The 2018 grand Easter action "The Pysanka of Peace" took place at the "Berezil" palace of culture in Ternopil. More than fifty orphan children from five Ukrainian state-run orphanage boarding schools in the Ternopil region (Berezhany, Novy Selo, Terebovlya, Ternopil, and Zalishchiki) participated in the event. The children took part in an Easter egg decorating workshop for Pope Francis.
A “pysanka” is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs using a wax-resist method. The word “pysanka” comes from the verb “pysaty”, meaning "to write" or "to inscribe", as the designs are not painted on, but inscribed with beeswax.
Art instructors from the youth organization CYM, headed by Lesja Golik, taught children to learn the national traditions of “pysanka” painting and to try to create a Ukrainian Easter egg. The children listened carefully to the volunteers, learned how to pick colors, and learned how to properly write on the colored eggs using beeswax.
Even thought this was the first pysanka experience for some of the children, many were able to accurately perform their work with beautiful results.
On this day, every child received encouragement, instruction and the attention of volunteers. At the end of the event, each child was awarded a diploma and gifts.
The first stage of the "Pysanka of Peace" action was a delicious dinner with desserts. During the week, participants did their best to make creative and unique eggs, as their “pysankas” were evaluated by independent experts to determine which were the best.
The second stage was the judging of the pysankas. Jurors in the competition included Basil Bagley of the Papa’s missionary, Andriy Pushkar and Tanya Semenets from CYM in Ukraine (Ternopil), artist Taras Bril, and Irina Vakalyuk from Orphans’ Future. Twelve works were selected as gifts to be presented to Pope Francis on April 10th during his personal audience in Vatican City, Italy.
The third stage of the "Pysanka of Peace" campaign ended with awards presented to the twelve finalists. At the Orphans’ Future Resource Center, volunteer Iryna Vakalyuk held a brief training on financial literacy for the children.
The winners of the contest compiled their weekend budget, showing what they will spend and how they will manage money received from the competition. With the participants, the trainer also identified goods and products that are "taboo" in the budget. Before a trip to a shopping mall, the children enjoyed a delicious pizza with juice, and then went shopping based on the budget they created with Iryna.
Together with the volunteers, the children compared prices and analyzed the money spent. It was an interesting and very practical experience for the children, because these actions promote positive socialization of children and teach them important life skills like financial management and planning.
After returning from the Vatican, Father Vasyl and volunteers of the Orphans’ Future Foundation visited all five orphanage boarding schools in Ternopil region. Father Vasyl passed on to the children words of gratitude and blessings from Pope Francis. Most importantly, all five schools received a large photo-canvas showing the pysankas being given to Pope Francis. The children were delighted by the canvas, and felt joy that their works had reached the hands of such a famous holy person.
We are very proud of the pyankas created by the children, as every orphan child put a piece of themselves, their worldview, their hopes and dreams into each egg.
On behalf of our orphans, the team at Orphans’ Future would like to thank all the volunteers who joined us in making this event a success. A special thank you goes out to the “Agroprodservice” company for partnering with us for the 2018 "Pysanka of Peace" event.
Let's remember that together, we can do more for less fortunate children.
Video from UATV: Link