Stories have the power to inspire and change lives. What if they could also bring families closer?
First Ladies Zelenska, Büdenbender and Schmidauer and Dutch Princess Laurentien officially kicked off an international donation campaign in The Hague to help raise donations for the non-profit initiative Better Time Stories.
The war in Ukraine has caused a large flow of child refugees to European countries: more than 1.8 million Ukrainian children have fled the country. This is an extreme experience for a child. Families fall apart and they miss relatives who stayed behind in Ukraine.
To offer Ukrainian children some support and welcome them in their host country, Better Time Stories has created a gift package that helps reconnect families through bedtime stories. The package contains a set of five interactive picture books on themes such as comfort, love and optimism. Each of the books, written by Ukrainian authors, can be made into an audiobook. Through a secure web-app relatives can remotely narrate and record the stories so the children hear the voice of their father, mother, brother, sister, grandmother or grandfather while they read. As it should be.
All (audio)books are bilingual: in Ukrainian and the language of the country the children seek refuge in. This helps them cope with their new surroundings while also developing new language and listening skills.
Better Time Stories was set up by iKs, founded by Ukrainian tech-entrepreneur Andriy Shmyhelskyy and is supported by the number 5 foundation, founded by Dutch Princess Laurentien and Prince Constantijn. The campaign aims to raise donations for refugees in 4 countries: The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Belgium. The donations will make it possible to send refugee families free books in their host countries. The goal is to help as many families as possible.