🇺🇦 Santa Claus Reindeers – Gifts for Children in War Zone in Ukraine
As part of our humanitarian efforts, Nova Ukraine is proud to continue its support Santa Claus Reindeers project in Ukraine. After the Russian invasion in 2014, about 14,000 children live permanently in the frontline zone of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
- Every child, wherever he lives, has the right to dream and has the right to be heard. Our mission is to help children who live in small settlements near the war and generally do not remember the time when there was no shooting nearby. They grew up in wartime conditions.
- The project establishes a connection between children from the line of demarcation and other people from Ukraine and the whole world. Children and their desires and dreams become visible and important to distant strangers.
First, our partner volunteers from Kharkiv-based organization AC-center local volunteers collect letters with their cherished desires and dreams from children living in small towns and villages on the demarcation line. Letters are anonymized and published in Kharkiv. Citizens of Ukraine and the whole world then donate these targeted gifts. At the next stage a “reindeer” brigade visits the villages near the demarcation line and holds interactive New Year and Christmas holidays in schools, clubs, sometimes just on the street or in houses – as conditions permit – and gives gifts to each child.
🔵 Santa Claus Reindeers project began in 2016. For the first year, volunteers collected 1100 children’s letters, and all children received targeted gifts from donors.
🟡 The second time, the project ran from mid-November 2017 to mid-January 2018 and covered 1,630 children from the contact line. They received over 300 parcels from different towns of Ukraine, Canada, USA, Spain, Italy, Germany, Israel, Mexico and Monaco. During that winter Reindeers made 5 trips to 22 settlements.
🔵 In 2018 – 2019, Reindeers received 3,600 letters from children from the contact line, covered more than 50 settlements, collected and presented 3,600 gifts, most of which were addressed. The active phase of the project lasted from November to early February.
🟡 In 2019 – 2020, before COVID lockdowns slowed down the project, Reindeers collected and presented to children who live close to the war 1325 addressed + 505 non-addressed gifts. They held interactive children’s parties in 33 villages of Donetsk and Luhansk regions along the contact line.
🇺🇦 While gifts are donated from everywhere, the monetary expenses of the project are mostly covered by Nova Ukraine grants.
Photos and reports can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/OlenySviatogoMikolaya/photos/?ref=page_internal