Christmas Workshop for Ukrainian children
Back in 1979, the English band Pink Floyd sent a message that made every man’s hair stand up in horror. In the song “Mother”, part of the famous album “The Wall”, the first verse asks the rhetorical question “Mama, do you think they will drop the bomb?”. Works of art that have survived in history can be transposed to any era, and they will always be relevant.
“Mama, do you think they will drop the bomb?” is a sentence that weighs heavy with the fear of the unknown. Innocent people are being forced to leave their homes, built in hope, with love and care, against their will, in order to escape from the war.
The war in Ukraine, like any other war, has shaken the world with its indescribable cruelty. In the 21st century, a time of technological progress, a time when everyone talks about the equal rights of all people, an attempt to prevail by military means is simply outrageous. Children suffer the most. Thousands of innocent people who look forward to the future with faith in goodness are forcibly torn from their roots in search of salvation.
Astra Forum Foundation takes to heart the plight of thousands of Ukrainian refugees. Our team has already organized several information meetings with Ukrainians in different cities.
As Christmas is approaching, the most holy holiday for almost the whole world, we felt we had to help Ukrainian children in Bulgaria feel better during the upcoming holidays. This will be their first Christmas here, away from home, away from their relatives. So we tried to fill their hearts with warmth and cheer them up and organized a creative “Christmas Workshop” for all the children who wanted to take part. The workshop took place on the 16th, 17th and 18th of December.
During the three-day event the children had the opportunity to design Christmas cards and decorations for the festive tree, and we provided all the necessary materials for this purpose. The “Christmas Workshop” was attended by a child psychologist, an educator and an interpreter to make everyone feel relaxed and cared for.
Many Ukrainian children as well as Bulgarian children were present at the event. During the first two days, the children made cards and toys, and on the last day they wrote letters to Santa. The boys and girls made and decorated their letters like real works of art. The dancers from Lindy Hop Bulgaria helped us raise our spirits at Christmas even more. The visiting professionals taught the children to dance different dances and played together educational games.
On the third day of the “Christmas Workshop” Santa himself joined us. Employees of Astra Forum Foundation had told him about the cause, and he gladly accepted our invitation. Together with his faithful helper – Snow White, they parked the sleigh with the flying reindeer on the roof. The children greeted them with warm hugs and smiles. The good old man was happy to receive the letters the children had written for him and talked to each one of them.
Snow White checked the long list and it turned out that all the children had behaved well during the year, that is why Santa gave each one a Christmas gift. In turn, the kids sang songs and recited rhymes to cheer him.
“Christmas Workshop” is an event that aims to promote the integration of refugees from Ukraine. The children interacted, laughed and played together. They helped each other to design all the lovely cards and toys. They formed friendships and shared experiences. The celebration left them with lasting joyful memories. The parents were so happy as they watched the joy written on the faces of their children. During the most joyous days of the year, it is most rewarding to see that you have made someone happy.
The Astra Forum Foundation organizes “Christmas Workshops” for children in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund.