The Story of Artyom

Artyom came to Odessa from the tragic city of Slavyansk – he could escape just before the war actions had started. At the beginning, he was very different from all the other children – was always by himself, far from the group activities of the others, was not communicating much.

Gradually, he could integrate into the groups of children and started showing his musical skills – first time – on the Day of Children, when, during the party, he played piano and guitar. He attended the summer camp together with the other children of the “Way Home” Foundation.  вместе с воспитанниками Фонда он отправился в летний лагерь. Our interview happened a few days after his hometown was freed from the occupation. Artyom was very happy to hear that, because at the age of 15 he became cut from the family for many months, and it happened not by his free will. It was good to be in a safe place, but he worried about his relatives in Slavyansk.

«I called home many times a day, to make sure everyone is alive there. There were times when there was n connection with the city – I did not know what to think. But, thanks God, it is fine now», — speaks Artyom. War, for sure, is not the best theme to talk, but we could not avoid it here. The boy recalls: “It was scary. You never know what’s going happen, what comes next. I sat at home and opened the windows to hear better, who was shooting and where the explosions are.  It was very unpleasant”. He said that the first signed of a trouble was that the school got closed and then –  “A lot of armed people appeared from nowhere. The center of the town was full of them, every 100 meters there were small posts with the solders. If I was on the street, they always checked me. Then it was banned to leave the houses and I sat at home”. When he came to Odessa – he says he appeared in a completely different world. «When I entered Odessa (it was the city railway station) I immediately felt peace. People are smiling, no sounds of shooting or bombing. After the war actions I saw In Slavyansk, I felt at peace. But the anxiety was there – I was worried for my parents and relatives».
In Odessa Artyom started living with the distant relatives, who saw that the guy needed attention and care, showed him the “Way Home”.  At the Fund everyone welcomed the boy and liked him, especially after seeing his musical talents. Together with the Foundation band he took part in the charity concert, and gradually he became close to everyone here. «I meet with many great people here, the children showed me the city, we went to the sea. Then I attended the summer camp with everyone else».
Knowing that Artyom is coming back home, I asked him, is he afraid to come back to the place where they were still fighting a couple of weeks ago. He said:”It is nice to go home anyway. I will my family a lot. I am desperately sad about the victims there and also about people who escaped from the town but have no longer a place to come back to. But my wish to be with the family is stronger them any fear”.
At the end of the interview, Artyom said: «I wish that in every country and every city there would be peace. In every house there will be peace. I wish people never come thought the things I went through».

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