How it all began..
The history of this association began in December 2013 with the creation of a Facebook group to unite Ukrainians in Luxembourg and the Greater Region and the first action under the walls of the Luxembourg Parliament in support of Maidan participants and drawing attention to events in Ukraine.
After that, when the community began to expand, its members decided to create a non-profit association to facilitate the coordination of efforts to help Ukrainians by participating at different fairs and events in Luxembourg.
LUkraine asbl is politically, religiously and ideologically independent, its members work on projects on a volunteer basis, having a main professional activity, however, they manage to devote much of their free time to work in the organisation.
After the annexation of Crimea and the start of war in Donetsk and Luhansk regions we have sent dozens of tons of humanitarian aid. Our first focus was saving lives of injured people by sending them bandages, tourniquets, hemostats and other first aid equipment.
We have been sending medical equipment for hospitals that was provided by different organisations such as SMA.
After the Revolution of Dignity, it is clear that in the first stage our main efforts were focused on the humanitarian sphere. A number of important projects were implemented, in particular, an ambulance was purchased and sent to Slovyansk, it was the only reanimation type car in the city up to 2016. In 2016 we have also performed some reparation works in an orphanage in the city of Mariupol. We have replaced windows and partially changed the roof which was destroyed during the attack on Mariupol.
Up to 2021, when the hot stage of war has finished, the association’s attention was focused mainly on the implementation of cultural and educational projects that give Ukrainians the opportunity to express their national identity and at the same time promote Ukrainian culture among the local
population. We have organised languages courses for Ukrainians in French and Ukrainian for Luxembourgish citizens in the Ukrainian school “Barvinok” founded by the association which offered lessons in Ukrainian language, history, art, dance for young Ukrainians, as well as training for adults (on integration in Luxembourg society, seminars on the history of Ukraine. classes with a psychologist, etc.). Unfortunately, we had to suspend the project of the Ukrainian school due to the pandemics.
The creation of the dance group “Vesna”, which represents the traditional Ukrainian dance at various international festivals and national holidays, can also be considered a source of pride for Ukrainians in Luxembourg. The members of the band do not have any restrictions on age categories or
nationalities – now the group consists of representatives of 7 different nationalities, including Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Belarusian, Filipino, Canadian and Turkish.
As for festivals and fairs, the association is an active participant, in particular it participates in the annual Festival of Migration and Cultures in Luxembourg, and in the charity fair “International Bazaar”. Profits from the stands of different countries (about 60) go to a joint account, which implements charitable projects in third world countries. The country to which the funds will go is elected by a special committee. In 2019 the project from the Ukrainian stand received a grant to implement a joint project with the charity fund “I am the Future of Ukraine” – “City of Good”, which aims to support mothers and children in need and create inclusive children’s playground on the territory of the institution (Chernivtsi).
Among other cultural projects “LUkraine” should be singled out: the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine; meetings with famous Ukrainians – artist Ivan Marchuk, writers K. Babkina, I. Karpa, S. Zhadan and others, activist Ruslana Lezhychko; conducting lectures of an educational nature; organisation of marches of fans, as well as an amateur match during the game of the Ukrainian and Luxembourg national teams; screenings of different Ukrainian films in Luxembourg. The Association also keeps in touch with one of the largest public organisations of Ukrainians – the Ukrainian World Congress, in particular, in December 2018, a meeting with the
Chairman of the VCU Mr. Yevhen Czolij took place. A very large-scale event was the action on October 15, 2018 – “Let’s light a candle of memory”, dedicated to the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932-1933, which was held in Luxembourg by the association LUkraine asbl in cooperation with the Ukrainian Embassy in the Kingdom of Belgium and Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and which was attended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin, Ukrainians, residents of
Luxembourg, ambassadors of Germany and the Netherlands, members of the diplomatic corps. The Association takes the memorial event very seriously and has repeatedly filed petitions to the Government of Luxembourg to recognize the Holodomor as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people.
LUkraine asbl is one of the most active Ukrainian communities in Europe. In addition to its group and Facebook page, a website has also been created, which is now an important platform for obtaining both information on projects and events of the association, as well as answers to practical
questions that may arise among Ukrainians who have recently migrated or lived in Luxembourg for a long time. The Association continues to influence the positive perception of Ukrainians abroad, increase interest in Ukraine, its language, culture, traditions, serve as a centre for objective coverage of the economic and political situation in Ukraine, dispel stereotypes and perceptions about the Ukrainians.
The activities of LUkraine asbl are difficult to overestimate: in addition to the role of the pioneer in the creation of the Ukrainian community in Luxembourg, its separation from the ”Post-Soviet” community, the association serves as an important element in giving Ukrainians the visibility,
their own voice, the importance of Ukraine in the modern world. Supporting international projects and organisations, providing impetus for the establishment of other associations of Ukrainians, acting locally in Luxembourg, but with the aim of global goals, LUkraine asbl is actively involved in creating a transnational network of actors and people who care about the future of Ukraine, who seek to recognize the status of the state by the international community, rebrand it and create the image of a promising country.
On 24 February 2022 Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then we have sent over 600 tons of humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people. Many tons of medical equipment and medicines were delivered to Ukraine. We are constantly working on punctual projects such UAmbulance in order to deliver the most necessary aid to Ukrainians. Our main beneficiaries are city and regional administrations, the Ministry of Health, and NGOs. We do deliver directly to the most affected regions of Ukraine when possible. More than 50 tons of food were delivered to help the cities of Kyiv, Dnipro, Chernihiv, Zaporizhzhya, Kropyvnytky.
Helping our soldiers, policemen, firefighters is another priority we had to work on. We have seen that many of them do not even have personal protection, sleeping bags and most important tactical medicine on the field. Our priority remains saving human lives and help protect the civilians, especially after the atrocities seen in Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin. Thus, knowing that many civilians had to join territorial defence units and protect their homes from invaders, together with our partners and the Embassy of Ukraine in the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, we have delivered protective equipment as well as bandages, tourniquets and hemostats for our brave men and women, who are protecting us not only in Ukraine but also in Europe. Thus Ukrainian Armed Forces, the National Guard, Territorial Defense Units, the National Police, Border-control units and medics have received life-saving equipment. We are also preparing a course of tactical medicine in order to teach local coordinators how to provide emergency first aid on the field. Thus 10.000 Israeli bandages were purchased which will allow to complete 5.000 medical kits and potentially save 5.000 lives.
We are also providing necessary assistance to Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in Luxembourg. In order to help those refugees we have opened two distribution centres for Ukrainian refugees where they can get everything starting from clothes and finishing by milk powder for babies. In our info-centre the Ukrainian refugees receive the informational support after their arrival to Luxembourg. A project of psychological assistance was created to help traumatised people get back to a normal peaceful life. We are also providing free language courses for the refugees as well as other integration courses in order to accelerate the inclusion of Ukrainians in Luxembourgish society.