Little Solomiya, together with her mother and three hundred other people, spent 25 days in captivity in the dark basement of the school in the village of Yahidne, in the Chernihiv region. Terrible details of that imprisonment spread all over the world – people were hardly fed, were not allowed to go outside, fainted from lack of oxygen, and slept next to the dead. To console the captive children, the parents allowed them to paint the walls of the basement.
– At first, the children drew on the wall with ordinary pens, – recalls the mother of 8-year-old Solomiya Yaroslav. – And when I found gouache in the basement, a real celebration began for the little ones. My child drew monsters on the wall. So she got rid of her horrors. And the monsters that surrounded us became less scary. I know for sure that it helped her survive her captivity. And to all of us too – because we, adults, looked at these pictures and understood: we have to survive for the sake of our children.
Solomiika’s drawings from the wall in the basement became the cover of a song with the symbolic title Freedom. This is the result of a Ukrainian-British collaboration between EPOLETS and Luke Pritchard from The Kooks.
– This song is an attempt to once again explain to the world outside of Ukraine what a tragedy our state and each of the Ukrainians is experiencing now, – says Pavlo Varenytsia, the frontman of the EPOLETS band. – It is about people who lost their homes, lost their relatives, and lost peace. But they did not lose faith in victory and the future. This song is about all of us who have now lost the ground under our feet, but have not lost ourselves and believe that we will rebuild our home!
By the way, it was Pavlo who found the author of the drawing from the basement and her mother and contacted the “Masha Fund” to help them. That’s how Yaroslava and Solomiya got into the “Unbreakable Mom” program – a specially designed rehabilitation course for women and children affected by the war.
The EPOLETS band will continue to help “Unbreakable Moms” in the future – all proceeds from the sale of the song Freedom on streaming platforms will go to support this program.