Written by: Grace Lee, Edited by: Jessmine Tay.
Dear KIS Community,
My name is Grace Lee and I am a 15-year-old student from Year 10S. Since the 24th of February, when Russia’s military forcefully invaded Ukraine, I have been hearing about the heartbreaking situations of Ukraine and its people. It has truly made me very miserable just listening to their current situation and I felt so apologetic for those who are living through these fearful times alone. It has come to my realization that I was ashamed for not being able to do anything. Therefore, I’m writing this letter because I want you to support Ukraine with me.
Ever since hearing the terrible news of the war, I couldn’t help but think about the World Wars and my country, the Republic of Korea. I recalled the countless people who were sacrificed for our countries’ independence. Till now, I still hear and continue to learn about sad stories about the past wars and how hard it was for our humanity to return to its peace which is now broken. These honorable yet terrifying historical realities about our people facing and fighting during wars despaired me, even though I was very fortunate to have never experienced such events myself. It was a while back when I realized that these unforgettable moments in our history were made from human greed and selfishness within us. For example, Korea is the only divided country in the world that has faced both wars and occupations during that period. They had lost their country to Japan in 1910 and only got their independence back 35 years later. During these dark times, Koreans fought for their country’s freedom, and countless people were brutally murdered for speaking up against the oppressing coup. I dare not fathom their misery of losing their own country and the hardships they had to endure to live. Therefore, I understand how difficult it must be for Ukraine. Koreans were not the only people who fought hard to get their freedom back. Our independence was possible as many democratic countries around the world helped us through this desperate process by becoming our brothers and sisters. And now Koreans call these countries such as USA and UK as our brothers’ countries. We do not know how our life will be in the future, so we have to remember that someone who needed help could help those who helped them in the future. And I think this is what defines humanity.
Right now, we are aware of the horrors from the past, of what war is going to be like, and the permanent damage it causes on the people who manage to survive. We have to learn from our past and remember them if we want to make a new history. But what do you think will happen if we keep repeating what our evil past was doing? I think that’s going to be the point where our humanity comes to an end. Our history, the hecatomb from World War should not be repeated. Innocents are going to suffer more and people with power are going to get bolder; they will never get enough from their greed.
For the past three days, I have connected with our fellow Ukraine, its numerous soldiers, innocent citizens, and young children, who are facing and living these hard times on the battlefield of war as they protect their country and families for freedom and safety. The liberty that I took for granted was someone’s heartbreaking sacrifice, their desperate hope that someone couldn’t have, the cry that broke the silence. I received complete love without giving any back. Now, no one can take away Ukraine’s national sovereignty. Now, no one can take one’s life for granted. All of us should raise our voices for the peace that nobody can take from us.
If you want to help in any way, the best way to start is to fund charities that support refugees from Ukraine with food and shelter. There are many reliable charities to which you can make sensible donations. You can help and support the children and soldiers in Ukraine by donating to the charities listed below:
- UNICEF (https://www.unicef.org/ukraine/en)
- Ukraine Charity (https://www.ukrainecharity.org)
- International Committee of the Red Cross (https://www.icrc.org/en/where-we-work/europe-central-asia/ukraine)
- The National Bank of Ukraine (https://bank.gov.ua/ua/news/all/natsionalniy-bank-vidkriv-spetsrahunok-dlya-zboru-koshtiv-na-potrebi-armiyi)
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.