Hemel Hempstead yoga teacher to print Ukrainian-translated picture book for child refugees

The yoga teacher and children’s author crowdfunded the printing of Ukrainian translation of her yoga picture book and hopes to raise money to print more.

Monday, 13th June 2022, 12:35 pm

A yoga teacher has had a Ukrainian version of her picture book printed after she raised funds to print and translate it.

Maria Oliver of Boxmoor Yoga, who raised £2,000 for the Disasters Emergency Committee, has written Once Upon a Time, You… a Yoga Adventure which is now being printed in Ukrainian.

Maria said “I wanted to be able to do something to help. I have seen teachers on social media asking where they can source books in Ukrainian for children who are starting to attend their schools.”

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Maria Oliver organised a raffle which raised £2,000 for the Disasters Emergency Committee earlier this year.

After two days of crowdfunding, Maria had almost hit her initial target of printing 200 picture books.

She employed a young Ukrainian man, Denys Andrusyk, to translate her picture book which will be given to children staying with host families in Dacorum.

Maria said that Denys has been great to work with.

She explained: “Denys has been attending school in the local area for the last month and was able to translate my book during the May half-term break.”

Maria wanted to translate the book into Ukrainian to give copies to children staying with families in Dacorum.

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Maria will give each child an English and Ukrainian version of the book to help develop their language skills as they adjust to life in the UK.

The teacher said: ““The response has been amazing and after two days, I’ve almost hit my initial target for a print run of 200

copies. If I can reach my stretch target of £1,000 I can also provide a free copy in English.”

She added: “It would be a beautiful welcome present for families to show that we care about their mental health and wellbeing.”

The book, which was originally written for children who dealt with lockdowns and restrictions, has yoga poses named after animals which children can identify through the illustrations.

Maria said: “The story covers elements of yoga philosophy such as kindness, bravery, forgiveness and not being greedy. I’m happy that I can also use it to try to help children who have fled the war.”

The author and teacher hopes to raise more money to continue to give these translated books to Ukrainian children in the local area.