ESTA for Ukraine

Dear colleagues

I hope this message finds you in good health and high spirits. On behalf of the European String Teachers Association (ESTA) Central Board, I am writing to provide you with an update on our humanitarian project aimed at supporting our colleagues in Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict with Russia.

As you are aware, the situation in Ukraine has been deeply troubling, and the impact of the war has been severe. Initially, the conflict heavily impacted Kiev, forcing many Ukrainian ESTA members to seek refuge in other countries. During this time, we maintained close contact with them and recognized the importance of organizing an orchestral activity to unite and symbolize our support for our affected colleagues.

As the conflict persisted and escalated into a protracted state, the battles shifted to the east, and many of our colleagues courageously returned to Kiev, making every effort to resume their activities with students. Given these circumstances, the original plan to conduct the project in Germany was no longer relevant. Through consultations with our Ukrainian colleagues, it became apparent that an orchestra project within Ukraine itself was the most pressing need for both teachers and students.

During an online meeting of presidents, our Ukrainian colleagues expressed hope that the war might conclude by spring, creating a post-war environment across most of Ukraine. Although we recognized that this scenario was uncertain, we did not wish to extinguish their hopes for peace. Accordingly, we gradually adapted the project based on these developments.

However, after the Cardiff International Conference, Kiev faced renewed heavy bombings, and attacks became more frequent. In light of these escalating security risks, we received information from Kiev indicating that conducting the project under such circumstances was no longer feasible. We remained committed to providing assistance and requested that they inform us of their specific needs. It became evident that, at present, their primary requirement is not financial aid, strings, or instruments—it is peace.

Despite these unforeseen circumstances, please know that your generosity and compassion have not gone unnoticed. The funds raised remain secure and will be reserved specifically for this project when conditions allow us to proceed safely. We are committed to ensuring that the assistance reaches those musicians in Ukraine who are facing hardships due to the conflict.

We want to express our unwavering commitment to supporting our colleagues in Ukraine with all the available resources we have. As the situation evolves, we will keep you updated on our progress and plans. In the meantime, we appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate these complex challenges.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to this vital cause. Together, we can make a positive difference in the lives of our fellow musicians facing adversity.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Your input is invaluable as we chart our path forward.

With warm regards,

Geza Slivay, president ESTA & Jorge Alves, vicepresident ESTA