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On the cover
7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope

28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.


Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.


Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.


Kyiv Celebrities

Equestrian Healing

Margarita Sichkar is well known in Ukraine, though identifying her profession is a tall order. She juggles being one of Ukraines most successful restaurateurs with being a TV-host, the organiser of charitable events, an author, and a mother of three. As if that wasnt enough, she admits she feels limited within the restaurant business, and is making another addition to her already packed schedule an eco-friendly equine-assisted therapy centre called Kamelia. Sichkar shares her far-reaching plans with Whats On.

 Only nature can save humanity, Sichkar says as she outlines equine-assisted therapy or horse-therapy, and the purpose of the centre she is building not far from Kyiv. Her thinking is bold: I believe in non-traditional medicine and think nature and animals, horses in particular, can treat people better than doctors and pills. I have seen the incredible results from horse-therapy: children born with cerebral palsy who could not walk or even sit, start moving and walking!
A horse-lover herself, Sichkar has been riding for years, and after coming across information about horse-therapy, she began carefully studying the phenomenon and the possibilities to be able to introduce it in Ukraine. Her research was rewarded with a meeting with Olena Petrusevych a forest fairy as Sichkar calls her. Shes been practicing horse-therapy for children with various physical disabilities for about 20 years. When I heard the story about her horse Kamelia the first equine used for this type of therapy in Ukraine, all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place and I decided to build a centre for horse-therapy in Ukraine, says Sichkar.
The story of Kamelia is touching: after the horse was retired from racing in 1994, she continued working with children with different disabilities. Unfortunately, the horse died a few years ago, but Sichkar says the new horse-therapy centre will bear her name as tribute.

Purpose Built
Even though horse-therapy exists in Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine, Sichkars will be the first centre of its kind, with a composite approach to all kinds of rehabilitation. In addition to horse riding, the centre will also have massage and physical therapy rooms, art and music-therapy lessons and so on. There is a real need to have all these practices under one roof, as they will complement and enforce the effects of horse-therapy, also improving the emotional state of the child, Sichkar explains. So far, parents who have children with cerebral palsy, for example, have to travel to different spots of Kyiv to combine horse-therapy with physical therapy, and long trips on public transport exhaust both the parents and the child.
The ambitious plan for the centre also has an ecological philosophy at its core the centre will have its own eco-farm, eco-garden, and will use solar energy and biofuel equipment. In addition, the centre will also serve as a scientific base for both studying the phenomenon of horse-therapy and implementing new ecological technologies.
Taking all that into account, Sichkar says the centre will be unique with no equivalent in Europe. Her project may even be a world-first: when Sichkar detailed her plans to Dmitriy Tsverava from Georgia, the first person in the world to study and practice horse-therapy, he told her no such centre existed anywhere in the world!

All Inclusive
Another unique aspect of Kamelia is its principle, Pay as much as you can. The project is charitable both in theory and practice: children with physical disabilities and their parents will have free access to horse-therapy and other services in the centre; others wanting to ride for relaxation or go on an excursion will pay as much as they can. The motto of the future centre is also interesting Children Rule Here. Sichkar explains its meaning: I want to create a state where a child is a citizen with full rights, while parents and adults are foreigners who have to follow certain rules: no alcohol or smoking, no swearing or negativity. I believe children can change the world for the better and they are able to change their own parents for the better too, so in this way I hope the centre will help to revive the values of a happy and harmonious family.
Kamelias opening is planned for next year; the preliminary estimated cost is about $3 to 4 million and construction is already at full steam. However, Sichkar believes her example is rare and she remains disappointed in Ukrainian businessmen in general. Unfortunately they dont yet understand the social responsibility big business has, which means I must look abroad for investment. I hope by donating to this project foreign companies will set a good example to our oligarchs and make them think a bit of the future of this country.

by Kateryna Kyselyova

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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didnt Know We Had

    Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.

    Kyiv Culture

    Pulling Strings
    Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.


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