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Ukrainian teenage refugee Pavlo Petrychenko to perform in Cambridge to help the children of his homeland

Talented young Ukrainian refugee, Pavlo Petrychenko, 17, will perform a charity concert at St John the Evangelist, Hills Road, Cambridge, this Saturday (May 20).

17-year-old Ukrainian refugee, Pavlo Petrychenko
17-year-old Ukrainian refugee, Pavlo Petrychenko

The concert, which starts at 3pm, is to raise money for the children of Ukraine. Entry is free and all funds raised will go to UNICEF, supporting its work with young people in the war-torn country.

Pavlo is a keen young pianist and performer, and a member of the choir at St John’s Church. He arrived in Cambridge some months ago with his mother and sister, having fled the uncertain situation in Kyiv.

Pavlo, who is now studying at sixth form locally and hopes to enter music college, describes his musical ambitions, and his determination to fulfil his dreams, despite the horrors of war: “I grew up in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv, and at the age of 12 I realised that I wanted to be a singer and pianist.

“That’s why I decided to study at the Kyiv Academy of Arts at the music faculty. However, I was too old to start in 1st grade and also not experienced enough to be in 5th grade, where I should have been.

“But I didn't give up; I had three months to study all the material from the first to the fifth grade before the exam date. I also had to play three pieces of music at the fifth grade level.

“So I started working as hard as I could to prepare for the entrance exam, and in the end I did it, passed all the exams and started studying at the music academy.

“After the start of a full-scale war on the territory of Ukraine, I did not give up, as most of my acquaintances did. I realised that it's time to take my life in my hands and to grow up, so I will strive for my goals, no matter what it costs.

“With this concert, I hope at the age of 17 to help people, especially children, in Ukraine because I know that this is right and I like to help others.”

17-year-old Ukrainian refugee, Pavlo Petrychenko
17-year-old Ukrainian refugee, Pavlo Petrychenko

It promises to be an uplifting and emotional one-hour performance, and local residents and friends are invited to support Pavlo and his remarkable fundraising effort, as well as the suffering children of his homeland.

The vicar, Revd James Shakespeare, writes: “Pavlo is a remarkably talented and resilient young person, and I salute his commitment to raising funds for young people in Ukraine. I earnestly hope that this concert will be well supported, as we continue to pray and work together to support the suffering peoples of Ukraine.”

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