After 28 years of working to help families and their children survive the chaos of war, we started a new organization, still focusing on children and war. It needed a good name. It had to be symbolic of our vision to help children traumatized by war.
I suggested the name Starlings. They are birds that fly in beautiful formations, or murmurations, a word which perfectly describes the rustle of a thousand wings and the magical images their choreographed movement creates in the sky.
“Starlings,” I said, “is a symbol of freedom and beauty.” Exactly what we work for in the lives of children in war zones. Starlings are a wonderful metaphor of belonging and freedom.
“No,” daughter Naomi asserted. “They are an invasive species of bird that carries infectious disease to both cattle and humans.” She went on to say, “Shakespearean symbolism aside, this work can’t be named after such a pest. ”Okay, my daughter had a good point.
Many other names were proposed, listed, and ruled out, either because they didn’t match our sense mission, the word was taken by another organization, or it was just clunky or cliché.
Perusing through Latin words one of our crew proposed Novi, a simple and elegant Latin word that means new.
Our whole brain-storming group, connected by messenger across oceans and continents agreed: Novi is a great name for what we do. We work for new resilience, courage, and mental health in children who have survived or continue to endure a state of war and armed conflict.
Novi—the new day. Novi—the new way to help children. Novi — the new organization that exists to help children marginalized by war grow into their potential. We are new. We are Novi. Join our community to help children of war discover new life out of the ashes of war today.
Hanna is from Kharkiv. Last week, she went back to her war-torn home.
When evil-doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out, ‘Stop!’