UKRANIAN Magdalina Pautze has asked Bognor Regis residents for help as she returns to her homeland again.
Magdalina is going back to the eastern European country again next week and would like to take donated items with her.
She said many of her fellow citizens had been impoverished by government cutbacks as it poured more money into its army to tackle the separatists in the east of the country.
“I would like to have children’s clothes, books and toys which I can take with me,” she said.
“My road at home has 30 small children in it. I would like to give each of them a small present.”
Magdalina’s latest visit from Tuesday to Beregol in the Transcarpathia region comes after she spent two months there from May earlier this summer, starting her project, Beyond Stereotypes.
Having lived in England since 2004, she wants to bring east and west Europeans together to shatter myths about each other.
She said: “I would like to invite people to see how we live in Ukraine. There’s always this talk about building bridges. It’s about time we finished them and began to use them.
“But I can’t do it alone. We need everyone to join together.
“When I was in Ukraine, everyone was asking me what English people were like and I told them you were just the same as them.”
Beregol is near the Hungarian border in the far west of Ukraine and well removed from the trouble spot between government forces and separatist rebels.
“There is no trouble there, but people still panic and are a little bit concerned about what will happen tomorrow,” said Magdalina, 53.
“People in the east and west of my country don’t really know each other.
“But there is no good being at war. The only good comes from working together with peace and friendship. I want to promote living in harmony.”
The community spirit in her home village was still strong and her neighbours helped her out around her home. They shared food and sang Christian songs.
Anyone who can help should email Magdalina at: email@example.com or phone her on 07938 896497 or her friend, Maddy, on 07931 315753.