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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

From Kharkiv to Uzhhorod - Ukrainians find Space in Budapest's Józsefváros

A two-classroom school run by a charity in Budapest VIII helps children, displaced from their homes in war-ravaged Ukraine, make up their education in their mother tongue.

Kateryna Yuhas, from Uzhhorod, Transcarpathia, Western Ukraine, stands by some of the artwork created by pupils, in the Ukrainian Space classroom. Her own work is the

aeroplane over the field of yellow maize, centre, bottom row.

Earlier this year I ventured into the streets behind the National Museum to research a story about a small “school” located in a modest flat run to help Ukrainian kids keep up their education.

In most cases the children are from refugee families, but Kataryna (pictured) is actually in Budapest because her parents moved here for work well before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces in February, 2022.

Because of this, I couldn't really feature her in that story, but, inspired by her artistic endeavours, I thought to post some of her work on the blog, where I have more space for photographs. 

Still, she is an enthusiastic pupil of the school, attending every day.

Some of Kateryna's young classmates colour in their oblasts on a map of Ukraine, putting a 'heart' to mark their own home town or city.

If you go back to the top picture, on the far left, middle row, you can see a picture of some housing blocks with a flower - a snowdrop - in the foreground. This is the creation of Diana, from Kherson. Every morning she was taken to school by her mother, and they would pass a snowdrop in one garden slowing getting ready to bloom.

Came the time her mother said she was sure it would bloom the next day. But Diana never saw the snow drop bloom, because the next day was February 24, 2022. The Russians had invaded, and Diana and her mother fled the city.

So, when the instructions in the art class were to draw a memory of her homeland, Diana decided to put a snowdrop in her picture to remind her of her last 'normal' day at home.

Diana Huber, the 'snowdrop' girl, reads from a dual language book created by pupils at the school about flowering plants common to both Hungary and Ukraine.

A pencil drawing by Kateryna Yuhas - which I think is a remarkable work for a 14-year old. Kateryna has never had any lessons beyond normal school art classes.

For the full story on the Ukrainian Space school - see:

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