We first found out about the situation in Volokhiv Yar this past February through our good friend Alexey Palko. Alexey's boss grew up in the area, and has been in regular touch with people in the area since it was liberated from Russian control last September.
As we learned more about their plight and what they endured and are still living with now as a result, we were eager to help them out if possible.
In February, they told us there were still 13 kids left living in the settlement, as most were able to flee ahead of the invading Russian forces. This particular town had a reputation for being more patriotic than the average town, and the Russians resented them teaching their kids about their Ukrainian heritage. To take revenge against this perceived 'slight', the Russians sadistically deliberately burned down the one large school in the town, after first looting it of any useful technology, furniture, etc.
As if that wasn't enough, they also placed landmines in the schoolyard, so the kids couldn't even go there to play!
After enduring the Russian occupation, the families of these kids didn't have the resources to buy computers, tablets, or even cell phones. So, with Alexey's help, we found relatively inexpensive new cell phones with large screens, and bought each of the 13 kids their own phone and data plan, to enable them to resume online learning. Not a perfect solution by any stretch, but at least it will provide them some semblance of normalcy until the school is rebuilt and the town recovers.