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Children play checkpoints and fundraise for the army

Illustration: #OksanaDrachkovska

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War changes not only children's lives, but also their games. Since the beginning of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, children have had a new pastime—to set up checkpoints on their streets and "protect" their neighbors. And also they want to help the territorial defense and the police, who have to monitor law and order and catch saboteurs.

Children's checkpoints are not alike. Someone puts a sign “Blockpost” at the entrance to the home territory and asks neighbors to say such passwords as "palianytsia": Russians can't pronounce this word correctly. And some children create real defense centers—they build fortresses from boards, sandbags, and tires, hang Ukrainian flags, conduct physical training classes, and imagine how they manage Bayraktar. Some of the young Ukrainians have relatives on the front lines, so the topic of war is incredibly close to them. Thanks to the game, children can understand it better and cope with negative emotions.


Adults react to children's roadblocks mostly positively and are happy to pass the tests of the small defenders. Moreover, the children began to combine "service" with volunteering: they called on drivers to donate money to the army's needs. For example, in Uman (Cherkasy Oblast), schoolchildren sell their stuff at a checkpoint: toys, bracelets, jewelry, and sweets. They managed to earn 4,600 hryvnas (about 130 dollars), which they gave to adults to purchase a thermal imager for the military. And in Stryi Raion (Lviv Oblast), children at a checkpoint encouraged adults to join in fundraising for bulletproof vests. In three days, young volunteers collected money for two of them.


Thus, children's games can bring tangible benefits to the entire society.

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