**The following article has mentions of child abuse and neglect, though no graphic details are shared
Welcome to Fanlanthropy – a new series here at The Honey POP where we shine a light on incredible stans who are using the power of fandom to do good in the world and help out important causes. Fandoms are super powerful in sharing information and working on projects, so using those impressive skills for a good cause ends in some great results.
Every child deserves a happy and healthy childhood, but sadly this isn’t the case for a number of children. Vulnerable children are those who may face emotional abuse, neglect, physical or sexual abuse, are orphans or otherwise, and the need to help them live a fulfilling life is crucial. Projects like City For Happy Children exist as a way to provide residence, food, education, healthcare, and finding loving families for those deemed vulnerable. Earlier this year, Jimin of BTS highlighted a horrific case of child abuse in Korea, which sparked a conversation across the fandom and ignited a reaction to get involved in trying to help essential charities and organizations to enable them to help more victims. With the birthdays of j-hope and SUGA around the corner, The Ukrainian BTS ARMY felt this cause was something they should fundraise for in their honor. We spoke to the organizers to learn more about their fundraising efforts.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello! We are Ukrainian BTS ARMY! My name is Valeriia Vasylenko, we are organizing this amazing project together with hardworking Alina Matsuirak!
In honor of SUGA and j-hope’s birthday, you’ve chosen to fundraise for City For Happy Children. What was it that made you choose this charity?
As we are BTS ARMY fandom, we were always inspired by BTS’ own charitable donations and their thoughtful speech at every important event like UN. And of course, some BTS songs made us think twice about all social problems in the world that can be experienced by anyone no matter where you from, your gender identity, and no matter how old you are. We always tried our best in Ukraine to made BTS proud of us. When we chose a donation project, I think the last puzzle in our picture was when Jimin mentioned on Weverse about the issue of domestic violence and child abuse in families. So we can totally say thank you Jimin for inspiring us for choosing this charity project City For Happy Children that saving children from families with domestic violence and gives them a living place till they will find a new happy home/family.
Also, the charity center was chosen by vote by all Ukrainian ARMY who helps us in this project. For now, our main goal is to collect as much money as possible for City For Happy Children in the name of ARMY fandom in honor of j-hope and SUGA birthdays to help children live a happy and healthy life!
Can you tell us a bit more about City For Happy Children?
The Charitable Center in Ukraine City for Happy Children helps orphans and disadvantaged children who have experienced abuse and domestic violence. The main goal of this center is to save a child from families where there was a threat to child health. The City for Happy Children takes care of the child and provides everything necessary for full happy healthy life until the child finds a new family. This UKRANIAN Charitable Center is made for children who were abandoned by parents, subjected to violence (physical, sexual), orphans (whose parents have died), found on the street, who were taken from families where there was a threat to health or life (children who were starving or whose needs were neglected).
How will the donations to this fundraiser benefit the charity?
The main goal of the center is the adaptation, rehabilitation, and development of the child. So the charity center needs funds to provide for the children full healthy and happy life as far as they have funds only from charity and kind people. Each child who enters the Help Center undergoes a complete examination. The results show that one in two babies has a chronic illness, and none of the children can be called healthy. The Centers are working in providing everything you need (round-the-clock maintenance, food, clothing), medical rehabilitation, treatment of chronic diseases (HIV, allergies, diabetes mellitus, rickets), necessary surgeries (squint, clubfoot), annual health improvement of children (in accordance with the types of diseases and the needs of children), and psychological rehabilitation (working with children’s fears, working through the consequences of violence and experiences due to the loss of loved ones). Thanks to conscious and kind people, children who were not given the happiness of living in a family find their refuge in the City of Happy Children rehabilitation help center, which does its job only with the support of patrons and benefactors.
You’ve also been working on other projects recently, what can you tell us about those?
The Ukrainian BTS ARMY is also working on 2 projects for now. We are making a huge project in Ukraine for both j-hope and SUGA’s birthdays. It will be two congratulations at the biggest media facade in Ukraine at city mall Gulliver. The first one will be on February 18th for j-hope and the second one will be on March 9th for SUGA’s birthday. Ukrainian BTS ARMY and the CIS ARMY have already collected the required amount of money so we can do these projects for them. So for now our main goal it’s our charity project City for Happy Children.
It’s a well-known fact that both SUGA and j-hope have participated in philanthropy work both as individuals as well as collectively with BTS and are very charitable. How would you say they inspire you?
Everything that BTS does, it’s always really meaningful for the ARMY fandom because we know how hard they work and how it’s important for them to speak about all social problems in the world so we can understand that we are not alone and even BTS can feel and experience the same problems with us. We are really thankful for BTS and for their songs with such meanings. When anyone from BTS makes a donation, ARMY always thinks twice about all problems in the world and we starting to understand that there are so many problems that we may not have even heard of these situations before. They give us love and support and we give them back love and support. That’s how it works and that’s how we can always support and inspire each other. BTS inspired ARMY but ARMY also inspires BTS.
In Ukraine, we are often creating different donation programs in the name of ARMY fandom such as helping homeless animals, and funding orphanages, so we are really thankful for BTS that we are following their kind behavior and we can help someone with problems.
We know how powerful fandoms are, what do you think about fandoms and the importance of using their platforms for vital causes such as this one?
I know how BTS and BigHit Entertainment donated $1 Million to Black Lives Matter, and that’s how they inspired ARMY to also collect $1 million to Black Lives Matter in less than 24 hours. That shows our power as much as possible. We are really thankful for Big Hit and BTS for such behavior. That’s how our fandom platform works and this is really important in difficult times like this when there are so many world problems.
Also, I really want to mention how BTS scheduled tour dates which had been canceled due to concern over the global coronavirus outbreak, so the ARMY who had snagged a ticket for the sold-out shows began a movement to use their refunds to instead donate to help with relief and prevention efforts, ARMY donated thousands of dollars to help with COVID situation. That’s how the BTS army was inspired by BTS’ donations too.
How can people support your fundraiser?
You can find all information in this thread.
Thanks, Valeriia! We know the boys would be proud.
Will you be donating to this fundraiser? What fandoms do you know that are doing good? Let us know down in the comments below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP!
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Featured Image Source: Bibi Lara