(L-R) Brigitta Best (Voice, Art & Social); Radek Lipka (CinEast); Nicolas Zharov (LUkraine); Inna Yaremenko (LUkraine); Credit: LUkraine asbl

LUkraine asbl has reported that another convoy of five ambulances recently departed from Luxembourg for Ukraine as part of the "Ukraine is Calling" campaign.

This international fundraising initiative, led by the Luxembourg-based non-profit organisation LUkraine asbl, aims to deliver 112 emergency vehicles (fire engines and ambulances) to Ukraine to save human lives. The project recently received the European Citizen's Prize 2023 from the European Parliament.

With these additional ambulances, 52 rescue vehicles have been delivered to Ukraine as part of the project as of December 2023. Among them, fourteen armoured ambulances were financed by Luxembourg's Directorate of Defence and eight ambulances were provided by Luxembourg's Ministry of Home Affairs. This latest convoy was possible as a result of the financial support of local non-profit Voice, Art & Social, the CinEast - Central and Eastern European Film Festival and the municipality of Bettembourg. 

LUkraine noted that Voice, Art & Social had launched a fundraising campaign featuring artworks by one of their painters, Keith Grant. Shocked by Russian military aggression, he created four paintings about Ukraine's resistance. Two of them - "From a Ukrainian Child's Room" and "When You Are Gone" - were sold, and all the money raised was donated to the Ukraine is Calling project. "Art is always in praise of humanity and, in its greatest moments, affirms our shared awareness of the beauty of nature and our need to cherish and protect all life. I feel very privileged that the sale of my paintings raised sufficient money to buy two ambulances as humanitarian assistance to the courageous and gifted Ukrainian people," Keith explained.

Moreover, to attract more attention to the war in Ukraine and show solidarity, in collaboration with Luxembourgish and Ukrainian musicians, Voice, Art & Social composed and produced a song titled "To be Stronger Together" (Fir zesumme staark ze sinn). In October 2023, they also organised a "Symphony of Solidarity" charity concert featuring various music genres, and an art exhibition.

Voice, Art & Social raised and donated €27,000 to LUkraine's project. Brigitta Best, the president of the organisation, commented: "Ukraine is a part of Europe, and whatever happens, it happens to us here as well. That is why we should stay together to get through these tough times."

For its part, CinEast dedicated this year's festival to Ukraine and focused its charity efforts on fundraising for Ukraine is Calling. Besides promoting the Ukrainian cinema industry, all the money raised (almost €13,000) during the festival, including ticket sales, was donated to the project. Radek Lipka, President of CinEast, noted: "The war in Ukraine may seem to be in stagnation and some people might think it's not as bad as it was last year. However, it is essential to remember that Ukrainians are fighting for all of us and there is no guarantee it won't spread further. We should stay together to keep reminding Ukrainians they are not alone."

Already in 2022, CinEast had purchased one ambulance for the project and it has actively contributed to LUkraine's Kits for Kids initiative, delivering product packages to children in frontline territories in Ukraine, as well as organising charity film screenings.

The municipality of Bettembourg contributed €1,000 to complete the purchase budget. These collective efforts resulted in a total of €40,000 in donations.

Nicolas Zharov, President of LUkraine, expressed his gratitude to all the contributors: "Now, more than ever, we need to consolidate our efforts to continue supporting Ukraine. We seek the solidarity of Luxembourg standing with us and we appreciate every contribution the Luxembourgish community makes. We genuinely hope that, through joint efforts, we can provide even more support. Thank you to our Luxembourgish partners, friends and supporters who hold Ukraine in their hearts."