Before the war – our mission was to make Ukraine the most read country in Europe. We believe that books are the first step towards goodness, progress, and an open mind. That is why our slogan is – reading is always okay!
BUT THE WAR CHANGED EVERYTHING
On the 24th of February, Ukrainians were thrown into the greatest trauma imaginable in the modern world: war. The fight or flight instinct hooked millions of people to the news.
What did that bomb hit…
Are those air sirens again…
What was that bang…
Everywhere Ukrainians turned to, they were drowning in heavy, frightening information. In this state of emergency, there was no mental reprieve.
And as always, the youngest, oldest, and most vulnerable carried the heaviest toll. Reports of single mothers, young children, frail grandparents sitting in underground bomb shelters for hours were heart-breaking. How do you explain to a child why their home is dangerous? How do you comfort your 80-year-old mother when the country she has spent her whole life in is burning? The mental brutality was unbearable.
Our team at Yakaboo couldn’t sit by and watch people suffocate in fear. We had a tool that could give people a small space to breathe: our mobile reading app. Without hesitation, we made our app free for all Ukrainians to use.
THE PEACETIME READING APP TURNS INTO THE WARTIME READING APP
We wanted our app to be a gesture of care and humanity that showed Ukrainians they were not alone. But the response our free app received revealed that we had tapped into something so much bigger.
In a few weeks – 600 000 people had signed up to our app.
And people’s messages were humbling:
The app had gained a life of its own.
For children, it became a fun source of distraction, a platform where they could engage with their favourite childhood heroes, escape into the peaceful, kind, and hopeful world of the children’s book.
For Ukrainian youth and parents, they could find a source of humour, reignite their inspiration, or reconnect with Ukraine’s national authors and our history to remember why we had to stay strong in the face of aggression.
Even Ukrainian soldiers fighting in trenches at the front wrote to us that they use our app to read in the rare moments of rest they get. Perhaps it helped keep them connected to the kind of Ukraine they were fighting for. The free Ukraine preserved permanently in Ukrainian books.
FOR UKRAINIANS TO KEEP USING THE APP - WE NEED TO PAY AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS
THIS IS WHERE WE NEED YOUR HELP.
If we cannot cover the royalty payment for the books on our app – we will have to start withdrawing free access to them. The war isn’t ending, and the trauma, fear, and stress that it ruthlessly brings with it isn’t either. To take our wartime reading app away from people would be devastating. We cannot abandon Ukrainians at their greatest time of need.
Every donation will extend the lifeline of our app and give Ukrainians one more day of mental reprieve. We humbly ask you to give what you can to support those whose lives were once as peaceful as yours, but who are now staying strong for the peace of the whole world.