Vitalina Koval, one of the human rights defenders featured in Write for Rights 2018 is an LGBTI advocate who was met with violence on International Women’s Day. She posted this note to her Facebook page after taking home her letters from Amnesty supporters worldwide:
“‘Rebel! Love! Don’t give up your rights!’ – is the kind of messages I receive from all over the world. Yesterday I received all the Amnesty International’s Write for Rights letters and I am reading them today. Thank you Amnesty International Ukraine for collecting and delivering them and for everything!
I don’t how many letters exactly are here. Tens, hundreds of thousands? Before this day I didn’t know why would you need a special knife to open letters – now I know it, and it’s hard without it 🙂
As of now, I haven’t fully fathomed the worldwide support I received. I read and perceive every word, every wish, every story, every drawing, every collage piece. It is something unbelievable, something so big and warm that it’ll be enough to keep “my planet” warm for months.
I am happy that life has presented me with this experience and I am thankful to all who participated in it. It wouldn’t have happened without you. Or it would have happened differently, but I am grateful for exactly what I’ve got. Thank you.
Today, tomorrow and many days ahead I will spend reading your letters, every one of it. They will be giving me strength and understanding of what I am living for, what’s my purpose in this world. I feel all-encompassing love to all of you, I want you to be well and I want any hardships in your life to be bearable, and for you to feel your inner voice guiding you.
I am planning to make an interactive installation out of all these letters, postcards and drawings. It will take a lot of time and resources, but I want to show the universal language of love and support, that is shared by millions of people across the planet, and that has no borders.
Thank you, Nina [Vitalina’s partner], for your love, support and courage at the sight of all these packages that are now living in our house.”