Various entities throughout the Web3 space have stepped up to aid in fundraising efforts for Ukraine during its ongoing conflict with Russia. One initiative in particular hopes to shed light on some of the country’s most affected, yet underrepresented voices: Ukraine’s children.
“Their youth is still not lost”
The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine has left thousands of children with uncertain futures. Stuck underground in bomb shelters, bunkers, and train stations, many of these kids have turned to art to pass the time.
Ukrainian-born artist Bonnie Panasenko hopes to give all these displaced children a unified voice with the digital art project THEIR FUTURES – a 50-piece collection featuring digitized drawings by Ukrainian children ages three to 14. Featuring art sourced from child models in Kyiv, and Ukrainian children seeking refuge with their families as far away as Hungary, this collection showcases the power of hope through a child’s eyes. “[T]he drawings are a reminder that despite these fearful and desperate times, their youth is still not lost,” Panasenko explains in a press release.
Each of these digitized drawings can be purchased by interested bidders as a one-of-one NFT, featuring the name and age of the artist as part of the token. All proceeds from auction sales will go to Hand to Hand, a non-governmental charity organization that works closely with doctors, military personnel, activists, and volunteers fighting tooth and nail to keep conflict zones safe.
Providing emotional relief
In such uncertain times, it was vital that Panasenko partner with the right group in order to see her plans materialize. Enter _VERSE Labs, a Web3 development company whose main directive is to provide the infrastructure for individuals and organizations alike to push the NFT space forward.
While seeing to THEIR FUTURES’ successful launch is a noble cause in itself, they were also drawn to how the logistical aspects of this initiative would serve as a novel application of blockchain tech. Specifically, the process of digitizing and minting the artworks of 50 displaced Ukrainian children.
THEIR FUTURES’ also partnered up with One of None, a rising hybrid-NFT exchange, to provide bidders with an opportunity to physically display their tokens in their homes. Not as a digital picture frame – but as a framed physical copy of the child’s work. This auction served as a perfect way for One of None to further its goals of bridging together the NFT space with the physical world.
Aside from providing a platform for these children to express themselves, Panasenko hopes this initiative will provide emotional relief for them long term, stating in a press release, “as war knocks on their doors, all they know is fear. […] A fear that could stay with them forever… unless collectively, we do something about it.”