A story on Kiev.informator.ua about “Kozachok” project 

A creative shelter has been set up for the children of Bucha: volunteers are looking for new objects to help.

The pilot project of bomb shelter transformation for children was implemented by volunteers from the “B50” charitable organization. The location of assistance was the preschool education institution “Kozachok” – the largest kindergarten in Bucha. Before the war, 340 children studied here.

To return the kindergarten to work, the task was to equip a shelter for children – to transform 200 m2 of a dark basement with bare gray walls into a place of physical and emotional safety for children. The management and parents of “Kozachok” turned to the “B50 Volunteers” team, which they knew as the restorers of Irpin, Moshchun, and Horenka, for help. Volunteers told the Informator about this.

“B50 Volunteers” set a goal – to decorate the bomb shelter in such a way that it evokes pleasant associations in children. So that while they are here, they feel curiosity instead of fear,” says B50 director Denys Herasymov.

Volunteers worked on the implementation of the project every weekend for almost a month. In total, 27 volunteers are involved in decorating the bomb shelter. The team also managed to raise sponsorship funds and partners.

During this time, the “B50 Volunteers” community cleaned the bomb shelter, prepared the walls, painted the walls professionally, painted the walls with children’s drawings and arranged the floor.

“Painting the walls was the most important stage of the work. That’s how colorful children’s drawings appeared on the walls – Minions, balls, a meadow, an underwater world,” explained Polina Koruts, a volunteer artist of the project.

As a result, the former basement turned into a bright and creative child safety area with 5 functional zones – recreation, development, activity, hygiene and medical assistance. “Kozachok” is already open, and the students have already appreciated the decorated shelter.

“We would not have opened if there was no shelter. When the air alert sounded for the first time, the children did not get scared, instead, they came down and began to examine the walls. They were jumping up and down, happy that everything was so painted, interesting, colorful,” Tetiana Morozenko, director of the “Kozachok” kindergarten, describes the children’s first impressions.

Currently, the “B50 Volunteers” community is ready to undertake the transformation of the following shelters – in kindergartens and schools of Kyiv, Chernihiv and Zhytomyr regions. Therefore, B50 encourages the institution’s staff  and parents to tell about shelters that need to be repaired. To invite volunteers to your institution, you need to fill out a form – https://forms.gle/BxZ4EczRMPrq9dbB8. When choosing locations, priority will be given to educational institutions from de-occupied territories and those whose buildings were partially damaged as a result of the war.

For reference:

The charity organization “B50 Volunteers” is a community of restorers of the de-occupied territories of the Kyiv region. Its volunteers are mature professionals who are ready to work for free every week for the benefit of residents and the state.

Since April 2022, the B50 community has been helping victims to clear the rubble of houses and preserve damaged homes. Volunteers worked in Irpin, Bucha, Borodianka, Moshchun, Horenka, and Makariv.

In winter, “B50 Volunteers” will develop the direction of restoring bomb shelters. “Kozachоk” decoration project is a pilot for the community and now the charity organisation is looking for a new location to help (a bomb shelter in a kindergarten / school / recreation center).

Preschool education institution (nursery-kindergarten) No. 3 “Kozachok” of Bucha City Council is the largest kindergarten in Bucha. Before the war, 340 children from 2 to 6 years old were educated here.

“Kozachok” is located on that sadly famous Vokzalnaya street, through which a column of Russian armored vehicles wanted to get to Kyiv and was heroically defeated by our defenders.

As a result, the main building of the kindergarten (roof, windows, facade, several offices) and the play area in the yard were partially damaged. As for now, most of the damage has been fixed. Thanks to the appearance of the bomb shelter, the facility was able to return to work.