The Plight of the Zahal’tsi School

On his visit to Kyiv, president-director of Hungarian Interchurch Aid László Lehel announced the renovation of a school in the war-affected municipality of Borodyanka. Our colleagues visited the school in the village of Zahal’tsi and met with the school director, Katerina Vasilievna.

What is common in all occupied areas in the Kyiv region is that the Russian forces established their base of operation in administrative buildings and educational institutions. The school of Zahal’tsi village close to the devastated town of Borodyanka is no exception. Russian soldiers briefly made the institution their home, and in doing so, turned the school into a battlefield, the marks of intense shelling defacing the halls of learning hosting three hundred students before the war.

Despite the damages making many premises of the building unfit for teaching, the school is adamant about opening its gates to students who have or are returning to their homes after fleeing the invasion. Their task at hand is not easy: not only did the Russians loot every electronic device of value (computers, laptops, even the washing machine from the adjacent kindergarten), but among other issues, every single window is damaged or missing, and there is virtually no electricity, not to mention the constant reminder of the war manifested in the marks left over by shelling.

As the Kyiv region is under no immediate threat anymore, Hungarian Interchurch Aid is partaking in the rebuilding efforts, so that life may slowly, but surely return to the once war-torn areas. For its first project, Hungarian Interchurch Aid has pledged to renovate the regional school located in Zahal’tsi, laying the foundation for a brighter, better future to come.

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