«War is not an adventure. It is a disease.»
— Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The ongoing war in Ukraine has displaced over 4.3 million children. More than half of Ukraine’s child population of 7.5 million have lost their homes (the figures include about 1.8 million children who left Ukraine and migrated to neighbouring countries as refugees). These seven-figure numbers barely scratch the surface of the crisis underneath. Presently, many Ukrainian children are forced to stay in gyms, rehabilitation centres and hospitals to evade the fatal dangers of frequent explosions and gunfire. The war has proved to be disastrous in more ways than one. According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, over 219 children have lost their lives to the war, the actual toll might increase as we speak of it right now.
Death is not the sole threat that plagues these children. These young lives are also confronting raging hunger, starvation and the lack of a comfortable home, which has wreaked havoc on their future, robbing them of the secure environment they deserve. A child's future goes beyond the basics and comprises the access to a safe and nurturing environment, adequate nutrition, along with the right to be informed about what is happening around them. It is important to safeguard our children’s prospects and shield them from any harm.
The wreckage of war can irreversibly destroy the myriad dreams and innocent desires, which is exactly what is happening due to the ongoing military offensive. As adults hide in subways, bomb shelters, basements, staring at an uncertain future, children are barely able to contain their anxiety and fear whenever they listen to combat aircrafts and disturbing sounds while they are inside. The semblance of safety within a shelter scares innocuous souls with a gory picture of what might happen to them. No child wishes to walk in a country heaped with debris and death. All they want to do is to live in a safe environment and thrive with their families and dear ones. Contrary to the popular view, children desire the warmth of small things that give them a creative outlet to just be themselves and do not care for luxury.
However, security has become a luxury for Ukraine’s young citizens as they stand robbed of their future, numb to the scourge of war. It would be right to deduce that with the loss of educational institutions and a cordial environment, Ukraine’s children have braced themselves for the worst and are ready to adapt to the worst possible crisis, given the struggle they are witnessing currently. The war has therefore, not only resulted in the loss of material, but childhood too.
How much will these bright, little souls endure? And why should they?
We are confronted with several incidences of rescue, survival and struggle that have emerged from this terrible event. The stories of children braving these ordeals are nerve-wracking and differ in every possible way that the average citizen in a pacifist country cannot even comprehend.
We have heard a couple of harrowing tales where young children have lost everything they had and whatever they deserved. Thus, we wished to direct our efforts towards preserving lost innocence by restoring whatever little these children had.
Our vision is to remind the world to stop the bloodshed, as victories do not make up for the loss endured by young lives. Conflicts leave an indelible impact on children, wrecking them forever with immense stress and trauma. It is scary to think about the impact of hatred on gullible minds who are uprooted from a secure environment.
How can we expect our children to thrive on memories ravaged by blood, fear and silence, instead of warmth, comfort and joy? Upon considering this prospect in all seriousness, you will be able to understand the place we are coming from and empathize with our purpose. Our vision is based on spreading hope in the times of a grave adversity that has befallen the people of Ukraine.
Our project seeks to bring together a global community of concerned individuals who care about getting to the bottom of things and contributing their bit through our ambitious NFT project. Our project is based on the idea of a Global Puzzle and began from a small vision in 2006 . We consider this advent to be representative of the world’s desire to move towards peace and creating more safe spaces for children in conflict zones. The NFT project is a brainchild of our arduous team of professionals who have persevered to bring to you an unconventional concept in the form of digital currency. The project is based on a 2006 painting by a talented Ukrainian artist from the city of Cherkasy in Ukraine on an 80x100 canvas. We developed the idea further after an exhaustive process comprising numerous changes, suggestions and revisions. The process has been an enriching exercise as we attempt to bring together art, technology and a sense of purpose that caters to safeguarding the welfare of vulnerable young lives.
Our goal is to challenge the view that digital currencies are mere money-making opportunities. We wish to leverage the flexibility and freedom within this gamut to express opinions that are authentic and are expressive of our stance on issues we care about. As we move towards a borderless world that is shedding off its bureaucratic limitations, we believe that digital currencies are capable of driving social change and can be used as a charity endeavour to help those in need.
After spending several years learning the nitty gritties of digital currencies, our team has developed our Global Puzzle project in technical and social welfare aspects. The NFT project is geared at helping children in war zones. While we understand that international organizations such as UNICEF are already engaged in the purpose, we still think that small advents like ours are equally important to supplement the work done by these foundations. Thus, it is our vision to raise funds to help vulnerable children through our ambitious NFT project which we consider is an effective way that complements centralized methods of fundraising. We expect to power change and the spirit of charity through our endeavours in the digital currency space.
The Stories Behind Our Vision
As the Russian forces began making their way inside Ukraine, they did not only destroy infrastructure. They dashed the dreams of many who weren’t expecting a war to upturn their lives so drastically. Each moment became a struggle for survival and to safeguard the future. Waking up to explosions and carnage caused several to loose parts of themselves - their innocence, their dreams and aspirations were dashed to the ground. Broken and bruised by loss, people are in an unfortunate position and have stories that make even the bravest weep at the sad state of affairs.
The people of Ukraine, despite their dignified bearing, have mentally prepared themselves for the worst. A member of our team came out with his experience in the belligerent climate, as he raced to evacuate the country with his family:
«The reasons to evacuate are simple and complex at the same time: a dangerous and unpredictable situation, constant anxiety that can catch you anywhere. When you are afraid for your children - you are unable to think soberly and critically, you are not able to help anyone else but yourself and your family. The whole tragedy renders you helpless as you see life slipping out of your grasp. We went out of town with a few families, 11 cars in all, and drove on the back roads because of the heavy traffic on the highways. It was a 3-day drive in the car. The youngest child was less than 5 months old. »
While some were lucky to escape, several weren’t. The aforementioned ordeal does not end at the evacuation; in fact, it has just begun, having scratched the tip of the iceberg. The problem is complicated with the arduous journey across the borders and the struggles of being a refugee in a land alien to you.
Despite evacuating, many Ukrainian children and their parents had to endure despair, fear, and tension as they left their homes. Children were suddenly deprived of the comfort of home, as they were shunted along roads and were forced to confront a crisis they did not deserve. Hopelessness became the truth in these situations as families scrambled to survive in brazen puzzlement and confusion about the next move.
We came across another horrifying story:
«Three days of sleepless road trips with the kids. The pet dog, aged 16, died of stress. This was a profound experience that is hard to surmise in words. I will still carry with me the scars of my experiences in Western Ukraine. Despair overwhelmed us when we learned that all the hotels were full.A local woman opened the window and asked - «How many of you are there?» We answered- «Three kids, one woman». I offered to sleep in the car. There was another car parked next to the hotel, containing about 6 more members of our group. We were 10 people in all, including an infant, less than 12 days old, when it all happened. It is hard to remember those days without tears. It's the despair that overwhelms you when you feel you can't control the situation. Seneca, the great stoic would say not to worry — but how can you not worry when your children are robbed of their future?»
It is admirable how our minds transgress the limitations of borders and empathize with the pain several families experience when they are forced to leave their homeland. Therefore, we aim to extend this empathy and compassion by integrating these humane values into our mission.
Our NFT project focuses on:
We plan to develop this project further and do not intend to stop abruptly as human security is a constant endeavour that would need additional resources to prosper. The NFT puzzle is a small step in Sentebale’s journey ahead.
The forget-me-nots featured in our logo are reflective of our motto which is to «remember, come back, love». And thus, we will remember the horrors a disastrous war can unleash with an aim to return to our native country.
Lastly, we intend to spread the message of love and hope, ensuring that our precious young children are able to thrive in an environment of peace and progress. In Ukraine, the relevance of these flowers is not lost. The forget-me-not blooms symbolize the Holodomor victims and are a commemorative motif which resonates strongly with the current events.
Thus, our vision, mission and direction are based on the humanist credo which tells people to «Remember. Come back. Love.»
We express ourselves with a sincere hope that we will find support, warmth and comfort to extend the same to Ukraine, which is bleeding. We seek to restore peace and be a harbinger of hope in these adverse times.