Thanks to €158,400 in donations made by Estonians, 52 bomb shelters have now been built or repaired in eastern Ukraine. Speaking on ETV show "Ringvaade," Terje and Ruslan Trochynskyi, who organized the campaign to raise money for the shelters thanked people for their support while also emphasizing that there is more work to be done.
"The Estonian people donated €158,400 for the construction of bomb shelters in schools in eastern Ukraine. 52 bomb shelters have been completed or are about to be completed with this money," said Terje Trochynskyi, who initiated the collecting of donations together with her husband, well-known musician Ruslan Trochynskyi.
"Ruslan went to the site himself and found out that, in addition to eastern Ukraine, quite a lot of shelters needed to be built in the Odesa region."
"I went there and stayed with my father," said Ruslan Trochynskyi, who was born in Ukraine but has lived in Estonia since he was a child.
"At nine o'clock in the evening it was quite dark and you weren't even allowed to light a candle. No matter who I spoke to, everyone wanted to express their gratitude for the help. While at the beginning there might have been some speculation as to why we needed these shelters, now it is understood that this war will not end as soon as we hoped and so these shelters are very much needed because in the shelters it is safe and warm."
"One of the shelters was built in a town where there is direct fighting going on and so children cannot go to school," said Terje Trochynskyi. "Inside the shelter, however, the children are able to interact with each other, it is warm and bright, which is not the case in many homes. In the shelter they can also learn and do other activities together."
"The process, which began in the summer, is now finished and so, a big thank you to everyone for their support," Terje said. "However, of course our work does not end here and so we will continue to build shelters."
"Quite a lot of Ukrainians are now going back home as soon as possible, if they have anywhere to go," added Ruslan.
"Some Ukrainian parents would like to go back home, but a lot of Ukrainian children say that they want to go to Estonian school because nobody shouts at them here. They like the Estonian school system," Terje said.
"Most Ukrainian children are able to learn Estonian pretty quickly if they want to. It also depends on the attitude within their family. If it's a case of maybe tomorrow we'll get our suitcases and go back home, then of course their motivation is less," she explained.
On August 24, Ukrainian Independence Day, Terje and Ruslan Trochinskyi organized the concert "Ukraina Tänab!" ("Ukraine Gives Thanks!") in Tallinn's Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak) to raise money for the construction of bomb shelters for schools in eastern Ukraine.
Editor: Michael Cole