Monday, March 30, 2015

UCU is proud to sponsor "Rock, Reforms & Relief: A Weekend For Ukraine"

UCU is very proud to support Dopomoha Ukraini's "Rock, Reforms & Relief" - an immersive weekend of talks, entertainment, and solidarity that will raise funds for Patriot Defence, and also the newly launched ATO Widows' Rehab program.

While the Ukrainian community abroad has done a tremendous amount of work toward supporting soldiers themselves, we must remember about those who are experiencing the war almost as harshly from the sidelines - the ATO Widows Rehab Program is a new initiative that helps women and families of fallen soldiers rebuild their lives and obtain the psychological support and therapy they need to begin the healing process. 

Over the course of the weekend, four prominent guests from Ukraine will be providing their perspectives on the unfolding situation through a variety of fora.

Mustafa Nayyem
Mustafa Nayyem, Ukrainian MP and journalist/activist who initiated the EuroMaidan movement in 2013, has stood steadfastly in the middle of reformative actions in the Verkhovna Rada since the election of the new administration. He will be updating us on reforms that have been made, as well as providing first-hand accounts of the struggles and challenges that reformers are currently facing in the Rada. His aim is to help us gain a more informed perspective of the pace at which reforms can be implemented, and further, what can be expected given the current situation and political climate.

Vera Savchenko
Vera Savchenko, sister of imprisoned Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, will be providing updates on her sister's situation with the aim of generating greater awareness of her sister's plight among a broader audience. She will also be introducing a new initiative she has taken up with the Ukrainian World Congress, in which she hopes to send 1 million letters of support to Nadiya, with hopes of obtaining the support of the Ukrainian community here in Canada.

Michael Shchur
Michael Shchur, famed Ukrainian political satirist (known as Ukraine's Jon Stewart) will be providing some lighter perspective on the heavy issues Ukraine is facing. Most importantly, however, Michael is a powerful symbol of what the Maidan stood to protect. His freedom to voice his opinions openly without fear of repercussion is one of the central tenets that Ukrainians choose to identify with (in stark contrast to the situation present in the aggressors' nation). He will surely enlighten us to the realities of being a dissident voice as much as he will make us laugh.

Finally, Foma, (or Serhiy Fomenko, the lead singer of folk-rock ensemble Mandry) will of course stir our emotions and energize us with acoustic renditions of his music over the course of the weekend, but that's not all. Since his last visit here, he has maintained his incredible involvement in civil organizations and will be able to provide us with information on how society and volunteers have organized themselves to support the troops and the restructuring of the country.

All four of the guests will be present at each of the three main events of the weekend.

First will be the Roundtable discussion on Saturday at 2PM (held at Horner) on the topic of "Progress Toward Peace, Reforms, and a European Ukraine" where Michael Shchur will moderate and our guests will be аnswering questions from the audience.

That evening, Foma and a variety of entertainers will be performing at the King's Garden Banquet Hall starting at 7PM. This will be a night to remember!

Finally, on Sunday, a banquet at King's Garden will close out the weekend.

Information on the event, and ticket purchases for the Benefit Concert & Banquet can be made at the Dopomoha Ukraini Website, and further questions can be directed to

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