A non-profit selling artwork submitted by children from Ukraine’s refugee camps and bomb shelters, co-founded by a friend of mine said the project is helping. “to change this world for the better”.
Aliaksandra Lemachenka, originally from Belarus, moved to London in 2018 and is one of the three people behind LelekaAn organisation that allows children from Ukraine to safely sell their artworks to people all over the world, is called.
The platform supports approximately 2,500 children who are mainly from Ukraine. They have submitted more than 10,000 drawings.
“These are paintings that you would expect to see in MoMA, or in the Tate Modern – they are so creative,”Ms. Lamachenka (aged 30), spoke out to the PA news agency.
Leleka allows Ukrainian children to securely sell their paintings and drawings to people across the globe for £7 a print (Leleka)
“There are so many kids that are so talented.
“And oh my god, they are so young, but this is something that can definitely help us to change this world for the better.”
Ms Lamachenka works with a team of 34 volunteers from around the world to sell the submitted artwork for £7 a print.
All of the money remains after deducting taxes and transfer fees. It is then securely transferred to the bank account of the child who provided the drawing.
Leleka will often receive a photograph from a refugee or bomb shelter. Volunteers will edit the photo to make it more clear and then upload it to the website.
“(They are) able to sell their artworks to people from all over the world and feel useful, helpful and in control again,” Ms Lamachenka said.
The art is sold and the money is transferred securely to the bank account of the child who made it. (Leleka).
“Many of them are staying in Ukraine and their parents have lost jobs (or their) parents are also volunteering or fighting for their country… Many families have (had) to flee to other countries and they have lost everything.
“So it’s very important for us to give this feeling to kids, so they can help their families and help their country.”
The drawings of children include depictions of animals and sunny skies, oceans, cities, and favourite fictional characters like Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker.
They can also send thanks or details about their work.
Since its launch in the last week of June, £3,000 worth of art made by Ukrainian children has been purchased through Leleka.
Ms. Lamachenka claimed that the work is having positive psychological effects on all those involved.
Aliaksandra Lemachenka, co-founder of Leleka, stated that Leleka is entirely run by volunteers (PA).
“We have a beautiful example of one of the young artists on the platform – he’s seven years old,”She elaborated.
“He was saying, ‘If someone buys my artwork, I will donate this money to the armed forces of Ukraine,’ and at this point, someone so young, they don’t even believe that someone can be interested in them in their work.
“And when he learned that people started buying his art, he spent the whole afternoon after that just drawing and creating new pieces of art.
“And I find this incredible. We were able to distract this kid from horrors of war around him and allow him and other kids to start creating something as a distraction.”
Ms. Lamachenka praised the team’s efforts, but she did admit to feeling shame.
“I’m just like feeling overwhelming shame for the fact that they are experiencing what they are experiencing,”She spoke.
Imagine if one day we could empower all children worldwide.
Aliaksandra Lemachenka is co-founder of Leleka
“And that the world makes them experience it.
“It’s shame, it’s anger, but it’s also (an) overwhelming feeling of support and altruism.”
But Ms Lamachenka recognises that the platform’s work is “a release of anxiety and stress” and has set her sights high for the non-profit’s future.
“Our (current) ambition is to help kids earn at least £100 each in sales,”She spoke.
“It is important for us to give a priority to kids who are the most traumatised by the horrors of war, but eventually, we would really love to scale it to kids from Ukraine who are living in other countries and kids from all over the world.
The artwork is submitted by children across Ukraine (Leleka)
“Because bad things are happening not only in Ukraine, so if at some point we would be able to empower kids globally, that would be incredible.”
She also claimed that she is “very proud”These are just a few examples of the things Leleka accomplished in such a short period of time.
“If we’re planting the seeds right now and see the results in 20 years from now, I will feel like this life was for a reason and we haven’t wasted it,”She continued.
You can learn more about Leleka at: leleka.me/