The event for Ukrainian refugees and volunteers called “Lighthouse of Ukraine” was held in Berlin for the second time, and, according to the organizers, almost 6,500 people attended it.
An Ukrinform correspondent reports this.
The declared purpose of the action is to send a signal of humanity and solidarity. Specifically, Ukrainian refugees were able to get quite useful advice, solve everyday problems and educational issues, get legal advice, exchange experiences, find friends and get psychological support.
In the Markethalle building in the Kreuzberg metropolitan area, more than 40 stands were organized by the Berlin Senate, non-governmental organizations and companies. From the stage, the mayor of Berlin Franziska Giffay, the famous writer Katya Petrovskaya and her 86-year-old mother Svetlana Petrovskaya, a Holocaust survivor but forced to flee Kyiv from Russian invaders, addressed the audience. The profile German minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger spoke about the problems of education for Ukrainian children with those present. Well-known experts and political scientists discussed the political aspects of the war and the prospects.
As part of the event, fundraising campaigns for humanitarian aid to Ukraine and a charity event “Give a Ukrainian book to a migrant” were also held. A book in Ukrainian from any Ukrainian publishing house could be immediately translated to children of temporarily displaced persons or adults. This action was initiated by IWEK eV and volunteer Daniil Poliluev-Schmidt.
The Mayak Ukraine event was organized by the Alliance of Ukrainian Organizations (AUO), the GermanDream organization and the Alliance4Ukraine structure created after the start of the war by the German authorities.
Ekaterina Ritz-Rakul, one of its initiators, told Ukrinform about the Alliance of Ukrainian Organizations, which also appeared a little over 2 months ago. “We organized after the start of a full-scale aggression. Among us there are old organizations that have been working in Berlin for a long time, like Kultura, which I represent, and new young blood, like Vitsche, for example,” said Ritz-Rakul.
According to her, the Alliance is now working on a charter, and after it is registered and becomes an “umbrella” association with a charter, Ukrainian organizations, but not individuals, will be able to become its members.
“We see our goal as not only the consolidation of efforts, synergy, but also the preparation, if necessary, of socio-political messages: when something happens that outrages the Ukrainian society, all our organizations write an open letter or just a letter to officials and defend their position . We must speak with one voice, because we were many, but we had many scattered voices. Now, together with the alliance, we hope that it will be a consolidated voice,” the activist notes.
In addition to Berlin, “Mayak Ukraine” was also held in Cottbus, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Saarbrücken and cities in other countries.
Before the start of the war, 24,000 Ukrainians lived in Berlin alone; after February 24, at least 100,000 refugees arrived in the German capital. In addition to state and land structures, about 400 organizations, funds and companies are providing assistance to them in Germany.