Dad is that a fireworks? - No, son, it's the sound of an automatic fire burst'
(sub-machine gun fire).
When you have children of your own, or you are professionally involved with children, you know that the academic year always starts in September. But what if you can't guarantee the safety of children? The first day of school is usually brightened with smiles, flowers and other joyful moments. But not in all countries it is so. Nowadays, the eastern part of Ukraine is one of few parts in Europe where these joyful moments can be counted on one hand. As you may know in some eastern regions of Ukraine, because of the conflict between the Russian separatists and Ukrainian army the situation there is quite unpacific. In some districts, the situation is so desperate that people are happy to have windows left in their homes and rooftops that don't leak. Just like the citizens of the region, several educational institutions are suffering fiercely too. 'I know what is going there, because of my profession I`m frequent witness of that conflict zone. Last month, I have visited the local children and teachers to see how their lives are affected by the on-going military conflict. It didn't take much time till one of the school teachers in Toretsk sensed my curiosity about the deteriorated circumstances. "I`m very often asked: 'How have you live under ATO (the anti-terroristic operation) for 2 years?" - Before I could even respond, the proud teacher had already told me that: "There was a time we needed 15-17 minutes to set off the alarm and transfer all kids to our shelter. Now in the event of an emergency, we are securely inside the shelter within 7-9 minutes!" - says Vita Iakhvan. All educational institutions have been on the verge of closing. Due to the continuing violence, many educational buildings are not safe anymore and this fact could take 368 innocent children`s (spread over 4 schools) opportunity to get the secondary education. The central heating systems of 4 schools, located only 10 km from the fighting zone, were severely damaged or in much more the systems are out of order after years of violence in the region. Because of the severe eastern winter temperatures, without heating, it would be impossible for children to follow their education. Together with ControlPay and UNICEF, we have managed to turn the heat back on again. It means that these children are not left in the cold, they are not and they won`t. With the purchase and installment of 12 professional boilers at 4 educational institutions (3 in each), we secured the possibility of education for 368 Ukrainian children and the livelihood of their teachers.