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Responding to the pain of others: The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation summed up the «Donbass and Civilians» essay contest

03.12.2018

The Award Ceremony of the winners in the "Donbass and Civilians" essay contest was held at the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. The idea to hold it appeared in September when the Foundation presented the"Donbass and Civilians" photo book at the book forum in Lviv. Great attention of Ukrainian schoolchildren and students to the photo book has shown that the destiny of the civilians of Eastern Ukraine is important and relevant for young people.

In total, the essays of 15 authors were reviewed in the contest. The winners were chosen by a jury of highly professional experts, including well-known Ukrainian journalists, publishers, writers and publicists. Yet it was difficult to determine the best essay, even for the specialists of such a level.

"All the works were written at a high literary level, and the thoughts expressed in them impressed with their relevance.  A phrase by one of the authors especially sunk into my heart: " Unfortunately, the majority of people have become indifferent to anything related to East Ukraine. Indifference is a defect of nation that can destroy millions of hearts," - Roman Rubchenko, Director of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, said.

As noted by Ivan Stepurin, the head of the jury panel, and director and co-founder of "Summit-Book", one of the top Ukrainian publishing houses, each of the works submitted to the contest is filled with emotional experiences.

"This suggests that the issues, addressed by the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, touch people's  hearts. The most valuable thing in the contest works is the empathy of young authors for the destiny of Donbass people: we cannot be happy when such tragic events are taking place nearby and people need our help. It is remarkable that hearts of  Ukrainian young people respond to the pain of others. I am grateful to the contest participants, for their deep and very touching works", - Ivan Stepurin noted.

Some essays, as admitted by writer and jury member Oksana Shporotko, are so filled with emotion that they cannot be read without drama.

"When reading the stories, I couldn't stop crying. The reason is not so much in the power of the word, but in the power of the spirit – the ability to experience other people's stories as their own," Shporotko said.

After long discussions, it was the unanimous decision of the jury to award the first place to an essay work by Miroslava Tereshchenko - a student from the village of Teptiyevka, in Kiev region.

"Donbass and Civilians" is a book that amazes the reader. The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation has created a really remarkable and topical project - that not only helps in understanding the historical events taking place today, but literally helps us touch them," the author of the best essay believes.

A work from Bohuslav, Kyiv region won the second place. The third place was given to Ekaterina Komarnitskaya from Dnipropetrovsk region.

"The conflict in Donbass affected my family directly. I have grown very much in these few years. The launch of this photo book in Lviv touched me very much, I was crying. I am grateful to the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation for revealing the tragedy in Donbass", - Viktoria Stovba said.

The finalists of the contest received not only souvenir gifts from the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, but also the opportunity to present their works to a wide range of readers. Their essays will be published on the website of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, and translated into English.

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