A unique in the Donetsk Oblast private public library was opened in the village of Serhiyivka of the Andriyivska AH. This library appeared as a result of a usual dream of the teenager in a wheelchair, and due to concern of the people around, it managed to come true.
Dmytro Ruzhevych spent his short entire life in a wheelchair. He lacked communication with his peers. Yevhenia Piroh, Ukrainian children’s writer and leader of the All-Ukrainian Volunteer Initiative “Add Reading”, learned about it from the volunteer Maksym Potapchuk. It was in late 2015. When meeting with children in different regions of Ukraine, she suggested that they write usual paper letters to Dmytro – this was how the “Dmytryk’s Post” project originated. Together with the letters, children sent him the books so that Dmytro could read them and be less bored without being able to attend a regular school.
Due to “Dmytryk’s Post”, the boy found not only many friends from different parts of Ukraine, but also received a lot of books. There were so many of them, that it was time to open the library. With the support of adult friends-volunteers, the library got its own exlibris (a library stamp put in each book). The library director inaugural ceremony took place in the winter of 2016 in the Kramatorsk school.
Exlibris of Dmytro's library
And soon 13-year-old Dmytro Ruzhevych became the record-holder of the Ukrainian Record Book as Ukraine’s youngest library director. Specially on this occasion, in March 2017, representatives of the Record Book came to a small village in the Slavyansk Rayon to record Dmytro’s achievements.
Record of Ukraine - the youngest library director
The books continued to enrich the private library, and Dmytro began to send them to orphanages, school libraries. If we count the number of books received and subsequently presented, there will be more than 2,000 copies.
The books continued to come to the private library
Even before his director’s activity, the boy, who was concerned about Ukraine's fate with all his heart, dreamed of visiting a military airfield in the nearby Kramatorsk. What a surprise was it for the whole village, when a real BTR with Ukrainian soldiers came to Dmytro’s house on his birthday and took the boy for sightseeing tour to the airfield. One of the central TV channels filmed a whole programme about Dmytro, where he shared his dream to visit Harry Potter’s Museum in London. New acquaintances helped this dream come true – the boy made first first trip by plane, visited London museum of his favourite book hero. Unfortunately, Dmytro’s main dream was not realised – in December last year the boy passed away because of illness...
New life of Dmytro’s library
But Dmytro’s library activity remained alive. A literary and excursion project “Dmytro Ruzhevych's Motivational Library” was launched in the Donetsk Oblast in March of this year. The only private library in the oblast started receiving guests.
“All the books in Dmytro’s Library are arranged according to the topics,” writes Yevhenia Piroh, who has made a lot of effort to start this project so that all previous ones remained alive as well. “There is a special shelf with autographed books, sent to Dmytro by well-known contemporary writers. Nearby there are new items from reputable publishers and ordinary Ukrainians, who continue sending parcels with wonderful books.”
Writer Yevhenia Piroh
A special place on the front shelf in another room is occupied by Yevhenia Piroh’s book “Thirty-First Meridian”, in which Dmytro became prototype of the main character.
Dmytro became prototype of the main character in the book “The Thirty-First Meridian” written by Yevhenia Piroh
Dmytro’s Library continues to share books. His mother Lyudmyla Ruzhevych and little sister Ilona are continue the charitable work of a courageous teenager, being the keepers of “Dmytro Ruzhevych’s Library”.
Dmytro’s Library continues to share books
“The key factor in civil society development is trust that our country still lacks, according to many scientific research works,” commented Maksym Tkach, decentralisation adviser of the Donetsk Local Government Development Centre, established with the support of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme. “In certain situations, civil society, non-indifferent people start to engage in solving social and public problems. The synergy of their efforts with the support of local self-government, the state, can lead to positive results. With his example, Dmytro from the village of Serhiyivka proved that implementation of a socially important project is possible even starting with a simple dream”.
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