December 21, 2023, 14:39

“Defenders of the South”: a calendar with women from the Defense Forces was presented in Odesa

A patriotic calendar “Defenders of the South” for 2024 featuring women serving in the Defense Forces was printed and presented in Odesa.  This is a charity project, and the money from the sale of each copy will go to the needs of women servicewomen.

This was announced during a briefing at the Ukraine-Odesa Media Center by Arkadiy Mkrtichyan, a deputy of the Odesa Regional Council and a volunteer.

“I wanted to do something nice for our female defenders, because they are defending Ukraine together with men. According to statistics, 10% of women and girls are currently serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other units. We supported the girls in the following way: we organized a photo shoot, turned to Natalia Humeniuk and our women and made a calendar,” said Arkadiy Mkrtichyan.

Natalia Gumenyuk, head of the Joint Coordination Press Center of the Defense Forces of Southern Ukraine, noted that the calendar is important for the mental health of Ukrainians during such a difficult and protracted war.

“Mental health is based, in my personal opinion, on a woman’s emotionality. With all the gender equality we strive for, each person remains an individual. And this individuality includes gender. A woman was created as a woman for a reason, to have her own characteristics. And the way our defenders realize their peculiarities in their service life and manage to remain feminine and gentle at the same time are the very same guardians,” said Natalia Humeniuk.

The project was created by the Way Home charitable foundation, which organized the photo shoots for the women servicewomen and all the subsequent work.

“Our organization “The Way Home” takes care of civilians: temporary displaced persons, children, residents from the occupied territories who found themselves in our city. And we always support women. I would like to thank all the women who took part in our project and showed how feminine and fragile you are and how you defend Ukraine,” said Kateryna Shalyapina, deputy head of the Way Home NGO.

The servicewomen who came to the briefing presentation at the Ukraine-Odesa Media Center said that the process of creating the calendar was already a holiday for them.

“This is a great idea and an incredible calendar. To see the beautiful girls you encounter every day in different conditions, and in fact, everyone turned out to be so gentle. The calendar features both female staff members and girls who perform tasks on the front line, where it is dirty and scary. But women are still women: fragile, beautiful, well-groomed. This calendar shows that a Ukrainian woman in uniform is still a woman,” summarized Oksana Kozyrenko, an officer of civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) of the operational command centre “South”.

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