IN HARD TIMES JOINTLY FOR THE BLACK SEA – the event for refugee kids

  • August 22, 2022

On the 19 th of August, the EU4EMBLAS project jointly with the Association of the Tourist of Mykolaiv Oblast conducted a heartwarming event for refugee kids. It was conducted at Koblevo, near the Black Sea coast, but on it as far as it is dangerous and not allowed to be at the coastal zone because of the mines. “We all miss our homes and the Black Sea” – the kids mentioned at the event.

The title of the event was “The Black Sea: challenges and the future” and the key goal is to share some exciting information about the Black Sea and its inhabitants, to support kids’ creativity and love of knowledge about the Black Sea, and to be a bit of a therapy for them in sense of sharing their emotions about the future of the Black Sea and the Black Sea coast.

In total, around 70 people took part in the event, where at least 40 are kids, refugees from the Kherson and Mykolaiv Oblasts. Most of the kids were about 8-10 years old (Figure 1). Due to safety reasons, the lists of the participants are kept closed as well as the exact location of the event.

Figure 1. Participants of the event

The event started with a warming-up performance of the real pyrates from Mykolaiv – youth theater actors. With the support of the project, they brought a whole environmental performance with games for kids (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Mykolaiv pyrates (theater actors playing with kids)

After warming up with songs and different competitions, the Black Sea quiz was conducted (Figure 3). The project representatives asked many questions to the kids: about the inhabitants of the Black Sea, the danger of invasive species, the nature of jellyfish, why marine garbage causes the danger to the Black Sea, how the war affects the Sea, what we can do for it. The kids got stickers, Pocket guide of Marine Inhabitants for the correct answers. There was a strong interest in underwater life: it looks like takin care of somebody’s life, they recover from their own stress.

Figure 3. Black Sea quiz

Besides, the adult teachers got the project book “Secrets of the Black Sea” and the youngest participants – toys (Figures 4-5).

Figure 4. Kids answering the questions and getting presents
Figure 5. Reading “Secrets of the Black Sea”

After the quiz, the kids went to paint the Black Sea mural developed jointly with Odesa artists. The idea was to express their feelings towards the sea and the situation in general in the country to get more released (Figure 6).

Figure 6. Black Sea murals

It was interesting to see how kids select a lot of dark colors to express their feelings towards the Black Sea and the war and later the next painting was already in brighter colors.

Conclusion:

The event was very heartly assessed by all the participants. It became the input into making refugee kids more interested in marine science, setting new priorities in life, and also just making their life happier.