experience with Project Soniashnyk.
Uliana is a third Generation Ukrainian American. Her grandparents fled Ukraine during the second world war, like most third generation Ukrainians in the community. She currently lives in the East Village in Manhattan and is an HR Business Partner at Spring Health.
This July, I had an unforgettable experience volunteering with Project Soniashnyk at their trauma-rehabilitation camp for children of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
As you can imagine, the lives of Ukrainian children have been changed forever since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. All 110 of Project Soniashnyk’s campers had a parent who was either actively fighting in the war, killed at war, or missing in action. This camp provided them a chance to spend time in the beautiful Ukrainian countryside and just be kids, away from air raid sirens and missile strikes.
This year’s summer camp program was focused on Ukraine’s rich culture and traditions. Daily activities consisted of art therapy, yoga, meditation, Ukrainian crafts, and outdoor activities, such as rafting along Ukraine’s Dniester River. In the evenings we made bonfires, sang Ukrainian folk songs, and re-created Ukrainian holidays such as Malanka (Ukrainian New Year’s Eve) and Ivana Kupala (Summer Solstice Festival). We ate home-cooked meals made by locals and slept in tents for ten days.
Though I live in New York City, I am of Ukrainian heritage and visit Ukraine almost every summer. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought the Ukrainian-American community deep pain and a persistent drive to help however we can. This summer was my first time in Ukraine since the start of the full-scale invasion, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Being part of Project Soniashnyk’s camp and spending time with these children, the future of Ukraine, ended up being an incredibly healing experience for me. I was in awe of the resilient and unbreakable spirit of Ukrainians. Every child deserves a peaceful childhood, and Project Soniashnyk brings Ukrainian children one step closer to this.
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