HEROES OF OUR HEARTS: MTOT COLLECTED 9 INSPIRATIONAL STORIES ABOUT PEOPLE IN WHOSE LIVES WAR BROKE IN
HEROES OF OUR HEARTS is a new social and information project of the MTOT, which is implemented with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). At the heart of the project is real stories of 9 heroes whose lives were changed due to the war in the East and the occupation of Crimea but they didn’t choose path of revenge and despair. Already changing the history and step by step building peaceful future.
At first sight they are ordinary people, our fellow citizens: surgeon of district hospital, director of the orphanage, businessman, filmmaker... But their fates are amazing and willpower is indestructible.
Surgeon of Popasna hospital Olexander Kovalchuk conducted 380 surgeries under shellfire in almost on a round-the-clock basis.
Director of orphanage of Luhansk oblast Katerina Dontsova prevented transportation of 69 children to Russia and returned them to their homeland.
With the beginning of the war militants took away the plant from Vadym Mindziuk, businessman from Horlivka. He found the strength to open a new business, but already in a village near the Chornobyl zone - Dytyatky.
The highest aspiration for Shevket Seidametov, who is a skillful production designer of such masterpieces of Ukrainian movies like “Haytarma” and “Cyborgs”, is to return home, to free from occupants Ukrainian Crimea, to relatives and friends.
Their stories testify that the concept of “real hero” is not just empty words. Such heroes are among us and their stories inspire, because they show that this world is still a place to fight for human values even at the most challenging circumstances. And this is only little part of stories, which were collected by the Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine and combined on the website https://heroes.mtot.gov.ua/
“Daily in Ministry we are witnessing people whose stories are truly impressive, - notes Vadym Chernysh, Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine. - These are people who found the strength and the desire to start over. These are people who act contrary to circumstances. The main thing is they become initiators of changes in their own lives and the lives of people around. Hundreds of stories a year. Tens per month. And today we want to tell some stories of people, ordinary heroes. Displaced persons and veterans of the ATO/JFO, people with disabilities and businessmen, doctors and students; around these people lined up the project “Heroes of our hearts”. Their fates inspire, their deeds can get you carried away. Delving into their stories, you realize that exactly because of such Ukrainians we have a chance to overcome all adversity and build bright, peaceful future. For now there are only nine stories. But in reality there are much more”.
MTOT encourages Ukrainians to share own stories about heroes who resist circumstances and with dignity build their new life. ”If you are familiar with people who are worth to become part of this project, send their stories to us and we will tell about them all Ukraine”, encourages Minister Vadym Chernysh.
Everyone can share such a story by filling out a simple form on project site.
After this the story about a hero will appear in the appropriate section of a site.
Shortly about the project #ГероїНашихСердець
Katerina Dontsova prevented forced transportation of 69 pupils from orphanage of Luhansk oblast to Rostov oblast in the Russian Federation. Only due to efforts of Katerina Mikhailovna and international exposure, pupils stayed in Ukraine, namely in Sievierodonetsk.
“People with guns” took away successful battery plant business from Vadym Mindziuk in Horlivka. But Vadym found the strength to start his life again, and not just anywhere, but in a village almost on the border with Chornobyl zone – Dytyatky. Vadym opened a new business here and now exports his goods to the EU.
Whole life of Shevket Seidametov was connected with art, but he is known to a wide audience as a production designer of such famous Ukrainian movies as “Tatarskii triptih”, “Ostannia molitva”, “Haytarma” and “Cyborgs”. He now lives in Kyiv, but his heart is still in hometown Crimea, where his relatives and friends stayed. But Shevket does not lose hope to return home.
Musical and Drama Theater of Luhansk oblast lost not only place in Luhansk, war have taken a lot of colleagues from the team, friends and relatives. But this story has a happy ending, overcoming all obstacles, the theater resumed its activities in Sievierodonetsk, and now its repertoire includes more than 30 performances, many new colleagues from different cities of Ukraine, and most importantly appreciative audience.
Today training facility of Kherson state maritime academy recognized as the best in the Black Sea, 100% employment of graduates and queues of applicants from all over the world. Such prestigious institution is always happy to see cadets from temporarily occupied territories because they are aware of their responsibility to young people who find themselves in difficult position not by choice. 178 cadets from Donetsk, Luhansk oblasts and of the Autonomous Republic Crimea are studying here.
Irina Kalupaha was born and lived almost all her life in Shakhtarsk, Donetsk oblast worked as investigator in law enforcement. But combat actions that began in 2014 forced her to leave hometown. Today Irina Kalupaha works in MTOT and helps displaced persons to adapt to new life. People with the same complex fate as her. Those, whose parental home was taken away.
Oleksandr Kuzminov from Lviv at the beginning of war went as a volunteer to the East. And on his return could not find himself for a long time, attitude to the world was no longer the same as before. However carpentry in social workshops helped Oleksandr to find lost meanings; which funds children of ATO veterans, killed during combat actions. Another important experience for Oleksandr was the restoration of houses destroyed during combat actions in Donetsk oblast.
In 2014 war came to the town Popasna in Luhansk oblast. Hundreds of the wounded Ukrainian servicemen from the front line were taken for treatment without a key staff to district hospital. Among remaining faithful to the oath of Hippocrates was surgeon, and now head doctor Olexander Kovalchuk who conducted 380 surgeries under shellfire. And now Popasna district hospital renew, new equipment was purchased, repair works began, recruited young doctors.
Anatolii Sass has really bad vision and his wife Daria is completely blind. Most of their life couple lived in Kramatorsk, but when militants appeared in the city, couple decided to move to Sumy. Here too, however, they continued to help people with visual impairments. They created an NGO that teaches people with visual impairments to use gadgets and familiarize with new technologies, opened up public library with 10 000 audiobooks and manage to process equipping intersections with voice traffic lights.