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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope


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28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.

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Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.

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Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.

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Kyiv Culture

International Womens Club Kyiv Doing Good Work

The International Womens Club Kyiv has been raising money for charity in the city for the past 15 years. Last year they raised $150,000 for good causes, and this year they hope to top $200,000. Their annual Christmas Bazaar, Ukraines biggest charitable event, will take place on Saturday 1 December and we caught up with Vice President - Fundraising of IWCK, Tanya Gabrielyan, to find out how it works, and how the money raised is spent.


The International Womens Club is a global non-profit organisation with branches all over the world, all of which raise money for good causes. The International Womens Club Kyiv was formed 15 years ago by Katerina Yushchenko and a small group of American women, and now it has 230 members from Ukraine and the rest of the world. Born in Dnipropetrovsk, Vice President in charge of fundraising, Tanya Gabrielyan, has been living in Kyiv for ten years and is one half of a very charitable partnership as her husband, Ken Nachbar, is President of the Kyiv Lions Club. Tanya has held the position for two years, and explains IWCK has two main functions. The club is designed to help ex-pat women integrate into the local community. It is a great way of making friends, and helps people feel at home here. We hold classes for members on all sorts of topics such as local customs and traditions and cooking. We give all our members our in-depth survival guide, and every new member gets a sponsor who takes them under their wing and shows them the ropes. All of this helps people feel at home here, Tanya says. While the social side is important for members, the main function of the club is to raise money for charity, which it does very well. IWCK has one of the most developed selection process when con- sidering charities to be supported, Tanya explains. The selection process is very rigorous. Only NGOs without any political affiliations can apply, and the organisation has to demonstrate it is able to raise a minimum of 15% of the requested funding itself.

 The club, using the slogan People Helping People, supports four main groups children, the elderly, women and disabled people. One of the main causes it supports for children is Childhood Without AIDS. There is only one hospital in the whole of Ukraine that has a department for children suffering

IWCK has one of the most developed selection process when considering charities to be supported,

 from HIV and AIDS, and it had no facilities to cater for visiting families. The project is creating a family centre next to the hospital. IWCK also provides monthly food packages for the elderly, and has a number of soup kitchens where older people can come to get something warm to eat. In addition, it provides help to risk-group girls, and also provides psychological counselling and education to women who are suffering from domestic abuse. Finally, the IWCK has a number of programmes for disabled people such as Horses are our Healers, where kids with mental and physical disabilities go horseback riding, and Sunny Circle which offers early intervention classes and holidays for autistic kids. The IWCK holds two main events every year to raise money to support these important projects. The first, Evening with the Stars, takes place in spring and is an elegant dinner where lots of celebrities donate their time and belongings. Each table has its own star who brings things to sell to the guests and receives tips for keeping them entertained, all of which goes to charity. Last years star of stars was novelist Andriy Kurkov who not only sold everything hed brought such as signed copies of his books, and when hed run out he started to sell the clothes he was wearing, says Tanya, laughing.

 The biggest fund raising event, the Holiday Bazaar, takes place next week and always does extremely well. This is the largest charity event in Ukraine, Tanya explains. There are around 1,000 volunteers, with the vast majority of embassies participating, and we have around 4,000 visitors. During the bazaar, every stand is manned by volunteers, and everything provided for sale, whether it be clothes, food or gifts is donated. In addition, the IWCK runs four stands which are a tombola offering various prizes, a boutique selling almost new designer clothes donated by the rich and famous, a white elephant stand with odd items and knickknacks and a Grand Raffle with fabulous donated prizes such as airline tickets, mobile phones vouchers for hotels and resorts and this year there is even a scooter up for grabs. The Holiday Bazaar is a real family affair with a kids corner which has fun events throughout the day to keep the children entertained while the parents hunt for those bargains. And remember, all the money raised goes to good causes and the heroines at IWCK do not make a penny for the huge amount of time and effort they invest in the event. So Saturday 1 December there is only one place everyone should be, and that is at the Holiday Bazaar where you can shop for some really interesting and worthwhile items at very affordable prices, have the chance of winning some fantastic prizes, and do it all content in the knowledge that you are helping those less fortunate than ourselves!

 Neil Campbell


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Comments (1)
You are not authorized! Only registered and authorized users can add their comments!
Chad | 03.09.2013 12:01

If anybody has contacts in this organization I would be interested to see about the possibilities of IWCK supporting and/or promoting the development of Girls Softball in Kiev. I was recently ask to be the Chief of Softball in Kiev by the Kiev Baseball League and am looking for folks who are like minded and wish to give girls the same resources and opportunities in sports as boys now enjoy. To learn more about me, here is a recent article that tells my story http://uc.kr.ua/texas-ukr/ and you can see more about what my non-profit organization has/is doing to build up the orphans of Ukraine through the implementation of sports programs by visiting my webpage or Facebook group page.

www.youthofukrainephoenixproject.weebly.com

Thank you,

Chad


 
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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didnt Know We Had

    Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.


    Kyiv Culture

    Pulling Strings
    Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.

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