Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska. Photo: CNN
With what is going on, how do you and your family feel?
It’s like walking on a rope. If you are too busy thinking, you will waste your time and lose your balance. So to stand firm, you can just keep doing what you’re doing.
And I know all Ukrainians are trying to stand the same way. Many of them have escaped the war zone, many have seen death with their own eyes. But the most effective healing from those experiences is action. We have to do something, be useful to someone. I am also trying to protect and support those around me.
When she became first lady, she pledged to put children first. So how do you feel now when you see children living in war zones?
Children and their needs are one of my main priorities. Before the conflict broke out, we launched a school nutrition reform, so that children could eat better, be healthier, and get sick less often.
You ask how do I feel at the moment? I feel like we’ve been regressed by years, even decades.
Now we are not talking about healthy food, but about food in general!
Imagine that you have built and renovated a house, now just put flowers on the windowsill. But now the house has been demolished. And on the ruins you have to light a fire to keep warm.
Tell us more about the work you are doing to support Ukrainian women and children refugees?
First, we evacuate the most vulnerable children. Children with cancer, disabilities, orphans… They were evacuated to countries that agreed to receive and support their treatment and recovery. The main route is through Poland, and from there to other European countries.
Second, we are importing incubators to support infants in war zones. Many hospitals lost power and children’s lives were at stake. Two incubators have already been delivered, and an additional eight incubators are expected.
Third, we accelerate the process of helping refugees, especially children and mothers, to adapt to their new environment, because humanitarian aid alone is not enough. Children need to be integrated quickly and go to school in a new place. Especially thousands of children with autism have been sent abroad. We are currently working to make it easier for children to go to school, otherwise it will greatly affect their development.
Together with embassies, we are coordinating pro-Ukraine events. Several international concerts have been organized and helped raise money for humanitarian aid work in Ukraine.
I have some plans. In the summer, we will try to host summits of First Ladies and Husbands from many countries around the world.
Zelenska and her husband attended an event shortly before the conflict broke out. Photo: CNN
Has she been able to see her husband since the conflict broke out?
Volodymyr and his team live in the Presidential Office. Because of the danger, my children and I were not allowed to go there. For more than a month now, we have only communicated by phone.
Many people were impressed with the performance of President Zelensky when the country broke out in conflict. She married him in 2003 and have known each other since they were both in college. Do you see these qualities in your husband?
I have always known that he was and will be my reliable support. He later became a wonderful father and supporter for our family. He is still displaying these qualities. He hasn’t changed, it’s just that people can now see my husband through my eyes.
She has a 17-year-old daughter, Sasha, and a 9-year-old son, Kyrylo. How did you explain the conflict to your children? Will the children stay with her?
Fortunately, the children are still with me. And like I said, when I have someone to take care of, I have to maintain discipline myself. This also affects my own children. They have grown tremendously during this time, and also feel a sense of responsibility to each other, to the people around them.
I don’t explain specifically to my children, just talk about what is happening. When I watch interviews with children in war zones, or listen to stories my friends tell about their children, I realize that children understand everything just as well as adults. They always look to the essence.
Ukrainian refugees arrive in Zahony, Hungary. Photo: CNN
On the first day the conflict broke out, we did not panic. Instead we became an organized community.
Other controversies were put aside and everyone worked together to protect their home. Yes, Ukrainians are extraordinary.
I write a lot about our women. They are present everywhere. They join the armed forces, the defense forces, mostly in the role of medical staff. They are also the ones who have brought children and families to safety, because only they can evacuate abroad. So in a sense, their roles are even more diverse than that of men; this is more than equality!
at Blogtuan.info – Source: Soha.vn – Read the original article here