A few months ago we held a small crowdfunding which enabled us to buy walnuts from people and provide them with a small income.
We bought over one ton off walnuts in total. Now there are people from different families cracking these nuts giving them the chance to earn again some income over the walnuts they first brought in themselves.
Due to this project we came into contact with a lot of people and learned a lot about the problems they run into, simple things as we would consider them in the west, like a dentist or an optician for children which the people can’t go to due to the lack of funds.
What surprised me the most was once we started cracking the nuts, kids from 13-14-15 years old reported in because they wanted to help and crack the nuts voluntarily once they heard what we would pay them (words go fast here in the streets).
Once I asked a boy (14 years old) if he came because he wanted or if he had to from his mother and he answered that he did it because he wanted to do so. One day later I asked him what he was going to do with the money he earned and his answer broke my heart. He was going to give the money to his parents so that they will be able to put good food on the table.
Just a regular 14 year old schoolboy, but much more serious than one would expect from someone his age. This is why I do what I do now and after hearing his answer I knew that I made the right choice for leaving the army.
What we want is to do is to participate in the economic development in the region and promote import and export between Russia and the DNR which would enable us to create jobs for the people here so that they can provide their families with a reasonable income. Wages need to go up here for the people because the way we see it they are simply underpaid. It can never be the case that 14 year old children should provide for their parents in order to get a decent meal.
We want to aim at the ecological sector and promote and support the right to self-determination of the people of the DNR. In order to achieve this we will start a follow-up project in line with the walnuts and the documentary which we made about the MH17.
You can reed more about this project on the Adopt a tree page
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