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Good morning from Krakow Poland. Carlos Lopez and I (Tom) both arrived safe and sound late yesterday afternoon –me from Vermont, USA and Carlos from Bogota, Colombia. We take the 8 hour bus to Lviv, Ukraine tomorrow morning. Last night we gathered with a group of Ukrainian refugees in Krakow’s glorious 13th Century Main Square to “Stand With Ukraine.” There was beautiful, sad singing and inspiring speeches –a powerful way to begin our two weeks in Ukraine.
This is the third time Magicians Without Borders has come to Poland and Ukraine to work with Ukrainian refugee children since this brutal war began. First trip, May 2022, we did 25 Magic shows for 5000 Ukrainian refugee children and their moms; September Tom and LaFleur (Janet Fredericks) traveled to Lviv Ukraine and did shows in hospitals, orphanages and refugee settlements in Lviv and out in the Carpathian Mountains.
As Tom and LaFleur were setting up their first show, in a Pediatric Oncology Hospital (many of the children were patients from Eastern and Southern Ukraine where their hospitals had been destroyed) the air raid alarm sounded and we headed to the bomb shelter in the basement of the hospital…..we felt a small taste of the terror the Ukrainians have lived with for over a year now.
We are back again, thanks to the generous help of our supporters–your generosity makes so much possible. This time in Ukraine, we will be hosted by two wonderful Ukrainian Pediatricians, Drs. Antin and Oleg. We will establish our ninth Sorcerer’s Apprentice Educational Program in Lviv with a group of Ukrainian teenagers –we will hold two twelve-hour Magic Workshops over two weekends and Dr. Oleg, passionate about magic, will continue regular classes with these children after we leave. During the week between the Magic Workshops we will work in Recovery Camps -residential camps for severely traumatized Ukrainian refugee children. These camps were set up by the marvelous US organization, Ukrainian Children’s Action Project.
We will post more about the Recovery Camp performances once we begin them next Monday. I will post as regularly as possible during the trip. Again, thank you very much for your generous sustaining support.
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