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10-year-old checkers champ raises funds for Ukraine's military

Illustration: #JeniaOliynyk


Everybody can play checkers on the streets of Kyiv with the world champion. However, in case of loss, he or she must be ready to fundraise money to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In this way, 10-year-old Valeriia collected 21,000 hryvnas (about 580 dollars) for the Ukrainian army.

Once the girl asked her mother how she could help the defenders. Then they thought about what Valeriia could do best: playing checkers, of course. The champion sat down on a Kyiv street with a sign "For the Armed Forces. We play—we help!" and invited anyone to the game. The only requirement is to donate some money to the army in case of loss. Valeriia played up to 30 games in one hour and never lost. There was a tie with only one player, an adult nationally ranked player in checkers.

Valeriia's mother helped hold the games. On the first day, the girl collected 1,200 hryvnas (a little more than 30 dollars) in this way, and later managed to get up to 4,000 hryvnas (110 dollars).

Some passers-by didn’t risk playing with the champion and simply donated money. And some gave Valeriia gratitude from the soldiers from the front.

The girl transferred the donations to a charity fund. Its founder, volunteer and showman Serhiy Prytula, reacted to Valeriia's act: "It is impossible to win over a nation who has such children."


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