Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the Open Heart Foundation, which I direct, has joined efforts for the refugees from Ukraine. In Marki, where we operate as part of the campaign #MarkiforUkraine, we organize the collection of necessities for them. Young people from the Foundation participate as volunteers. Love, acceptance and selflessness are blooming all over the city of Marki, in the hearts of all citizens, who welcome Ukrainians in their homes with open hearts and get involved by helping in various ways.
We felt the need to sing, dance and paint for Ukraine! The idea of the concert came about in the Foundation. The initial plans were for the Foundation to organize it itself. Later, however, we invited the Marki Municipal Cultural Center to cooperate. The initiative also sparked great interest among many other centers, institutions, and NGOs, as well as the Marki City Council. The concert was held under the honorary patronage of the mayor of the city of Marki. Everyone had a common goal: TO HELP!
The event at the center included an exhibition of photography and handicrafts, entitled "Joyful Creativity for Ukraine", and the opportunity to taste delicious dishes and specialties of Ukrainian cuisine. The concert began with the Ukrainian anthem, followed by poetry and music, in protest against the war in Ukraine. Through various art forms, songs and dance, Polish and Ukrainian artists spoke about our hope for a free Ukraine, showed the beauty of our mutual relations and supported everyone in spirit. During the concert, 76 Polish and Ukrainian artists performed, including young people from the Open Heart Foundation in the third part, that we were responsible for, called "HOPE". All proceeds from the concert were donated to the Ukrainians who have come to Marki (currently about 5,000 Ukrainians reside in Marki). This cultural event in our city generated a lot of emotions for all spectators and guests and will surely remain in everyone's memory for a long time.
Personally, the conviction grew within me that the mutual efforts and cooperation of numerous institutions and organizations have an impact on reality and can change it. I look to the future with this conviction. The time is approaching to think about systematic, permanent and long-term help for our Ukrainian neighbors. At the Open Heart Foundation, we help children, teenagers and adults who are marginalized and at risk of being excluded from society.
Thinking about refugees in Poland, we see the need to support children, teenagers and their mothers, so that they can be included in the local community. The cultural event "Marki for Ukraine" shows that joint activities bring results. Together we can do more! Together we can multiply the common good, love and peace.
Urszula Głowacka RSCJ
Marki, Province of Poland