In support of Ukrainian displaced children and their mothers, the Central Union of Ukrainians in Germany (Zentralverband der Ukrainer in Deutschland, ZVUD), headed by Lyudmyla Mlosh, organized the first Ukrainian children’s center in Berlin and named it “Bedryk.” Since July 2022, the Bedryk Center has provided space for around 40 Ukrainian war refugee children to play, learn and develop at a time.
On February 25, the day of birth of Lesia Ukrayinka, Ukraine’s most famous poetess, ZVUD organized a musical and literary evening in her honor. Attendees had the opportunity to listen to Lesya Ukrainka’s poetry, enjoy the melodies of songs based on the poet’s words as performed by Tetyana Shymanska, and feel Lesia’s pain as Svitlana Nikanorova’s bandura spoke to the audience. Children from the Bedryk Children’s Theater masterfully performed the “Three Butterflies” fairy tale under Anna Olynets’ direction.
“Lesia Ukrayinka was a persistent and energetic fighter for the formation of the Ukrainian people, for their consolidation into a political nation. The entirety of her works projects an image of an ideal land, an earthly paradise called ‘Ukraine.’ When this image appeared, entire masses of people realized that they were Ukrainians, and that this name carried certain obligations, that they had something to fight and give their lives for,” said Lesia Fedirko, senior educator at the Bedryk Children’s Center. “Like every ideal, this image cannot be fully realized in earthly life, but it still obliges us to stand up for, and faithfully serve that high ideal called Ukraine!”