To Defenders of Freedom

10-year-old Valeriia plays checkers to fundraise for Ukrainian defenders

While Ukrainian soldiers are fighting in the frontline, civilians help them by various means. 10-year-old Valeriia from Kyiv is one of them. She is Ukrainian, European, and the world champion for her age group.

The idea of fundraising for the Armed Forces of Ukraine by playing checkers belongs to the girl’s mother. “I wanted to help our soldiers and sought my mom’s advice. She asked what I could do best. Play checkers, of course,” says the young champion in a comment to “Ukrainska Pravda. Life”

Valeriia and her mother organized a playing space near one of the capital’s supermarkets during summer break and invited everybody to play with her. Enthusiasts could donate any amount of money. In case they won — the next round would be for free. Only in the first hour, Valeriia played up to 30 games, and all of them won. However, passers-by often gave money to the girl without even playing with her.

Valeriia collected over 20,000 hryvnias (approximately 494 dollars) in just two weeks and personally handed the money to the Serhii Prytula Foundation, a charity organization. He was moved to tears when he heard the story of a young checkers champion.

Photo: Serhii Prytula

On August 19, a charity tournament was held. Valeriia played with everyone who wanted to join, and for each loss, the participants had to make a charitable contribution. Another tournament was organized in autumn. This time, to make things even more interesting, the young champion played with seven opponents at once.

As of the end of October 2022, Valeriia has collected more than 130,000 hryvnias (approximately 3,214 dollars) for the Armed Forces of Ukraine by playing checkers.

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