The war in Ukraine has turned the lives of its people upside down, and it’s difficult for many of us to see the stories on the news and yet be powerless to help. But if we all do a little bit – we can make a difference. We are archaeologists working at Bournemouth University, and we are personally fundraising to support our friend and colleague, Dr Sergiy Taranenko.
Sergiy is a Ukrainian archaeologist, a museum professional and a guardian of Kyiv’s cultural heritage. He is based at the World Heritage Site of the Monastery of Pechersk-Lavra and has been excavating in the historic areas of Kyiv for many years. Due to the war, he is not allowed to leave the country, but he has not been called up to fight (yet), so he continues to work as best he can at the Monastery and around the city. This is not easy, and he has no money to do the work he loves.
He needs funds to complete two excellent projects he has started but cannot afford to finish. Kyiv has recently been bombed, and the country’s rich history is being damaged, but we are determined to help our colleague. We are fundraising to help Sergiy complete a set of videos about the history, archaeology, and cultural significance of the Monastery itself – a story that goes back to the 11th century – and to translate them with English subtitles. These will not only record this vital heritage but will also help to disseminate its importance to a broad audience.
Secondly, as part of Sergiy’s outreach programme at the Monastery, he is writing and producing a book for younger readers to enjoy and to help them understand the story of ancient Kyiv. He has an illustrator working with him to produce around a 100-page, fully illustrated book aimed at younger readers. He is writing this in Ukrainian, but again we think that if it were to be translated into English, it would be an excellent way for Ukrainian refugees to keep in touch with their unique heritage and help their language skills.
All the work on both projects will be carried out by people living in Ukraine – so your donations will also help them directly with money for food and essentials whilst supporting Ukraine’s heritage. We need £5,000 for both projects. If we raise too much money, or if the tasks cannot go ahead owing to the changing situation in Ukraine, the money will be used to support our Ukrainian friends and colleagues.