“I pray that all the guns would break.” These were the words out of the mouth of a four-year-old boy, evacuated from Donetsk region. He closed his eyes, put his hands together and whispered quietly: “Dear God, let all the guns get broken.” 

I thought of this boy as a group of young volunteers gathered together at our Kiev headquarters to collect school supplies and organize them for children in Ukraine’s east.

Times passes quickly as these young people set to work to sort the supplies. They talk and laugh. They have information about the latest news in Donbas from the TV. One volunteer is only 10. He organizes the notebooks meticulously into the packages, unaware that a boy his age in the east will receive this gift, and perhaps wipe tears from his eyes. Not because school has begun again, but because his longing is to go to school. This boy in the east is tired of being afraid and running to basements when the ‘hail’ sound whistles overhead. He wants to return to normal, and normal means school.

The kids in Donbas are tired of their endless “vacation.” October is nearly over but the teachers in many towns and villages near the front line still don’t know when lessons will resume.

In one town I saw schools with broken out windows, destroyed doors and broken roofs. How can classes begin again when there are still towns without gas heating, electricity or water supply?

To combat the needs of the children in the east, CBN and Orphan’s Promise have collected school supplies for the children that are in Donbas. Many schools have decided to reopen, but because parents are out of work, very few can supply their children with school supplies needed for every day lessons.

Thanks to the kindness of many partners and volunteers, we gathered 1,000 sets of school supplies, which we were able to take to the village of Zolotoye.


When we arrived the kids were sitting in the hall of the school waiting while we were unloading the food for refugees. The parents, the teachers and even the first grade students rushed to help us carrying the boxes with school supplies. The boys and girls were ecstatic when they received their packages.

The director of the school came up to our humanitarian director and quietly whispered: “Thank you for everything you do…”

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by GENNADIY NOVIKOV, October 2014