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This is Nastia. She is 11 years old. Nastia's story is similar to that of many Ukrainian children who suffered from Russian aggression. She lost her father, who volunteered to defend his homeland in 2014 and died during the defence of Donetsk Airport. Thanks to people like her father, Ukraine withstood in 2014 and had the opportunity and time to prepare for the full-scale invasion. He went into battle without hesitation from the first days of the war. And the motto of the paratroopers "Nobody but us" was his personal motto. Thus, three-year-old Nastia was left semi-orphaned. And for me, her mother, it remained to raise a worthy continuation of our family. A patriot, a citizen of a strong state, an honest and good person who would fear nothing. And who would proudly carry the memory of her father throughout her life.
Now Nastia is a teenager and understands much more than she did at the age of three. She understands well that we left our home to save our lives. We didn't know what would happen. In our area, there is now a street named after Oleksiy Tyshchyk, a knight of the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky. Our hero. It was renamed in honour of my husband and Nastia's father. And if we had ended up under occupation, I couldn't even imagine what they could have done to us. To the girls who cherish the memory of their father, who stood with a weapon in his hands to defend Ukraine.
We moved to live in Bulgaria. In this country, it is not obligatory to attend local schools. But for us, it is crucial to continue studying in a Ukrainian school, to learn history, our native language, and literature. Nastia also continues her education in a music school. She plays the guitar, performing Ukrainian songs, and even participated in a Bulgarian festival of folk art. Together with other Ukrainian children temporarily residing in Bulgaria, Nastia sings folk songs in a vocal ensemble established by one of the Ukrainian mothers. So, with all our strength, we support the love of our children for everything Ukrainian.
With the “Optima” school, we manage to combine sports, creativity, and reading fiction. Despite all the relocations and stress, the child learns with interest and shows good results. And that is precisely what is needed for the development of a conscious personality. Our children will be like that. They deserve the best education. So, let's go together towards victory! And let's create a worthy future for our country!
We are grateful for the opportunity to receive quality education! And when we found out that we could receive a scholarship for education, we gained so much strength and confidence that we are not alone. That we don't have our defender, but we are not forgotten. We are supported by caring people who are ready to be our support. And this is the moment when we know that strength lies in unity. And as long as each of us tries to support our fellow soldiers, we are stronger than the enemy.