Volunteers from the Donbass SOS Charitable Foundation shared their impressions of staying in the frontline zone in the Donetsk region and communicating with local children.
In October, a team of volunteers visited several localities near the demarcation line, where they organized film screenings for local residents. One of the memorable trips for the cinema-club company was a visit to Bakhmutka and Mayorskoye, just a few kilometers from the front line.
"Both settlements were damaged by shellings, residents have fresh memories of the destruction and victims, the hours spent in shelters. The rainy gray sky reflects a gloomy condition and an atmosphere of uncertainty. Frozen houses with shattered walls, boarded-off sleepers and plywood, windows covered with tape, - volunteers describe their impressions. - And here people still live, but there are no windows, and nobody wants to repair because shelling happens often and it will be necessary to set a glass more than once".
According to volunteers, communicating with adults, it is noticeable that people are very emaciated emotionally. Under the external tranquility and skepticism deep sadness and fatigue from the uncertain future lay.
"Superficial conversation turns into a discussion of a painful topic, how to continue living, how can you call it life, and then suddenly the strongest and most persistent people got tears".
Volunteers brought cartoons and sweets for local children. A sheet on one of the walls became a screen in the improvised cinema."Everu minute fuses blew, but local people got used to it and one screwdriver solves all the problems. And when you hear the noise and laughter of children from the next room, you hear the discussion at first timid, and then vying about desires and dreams, you hear laughter and scream during games, then understanding comes: the children here are stronger than adults. They carry the burdens of war on their shoulders, but they want to live their childhood as ordinary children. They have every right to do this. Even contrary to the prevailing opinion here that the children became adults because of the war and that they lost their childhood. There is no will to leave. You feel that you need to stay, while there is something to share. But it's time. With the hope that even these few hours have brought joy to the small "adult" children from Bakhmutka and Mayorskoye, we are driving along the broken road Bakhmut-Konstantinovka to the train to Kyiv, to a peaceful life".