It is the end of 2022 - the year that split our life into two parts - "before" and "after". The year that changed our lives forever.
It was the year of the hardest grief and loss for all Ukrainian and Ukrainian communities worldwide when full-scale war came to our homeland.
There were not more than 50 Ukrainians in Brighton and Hove at the beginning of this year, but now we have a community of more than 500 Ukrainians, primarily children and women, who fled the war leaving their lives and loving ones behind. Some of them came with nothing but a small backpack with essentials and their kids.
It was a challenging year. But it was also a year of courage, hope, and humanity.
No one in the world believed that Ukraine could resist russian troops, but it did. We are so grateful for those protecting Ukraine in the regular army and territorial defence. And those who support our country with critical supplies.
No one expected millions of refugees, but the world opened the hearts and homes for Ukrainians who fled the war.
No one was ready for the humanitarian crisis when the critical infrastructure of the 40-million country was half-destroyed amid the winter colds. Still, the world is helping Ukraine with critical supplies of electro-generators and other electrical equipment amid the cost of living crisis.
Here in Brighton and Hove, our community witnesses endless examples of support and kindness for our members and our homeland.
We thank all the hosts who opened their houses for Ukrainian refugees, all donators who supported our fundraisers, all fantastic people who wrote letters to support Ukraine to their MPs, and all organizations who provided support and advice for our community and its members. We thank the B&H city council for the incredible work to accommodate and support Ukrainians who came to this hospitable and bright city. We thank all MPs whose support is crucial to defend Ukraine and ending this cruel war. We thank all the charities who shared their knowledge and experience to help our community to establish and evolve.
We thank all our community members and volunteers for their incredible work.
With the support of fantastic Brighton and Hove communities, we collected and delivered more than ten tones of humanitarian aid, food and clothes.
We fundraised money to purchase and deliver new electro generators. We have already delivered two of them and purchased more. We also delivered three used ones, five powerstations (large power banks), and more than 30 power banks. And we continue to work on this project.
We held more than 50 drop-ins to provide help and support for the members of the Ukrainian community. We organized community events such as creative workshops, Natural History Museum trip, the Ivana Kupala celebration, Independence Day, and St Nicolas day, not telling about preparing food and helping with fantastic Razom events.
And we keep working to support our community and those who need help in Ukraine.
For Ukrainians, the New Year is a celebration of hope. So we wish that one of the biggest hope of all Ukrainians in the world - the hope for peace not only in Ukraine but everywhere in the world - will come true.
Happy New Year, and thank you all for Your support!