How did small businesses in Ukraine adapt to the war?

In Ukrainian cities hit hard by war, small businesses are trying to turn the brutal reality of local communities for the better.

At the start of the large-scale Russian invasion, a ceramic studio had to close its doors for a brief period.

A new way of working

It recently reopened with a new way of operating, as explained by the staff.

“We decided to get ourselves out of that mentality of waiting every day for the war to end. We have reopened our doors,” said Katya, an employee, in an interview with Euronews.

Her co-worker, Anya, said the reopening helped both adults and children escape difficult circumstances.

“We started organizing workshops for children in return for donating any amount,” Anya said.

“There was almost no one in Mykolaiv at that time…but children from the surrounding buildings started coming to us. They got distracted by the war, and so did we. Working with the kids and the mud really relaxes us and helps us forget what is going on around us,” she said.

A child is holding a cup in the shape of a cat, and a bright smile lights up her face.

“This is really what the children of Mykolaiv need,” said her mother, a city dweller.

“My daughter really likes it here because she can make things, she can get distracted from the bad situation outside. She can play with other kids since all her friends have left town,” she told Euronews.

It is more difficult to purchase supplies for the workshop because some of the items come from cities in eastern Ukraine where the fighting is heaviest.

But the studio insists it remains open every day for children and adults.

Community help

Many shops and warehouses were destroyed when several missiles hit this area on the outskirts of Mykolaiv.

Yuri Horobets, a company owner, found his office reduced to rubble in the bombing.

Having lost everything he worked so hard for, Yuri says he still finds the strength to start over. Now his goal is to help his community.

“The equipment that we have extracted, we are now starting to use. We want to build small homes for the internally displaced using technology that can be rolled out quickly.”

The locals welcome such ventures, as the villages around Mykolaiv and Kherson have been left in ruins by the Russians.

And the families who lived there are scattered all over the country hoping to one day sleep under their roof again.

Watch the video in the player above.

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