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Today, most of our medical clowns team members are not in Kyiv. Some of them moved to the western regions, some abroad. They volunteer, work, and support children online.
Three of them protect Ukraine with weapons in their hands.
Olya Bulkina and several other clowns stay in Kyiv and regularly visit children in Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital. Olya told us why she decided to stay in the capital and what she does in the hospital these days.
“Kyiv is my home. I was born here, and I live here. I decided to stay home and try to be helpful. The best I can do is to be with children.
Severe diseases have not disappeared, and children still need treatment. Now the nationwide struggle against the aggressor has been added to their fight against the disease. Children now really need emotional support, a little joy, as well as their parents and doctors. Today, my place is here, in the hospital, next to them.
The first time I was about to meet children injured by the Russian shelling, I was scared to look in their eyes.
I didn’t know what to say to six-year-old Milana, who had seen how her mother died because of the rocket strike. I did not understand where to start the conversation with Vova, who had his father’s funeral that day. Together with Vova’s brother, he had been shot in the car during the evacuation, and Vova managed to survive. I was afraid that these children would ask me questions I had no answers to.
My clown, called Boo, helps me accept the situation with her attitude to life. Boo is adaptable and sees an opportunity for adventures in any new circumstances.
For example, we played hide-and-seek with the children in the hospital’s basement, used as a bomb shelter. Boo admired that we now have a whole bomb shelter for games with many corridors and doors. In the hospital wards there are no such catacombs and places to hide!
Through the game, Boo helps children adapt to new conditions and thus allows me to accept this new reality.”
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