Dnipro as Seen by Children

“The mighty Dnieper roars and bellows”, — Taras Shevchenko wrote. It roars now, but almost nobody hears it. Since, before the last century, it roared of awareness of its own might and power in heavy weather, and now — moans faintly suffering from terrible maladies that gnaw and tear out veins of the grey Slavutych.

It is hard to overestimate the significance of Dnipro — the biggest river of Ukraine — in cultural, economical, social and other aspects of life of the Ukrainian nation, in its formation and development, though environmental state of the famous river aroused considerable concerns for a long time.

Turning people's faces to the Dnipro's problems, making everyone listen to the river's voice, giving our own, although small yet real, contribution for overcoming the crisis on the main waterway of Ukraine — that was the project goal.

The project “Dnipro as Seen by Children” has been implemented by Ukraine National Environmental Non-Governmental Organisation “MAMA-86” within the framework of the “Drinking Water in Ukraine” Campaign support by a grant of the International Development Research Center, Ottawa, and financial contribution of the United Nations Development Programme GEF.

Adults and children have actively participated in the project implementation. Experts have placed a series of informational materials on the most urgent problems of Slavutich in a loose-leaf calendar. Children aged 6 to 16 who participated in a competition “Dnipro as Seen by Children” that took place from May 15 till September 1, 2002, demonstrated their personal vision of the state of Dnipro in drawings. Children were suggested to develop creatively 12 Dnipro-related topics:

  1. Where Does the River Dnipro Begin?
  2. The Cycle of Water in Nature.
  3. Water Is the Source of Life on Earth.
  4. Chornobyl Is Our Pain.
  5. Dnipro Is the Main Waterway of Ukraine.
  6. Water and Health.
  7. Recreation on the Dnipro.
  8. Magical World of the Dnipro Nature.
  9. Save Water!
  10. The Impact of Human Activities Onto the Dnipro River.
  11. Dnipro: Past, Present, Future.
  12. Dnipro as a Symbol of Friendship and Solidarity of Nations.

Using fine art devises, participants reflected their personal sense of the importance of water as the source of life on the Earth, significance of Dnipro as the main waterway of Ukraine, proved the necessity to save water, and illustrated relationship between water quality, health and impact of human activity on the state of Dnipro. Many works disclosed such topics as “The Cycle of Water in Nature”, “Where Does the River Dnipro Begin?” and “Chornobyl — our pain”. Historical topics “Dnipro: the Past, Present and Future” and “Dnipro as a Symbol of Friendship and Solidarity of Nations” were also not set aside. Many works were dedicated to the topic “Recreation on the Dnipro”. But the topic “Magical World of the Dnipro Nature” was the record-breaker by the number of submitted drawings.

Generally, 356 children from allover Ukraine participate at the competition and submitted 602 drawings. All drawings are very bright, talented, and distinctive and demonstrate solicitous attitude of participants to the state of environment, and particularly, deep understanding of the Dnipro's problems by children.

On September 17, 2003 a voting committee selected the best drawings under each topic and determined winners. Winners of the competition were awarded by diplomas and valuable presents during the presentation of the project “Dnirpo as Seen by Children”.

Bright and positive example of consolidation of efforts made by children and adults stimulated prolongation of this project. Owing to financial support of the UNDP-GEF Dnipro Basin Environment Enhancement Program, MAMA-86 has got the possibility to realize the project “Children of Ukraine toward Sustainable Environmentally Balanced Development”.

Under the project the following activity was fulfilled:

  • publishing an informational booklet that illustrated by the children's' drawings;
  • releasing a compact disc with more that 400 drawings submitted for the competition;
  • establishing a mobile exhibition of the winning works that was seen by participants of the Fifth Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe”; and
  • designing virtual gallery of children's drawings on the “MAMA-86” web-site.

Presentation of the project “Children of Ukraine toward Sustainable Environmentally Balanced Development” took place on June 18, 2003.

For further information, please contact:
Lidiya Grinkevych
Tel.: +380 (44) 278-77-49
Fax: +380 (44) 279-55-14


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