Today is the anniversary of Russia’s escalated aggression against Ukraine which has sparked near world wide condemnation. It has also sparked the hearts of those who understand how lucky they are to not be affected. Many have raised donations to help frontline communities. It is a testament that many people who are struggling at home have the generosity to give to others who are suffering because of the unlawful violation of the Ukraine’s territory and sovereignty.
From the outset, the European Movement in the UK have been at the forefront of helping those in the UK understand how they can help, providing pragmatic actions everyone can take to help ensure support for those in Ukraine.
The Stand with Ukraine campaign by European Movement in Scotland is echoed around the globe, despite the impacts of the war locally. The lasting effects of the energy crisis are most acute in the UK, where uncapped energy prices are still significantly higher than other countries affected. Nevertheless, Euromove in Scotland, and many others elsewhere in the UK are helping communities to come together and provide support to Ukraine, raising awareness and much needed donations.
Successful ceilidh event organised by the European Movement in Scotland
Many events are sell-outs, like the ceilidh arranged by the European Movement in Scotland (EMiS) on Saturday 18th February to raise funds for frontlines communities in Ukraine. The event was held in Kirkcudbright and music on the night was supplied by the Shore Road Ceilidh Band.
The ceilidh was not only a lot of fun for the participants celebrating in our unique traditional style of folk music and singing, traditional dancing and storytelling. It also raised £1,300 at a time when many across Scotland are struggling as the tolls of Brexit compounded by the energy crisis have taken their toll. Nonetheless, across Scotland, many have been inspired to do more with whatever they have to help others in need.
The money raised at the Kirkcudbright ceilidh will be given to the charity Sunflower Scotland which is organised by Scottish volunteers with families in Ukraine. The funds will be used to supply generators and fuel to people in villages within 20km of the frontline – those who live in the so-called Red Zone.
Ukraine’s energy supplies have been a particular target during the war often leaving Ukrainians without heat, light and water all of which rely on the supply of electricity to power necessary infrastructure. Sunflower Scotland gives particular priority to supporting women, children and disabled people affected by the war.
David Roulston, Local Convenor for the South West Scotland branch of EMiS, said: “As a group we felt compelled to do something to support the people of Ukraine. Sunflower Scotland is an excellent charity working directly in Ukraine supporting those near the frontline. The people they support have been so badly affected by the war – many have lost their homes, family members and livelihoods during the last 12 months. We all hope that the war will end soon and welcome Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s decision to apply for Ukraine to join the European Union: an organisation which came together as a peace project to seek to avoid future wars in Europe.”
Those who would like to donate directly to Sunflower Scotland to help buy food in Ukraine and Distribute it near the front line can do so via their website. There is still much to do to resolve the conflict, from writing to MPs with their views, to helping home a refugee, to raising further funds to support communities at the frontline.
There are many charities and organisations across Scotland who are looking to do more. There are many ways to strengthen our community ties whilst we do our bit to #StandWithUkraine with millions of others around the globe.
This article is based on a press release from Local Convenor for the South West Scotland branch of EMiS