Ray of Hope is the name of the community initiative started by Iryna Olyanovska - the treasurer of Stand for Ukraine Brighton and Hove, and Ukrainian activist.
So what it is about:
We are collecting new and leftover candles to make trench candles - they can burn longer than usual, warm people up, dry their trenches and clothes, or even cook simple food.
The content of a trench candle for the Ukrainian military is tin, cardboard and wax.
The process is fairly simple. Cardboard sheets are cut up into lines, then twisted and fitted inside tin cans; the cans are filled with wax and paraffin.
Why do we do it?
"After the breakage of the dam in Kherson, thousands of people were left without electricity for days and weeks. We want to support people in Ukraine in case of electricity blackouts.
It sounds horrible that at this time in the 21st century, we have war in Europe, but this is one of the ways for us to support people in Ukraine" says Iryna, the founder of the Ray of Hope Initiative.
Iryna was born in Odesa, Ukraine, and lived in the UK for more than 20 years. Her heart is open to her beloved motherland. Now along with her full-time day job, she is a committee member of Stand For Ukraine Brighton and Hove, an organisation that helps and supports Ukrainian refugees in and around Brighton and Hove. As well as volunteering for Stand For Ukraine, she also organises and fundraises humanitarian aid (First Aid equipment, generators and charges, baby food, hygiene items and warm clothing) to Ukraine. The aid is sent to registered and trusted charities and organisations in Ukraine, which lockal group of ukrainian volonteers have working links with.
The Ray of Hope is an initiative which aims to support Ukrainian people from the most deprived areas with the basic comfort of light, a hand warmer, and a hot drink.
“We are collecting all sorts of humanitarian aid for Ukraine, including baby food and nappies, baby clothes, generators and power accumulation devices, first aid items and walking aids, pet food and care. On average, we endeavor to transport aid to Ukraine every six to eight weeks. So far, we received help with transporting our aid from well-established charities like Hope and Aid Direct - Humanitarian Aid Charity and Vans Without Borders, and many other smaller initiatives." says Iryna.
How you can participate?
People can donate the candles at All Saints Church, Hove, BN3 3PB between 9 am – 3 pm Monday to Friday, Saturday during the Ukrainian drop-in sessions (between 13 am – 15 pm), and Sunday after the 10:30 morning service.
Please take your candles to the Parish Office, where a member of staff can help you.
“We are so grateful for all the support from All Saint’s Church and will continue to pray for this war to finish as fast as possible; meanwhile, we will endeavor to stand for Ukraine.”