Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, I have been in close contact almost daily with Nataliia Koptienkova, the director of the Ukrainian Suzuki Association, as well as other music teachers in Ukraine.
Nataliia has remained in her home country and from there organizes opportunities for her refugee students to find safe shelter, continue their music lessons, obtain musical instruments, and much more.
Most of the Ukrainian Suzuki families and their teachers, our colleagues, have lost everything, their homes, their kindergartens and schools, and of course the music schools. Most of the theaters and opera houses have been destroyed and everything that made up their former lives no longer exists.
But their hope for peace, freedom and a future worth living has not yet died.
When I learned from Nataliia in which places Ukrainian Suzuki students and teachers arrived in Germany after their escape, I contacted the teachers who live in this region.
Without exception, all these teachers spontaneously agreed, without any ifs and buts, to help these people in a selfless, exemplary way and to help the children, their mothers and the teachers.
Here I would like to mention only the names of our members who agreed to share their names:
Luise und Annelie Kopp
In a very short time, instruments were provided free of charge or the payment of a loan violin was taken over. Furniture, computers, printers, sheet music and household equipment were also donated.
The teachers of the German Suzuki Association teach the Ukrainian children without fees and support the families in every possible way.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all these colleagues – as well as to those not mentioned by name here! They are proof that empathy and unselfish commitment are alive and truly in our association.