By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 20 April 2022 • 23:04
Ukrainian refugee’s plea for Lego for his son, gets overwhelming response
Igor Sidorov drove two of his four sons from Kyiv to Vienna just before the Russian invasion, with his two older sons choosing to stay and fight. Their mother stayed behind with them as Sidorov took the two youngest aged eight and 11.
He said they took what little they could with “the situation not good, it was not safe.”
After Ireland waived its visa requirement Sidorov flew with his sons to Galway, Ireland where they would be provided with access to health care and other benefits. Most of all he said “they were physically safe.”
But Andrii was lost without his prized Lego, something he had loved playing with ever since he was a toddler.
He said: “My son starting building with Lego at 3 years old, all the time, he is making different toys.” He added that he built many intricate trucks, ships and robots without manuals and using just his imagination, with his collection of Lego bricks growing into thousands of individual pieces.
Sidorov, who worked as a regional sales manager in Ukraine, knew he had to do something so posted a plea on Facebook in several groups, including “Ukrainians in Ireland.”
In the post he explained the situation adding that his child was a “very clever boy, but that he was lost without his Lego.” He finished by writing: “Help me please! We need any lego, any size and colour in any quantity.”
Such is the young man’s passion for the bricks that he has a YouTube channel and an Instagram account, where he chronicles his creations sharing pictures and videos with others.
What Sidorov didn’t expect is that within 24 hours, dozens of packages filled with new and lightly used Lego sets started pouring into the Galmont Hotel & Spa, where Irish social welfare services had placed the family.
Sidorov is absolutely taken aback by the overwhleming response and the generosity of people saying parcels have arrived from all over the world: “There is Lego all around me. In the reception, in the room, everywhere. My kid now has more Lego than he had before.”
The generosity of the people has helped the family to settle down but Sidorov is unsure whether they will stay or move back to Ukraine. He said his first priority is to make sure they are safe and can live a happy life adding that: “I must not think about me, but about my kids.”
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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