In solidarity with Ukraine in Welwyn Garden City

Gathered together in support of the people of UkraineIs there anything tangible that I can do to help those in need, I often ask myself? Being well informed, being on top of the news agenda is not nearly enough.

Sometimes, the most spontaneous ideas can make a real a difference. A simple gathering, organised “overnight” can simply bring together a few people to show that even if we live far away, we care, we are sad, angry, devastated and that we want to show our solidarity with our Ukrainian friends. This is how the idea for this event came about.

I would like so much to do more. I would like to stop the war. I would like to bring stability to Ukraine. I know that I can’t. However, we must remember that the whole global community suffers immensely because of the Russian invasion on Ukraine and therefore it is still important to show our solidarity with members of the Ukrainian community. Also, let’s keep listening to what we can do to help, no matter how small. It might be sending a donation, signing a petition, fighting the prejudice and hate crime in our communities, working for peace, and so much more. It might be the case that members of the Ukrainian community are our work colleagues, neighbours, and friends.

This is exactly why the short get together today in Welwyn Garden City Town Centre was so important. It was emotional, moving, difficult and beautiful in so many different ways… And yet, despite feeling emotional, angry, empty, helpless, I felt blessed that I was able to be part of the event in solidarity with Ukraine in Welwyn Garden City.

There were almost 150 in attendance. Many participants travelled from many different parts of the county: Hatfield, Hitchin, Harlow, Harrow, Ware, Waltham Cross, and Cheshunt. Who attended? Local residents, local Councillors, members of the Ukrainian community, people from Belarus, Tunisia, Poland, Lithuania, Finland; groups and individuals who wanted to BE and do their small part. We can’t stop the war, however each gesture can “move mountains” and show our support to those who are truly in need. Listening to the Ukrainian national anthem and observing a minute of silence was so powerful. A lot of us cried and it was not easy to stay composed. We are all affected by this tragic war.

What next? Please email your MP. Let’s put more pressure on our politicians to do more for Ukraine. Please donate; money and clothes. There are plenty of humanitarian organisations in Ukraine providing practical support for their communities.

However, most importantly. Let’s continue to look after each other. Let’s continue to use every moment to bring peace. Let’s do our best, always, to remain committed to building bridges and not walks. We are all called to be Ambassadors of Unity.

* Michal Siewniak is a Lib Dem activist and councillor for Handside ward, Welwyn Hatfield.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and Op-eds.

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