Meet the Czech-Ukrainian 'Sunflower' choir sending small pleasures back to the frontline

The 'Sunflower' choir
The 'Sunflower' choir   -  Copyright  Euronews
By Jiri Skacel

Ukrainian refugees and Czech residents started getting together out of pure joy. Now, they sing to be able to send back small pleasures to the front line.

Ukrainian women, far away from home and their loved ones, have joined up with several Czech women in Litomysl to form the Sunflower (Sojasnyk) choir. 

They sing together the songs they have known since childhood, but also Czech and Polish songs, and thus spread joy in the country that has welcomed them.

At charity concerts, they also sell their own products such as t-shirts, bags, wristbands or small ornaments with Ukrainian motifs, in order to raise money for those in need in Ukraine.

Take care of yourselves and your surroundings and come back victorious. We are waiting."
Olga Haponczuk
Dniepro resident

"At the beginning, there was only the idea of singing together, of joy," choir leader Martina Sirova told Euronews.

"Then it turned out that we were able to earn money through singing and that joy, which we could then use to buy sanitary supplies, socks - things that people in Ukraine need."

They don't send anything big or complicated, just small practical gifts such as flashlights, power banks, socks, dried food or sweets.

Many Ukrainian women came to the Czech Republic, mostly with children and without their husbands, when Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

"When the sirens started, my children and I immediately went to hide in the underground garage, especially so they wouldn't be afraid," former Kyiv resident Lena Koinova said. 

Some of the packages women, including Lena, send include personal messages for those on the frontline. 

One message read: "Take care of yourselves and your surroundings and come back victorious. We are waiting."

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