A day of Ukrainian coziness and warmth in the middle of Old Tallinn.
My name is Tetiana Novatska, I am from Ukraine and I am doing my EVS in Estonia, in Tallinn Children’s Home shelter for mothers and children (Tallinna Lastekodu ema ja lapse turvakodu). This is a place for women and their children whose lives are at risk at the place they lived before. They can live in our shelter until they will be provided with a social room/apartment. Until then, we help the mothers to get their lives on a normal track. As a volunteer in this organization, my main task is working with children – we play outside, read books, draw, cook together etc. If mothers need to go to the doctor or for a job interview, then I look after their children, feed them, get them to sleep, play games together, go for walks. When someone has a birthday or we have national holidays, I always organize the celebration and decorate the rooms.
During the time I have been volunteering here, I learned a lot about the mothers and children who lived and who are living now at our place, so I also wanted them to find out more about me through the culture of my country. The idea was not just to tell them information about Ukrainian culture, but also involve mothers and children in the process – learning how to cook traditional Ukrainian food and how to paint eggs called ‘pysanky’ for the Easter celebration. Perfect place for the event was Ukrainian Cultural Center (Ukraina Kultuurikeskus) in Tallinn, where our guests could not only see this place, find out interesting facts and workshops it has, but also feel the atmosphere of warmth and coziness, atmosphere of home, atmosphere of Ukraine.
In Ukrainian Cultural Centre we had an excursion lead by Italian volunteer who is doing his EVS in the center. We found out about the center’s work, its history, the calligraphy school and about making seed paper – it was truly fascinating. I also talked about the Ukrainian traditional clothes and about traditions of celebrating holidays.
Master-class for children of painting eggs, Ukrainian ‘pysanky’
Traditional food – famous ‘borsch’ and ‘vareniky’.
An important part of Ukrainian culture is music. As I play a violin, I performed “Melody” by famous Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk, whereas Olga – also an EVS volunteer from Ukraine – accompanied me on piano.
One of the main goals of the event was not only to represent my home country but also organize a holiday for the mothers and children, to gather all together, to remember some funny moments we had and to show them the support they have! I am happy I had the opportunity to organize this event, it helped me to develop organizations skills, to share the knowledge I have, and to make our mothers and children feel that atmosphere of holiday and get positive emotions and impressions. I am glad all of them appreciated this time we had and we opened to each other again, from the new side.
I am grateful to EstYES for you believed in this project and for the support, you did from the first till the last step. Due to the support from EstYES we could have all needed materials to organize a master-class and to cook the traditional dinner for the big amount of people we had.
After the event many people called and wrote to me that they were happy to be the part of that day, this were the best feedbacks ever! Small things count 🙂 This is just the beginning.
Tetiana Novatska stays in Estonia for 9 months within the project ”Care to Make a Difference” which is funded by Erasmus+ European Voluntary Service program.