The warmth of May turns smoothly into the summer heat, the tree of Den’s projects blooms and branches, and the old courtyard of the Foundation in Support of the Newspaper Den’s Initiatives on Andriivsky Uzviz hosts the spring festival for the newspaper’s friends and partners for the third time. According to Mykola Hrytsenko, the Fund’s president, the guests suggested that the courtyard had a unique intellectual climate. Festive and energetic atmosphere of the meeting was supported by the Haidamaky band and the author and performer Serhii Faifura.
This year’s Spring Den fell on the “summer” Nicholas holiday, so, according Father Ivan, Archpriest of the Heavenly Hundred Church of the Resurrection of UOC KP, the newspaper’s ventures have a special patronage. And not only of the newspaper itself. Larysa Ivshyna, Den’s editor-in-chief, has received the Order of St. Clement of Rome Honorary Award for the significant contribution to the revival of Ukrainian spirituality and culture, for the persistent and tireless work in the field of journalism and publishing.
“We need alternative quality in all areas of life – journalism, politics, and others,” Ivshyna said in her opening word. “And we show small samples in these ‘research grounds,’ which then can be ‘planted’ on a larger scale. This requires interested people who are not afraid to respond to something new, and our friends are just like that. They are the sprouts of life in Ukrainian politics, which will give their growth. They are the people working in the media, who had not given up their conscience, good taste, and time and who steadily reproduce what the country really needs. Our partners in the business are the people who do not need to be persuaded: they know what social responsibility is and they have been living to its principles for a long time. They know that the more readers Den has in every region, the healthier is the atmosphere there. In Uzhhorod I have heard a particular phrase on Den’s Days: ‘everything is Asia just over the pass (Carpathians).’ People associate themselves with the time, which had known the least of Soviet rule. This is the criterion that pervades the country: preserved and destroyed unequally, but with a good humor, with a good altitude reserve, with a tremendous stockpile of its own strength and identity, of which it uses very little... but it has the potential to learn how to use it, if we are all together. And, among other things, we will grow our Tree together.”
Lilia Hrynevych, head of the parliamentary committee on education and science, is one of these “alive politicians.” As described by Ivshyna, she is the “hope Ukrainian parliamentarism.” Spring Den is brimming with positive energy, especially when you return from the parliament,” says Hrynevych and the courtyard ripples with easy laughter. And back to serious things: “Den plays a major part in Ukrainian recent history. At the time of Yanukovych regime it was the newspaper where progressively-thinking people drew inspiration and patience. Such book series as ‘Armor-Piercing Political Writing’ and ‘Subversive Literature’ had been literally, in unison with their name, breaking stereotypes and expanding the consciousness. I believe that those were the collections worthy of a textbook – all the citizens who care about Ukraine’s development and who want to create something in our country must read them. It is the foundation on which we stand.”
Oleksandr Yurkov, deputy director of Akvaservice Company and member of the Charitable Foundation in Support of the Newspaper Den’s Initiatives spoke of the social responsibility of the business: “As Den’s partners, we had started the cooperation in distributing the Ukrainian values through its publications in the southern Ukrainian regions, particularly in Odesa and the area. And it brought its results. First of all, we offered our business partners to get acquainted with Den’s products. It is important for us that the environment in which we work shares the thoughts on Ukraine’s future, on our culture and history with us... I believe that successful people should be the first to understand our history and politics in depth. And Den and its projects are the best assistants for it.”
“Supporting Den’s projects is a position of a socially responsible business. For centuries we had been shown that it was impossible to be a Ukrainian – and the more successful. Today the situation is changing, and Den’s literature is needed the most. I will say more – not only Ukrainians need it. The Fund’s next step is the access to foreign governmental and non-governmental organizations to ensure that they are also introduced to Den’s projects. And in this area the English-language digest and the English version of Ukraine Incognita. TOP 25 are particularly popular,” concludes Yurkov.
Indeed, Den’s project tree blooms – especially fruitful is the photo school. Den’s international exhibition has visited a record number of regions (seven) this year, and everywhere it gathered a lot of visitors, interested and eager to see a picture of the genuine Ukraine. Besides, Den is preparing an unprecedented new book project, for which an intrigue is still preserved... As noted by Iryna Tykhomyrova, president of the International Institute of Management, “Den’s projects had become a national treasure.”
For those who join Den’s initiatives the award is always deserved. Among all those who bought books from Den’s book collection for libraries of eastern Ukraine on the Spring Den, a lottery for the trip from Aquavita Company has been drafted. A ticket for a flight to any European country and back has been won by Den’s employee Kateryna Melnychuk. Winning with Den is good for the society, and every Den’s friend and partner who joins the noble cause, is laying bricks to the Ukrainian integration. Bohdan Beniuk, film and theater actor, thinks the same: “Den – is a fairway for moving forward; the most important thing is that it pulls its readers forward, and they, in turn, pull forward all the Ukrainian people.”