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Donated study desk replaces cardboard box for young Ukrainian evacuee in Japan

Mariia Shevchuk, right, is pleased to receive a study desk at a municipal housing complex in Obu, Aichi Prefecture, on June 16, 2022. On the left is her mother, Mari Kateryna. (Mainichi/Toru Kuroo)

OBU, Aichi -- A young Ukrainian evacuee in this central Japan city who had been using a cardboard box as a desk was delighted to receive an actual desk, along with other items that supporters recently donated to her family.

    The study desk, bed, and other items were provided to the family of Mari Kateryna, 37, who had evacuated to Obu, Aichi Prefecture, relying on relatives who live in the city. The family started living in municipal housing on June 12.

    In addition to a living room table, the items received included a study desk and a bed for Kateryna's eldest daughter Mariia Shevchuk, 11. The fifth grader, who sat at her desk as soon as it arrived, was delighted, saying, "I was using a cardboard box as a desk, so I'm happy."

    Kateryna commented, "I really appreciate this." She added that she liked the area, saying, "There's a lot of greenery here and the environment is wonderful."

    A total of 10 people from three families have evacuated from Ukraine to the city. The Obu Municipal Government is centrally managing goods that have been donated for the evacuees and will provide them when requested to do so. At this time, the city is not accepting any relief supplies and is calling for support through monetary donations instead.

    (Japanese original by Toru Kuroo, Handa Resident Bureau)

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