Зернятко Надії

“Svichado” recently published a book called "The Seed of Hope.” It is the first collection of fiction for children about the Holodomor (Ukrainian famine-genocide). The initiator of this publication was the Ukrainian Youth Association (“UYA”) in Ukraine and the magazine "Krylati," along with the efforts of Ludmila Yurchenko, a member of UYA. "The Seed of Hope" is a collection of prose and poetry that will help children learn about the Holodomor without traumatizing them with graphic details and a subject matter that is difficult to understand. Also, this book will be appropriate in light of the approaching anniversary of the tragedy that claimed the lives of millions of innocent victims in Ukraine.


Adults learn about the Holodomor by reading newspapers, from television, books, or the stories of survivors. However, there is a lack of appropriate creative learning tools for children that can easily explain this tragedy. Though painful, it is important in shaping historical understanding. Since children have especially impressionable psyches, it is important to carefully highlight these tragic events; otherwise, young readers would discover these more complicated pages of our history without the aggressive nature of the events.
"We tried to find easily understandable images for children, appropriate words and themes for all ages. Also, we are trying to approach this tragedy from an optimistic perspective, so that disbelief and despair does not arise in the hearts of children. So that each of them know that their fate is in their own hands,” said Yurchenko.
This is the task that the initiators of “The Seed of Hope” project, the UYA, and “Krylati,” set before themselves, which was supported by writers in Ukraine, along with the Diaspora. This work was based on special material collected by a committee formed by educators, psychologists, and consultants. Later, with the support of the Lviv City Council, it was published.
Today, children, at varied levels of learning, find it difficult to fully comprehend the meaning of the words "famine," and "death by starvation." This is why the first section of the book is based on the principles of storytelling that leads the young reader into a land of familiar fairytale characters: squirrels, bunnies, hedgehogs and more. The children will want to use the characters’ positive experiences and discover their own life-strategies. While identifying with the main character, who finds a way out of difficult situations, demonstrates love for friends, and shows mercy, the child learns certain moral values ​​and behavioral norms.
The stories and essays included in the second section, lead the young reader through the experiences of the shocking historical reality due to the emotional component. However, the story is designed to show the child a positive experience and show a positive life-strategy.
This work is designed for children of all ages, from kindergarten to high school. The book will be useful to parents for family reading and for “teachers' lessons.” It is nice to know that the Ministry of Education of Ukraine has approved our publication, giving it the stamp "recommended by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine."