After the Russian troops left the Kyiv region, the Ukrainians saw the horrors left by the rashists: burned and looted houses, destroyed streets and thousands of brutally murdered innocent people. Canadian Ivanka Siolkovska came to Bucha to help Ukrainians get over the grief.
The girl was born in Canada, but her grandparents from both parents were from Ukraine. Ivanka used to work as an elementary school teacher, but then left this profession to pursue what used to be her hobby – organizing housing and space.
After a full-scale war began in Ukraine, Ivanka could not just watch the terrible events, so she went to the Polish-Ukrainian border, where she helped Ukrainian refugees. After the liberation of the Kyiv region, the woman went to Bucha, where she hides the horrors of the Russian army with the help of paints – she paints bullet holes in the fences.
“I was struck by the beauty of the city as a whole and how quickly cleanup and restoration began,” Siolkowska told Almost . “I wanted to be a part of it because I wanted to make it (the city – Ed. note) a safe and happy place for the children to return.”
She also said that in Bucha she met a man named Sasha, who lost his son in the war, and his house was bombed and burned to the ground by Russians.
“He told me that he wants to leave because there is no more joy left in this city. He only sees bullet holes in the fence, reminding him of the loss,” said the Canadian. It was the story of this man that inspired Ivanka to start “erasing” bullet marks in the fence, turning them into flowers.
The locals were pleasantly surprised by Ivanka’s initiative and subsequently began to come up and ask to have their fences painted as well.
“My goal was to paint one fence and make one man smile. I didn’t think that the neighbors would ask for it then, and I didn’t think that the whole world would see it soon. Ukraine will win. No matter how hard the Russians try, they cannot and will not take away our culture,” Ivanka said.
Ivanka also paints T-shirts for local children and is actively involved in other volunteer activities.