UNITED FOR UKRAINE – UNITED FOR PEACE is a sunflower march and event honoring Ukraine’s Independence Day in Helsinki on Thursday 24 August 2023.
Join us to show your support and compassion for Ukraine and Ukrainians suffering from Russia’s war by participating in the sunflower march, which will start from Kansalaistori towards Helsinki Cathedral and Senate Square at 18.30. At Senate Square, the programme will include speeches and musical performances.
The event is organised by the Ukrainian Association in Finland, Lutheran Church in Helsinki, and Mothersforpeace in cooperation with the City of Helsinki, the University of Helsinki.
The organisers hope that those taking part in the event will bring sunflowers with them. Distribution of the Ukrainian national flowers will also be organised on the spot.
By transforming the streets, squares and stairs of Helsinki’s city center into a magnificent sea of sunflowers just before sunset, we can together show the world our unwavering support for Ukrainian independence, freedom, and peace!
Everyone supporting Ukraine and Ukrainians is welcome. Come with your family and friends!
SCHEDULE AND ROUTE OF THE MARCH: At 18.15 Gathering, arranging the procession and distribution of sunflowers at the Kansalaistori (Alvar Aalto alley 1) At 18.30 the Sunflower March sets off towards Tuomiokirkko and Senate Square. 19.10 The procession arrives at the top of the Cathedral during the Art Goes Kapakka event of Kuorojen kierros 19.30 The programme hosted by journalist Baba Lybeck, starts at the Senate Square, immediately after the Kuorojen kierros
Route of the procession: Kansalaistori – Mannerheimintie – Aleksanterinkatu – Fabianinkatu – Kirkkokatu – Helsinki Cathedral upper platform
NOTE! From the statue of the Three Blacksmiths to the Cathedral the march will proceed as a silent procession. Instead of shouting and drumming, we will show our support for Ukraine and Ukrainians by waving sunflowers and Ukrainian flags. We hope that as many of you as possible will bring both!
The Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen, Deputy Mayors Daniel Sazonov and Johanna Laisaari, Ambassador of Ukraine Olga Dibrova and ambassadors of various countries join the march. According to information from Korvatunturi, Santa Claus has also declared his wholehearted support for Ukraine and will take part in the procession on his bicycle.
PROGRAMME AT SENATE SQUARE ( approximately): At 19.30, journalist Baba Lybeck opens the event. She interviews Tomi Järvi, Executive Director of Church Aid Abroad, and Natalya Golova, who fled the war to Finland from Ukraine. At 19.40 – greetings to Ukraine Minister of Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen Ambassador of Ukraine to Finland Olga Dibrova Former Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto
Performances by the choirs
Vassili Goutsoul, Chairman of the Ukrainian Association in Finland Deputy Mayor of Helsinki Daniel Sazonov Rector of the University of Helsinki Sari Lindblom Susanna Makaroff of Mothersforpeace ry and actress Satu Silvo, reciting Eeva Kilvi’s poem Mothers shout! Bishop of Helsinki Teemu Laasalo and Juha Rintamäki, Director of Helsinki Parish Association After the greetings, the Tuomiokirkon bells rang for two minutes in honour of Ukraine and Ukrainians. The event will end with the Ukrainian national anthem performed by Sofiia Yakovyshyna.
The event will feature musical performances by the impressive Perespiv Choir of the Ukrainian Association in Finland and KROK, a children’s and youth choir from Kryvyi Rihi visiting Finland. The event will end at around 20:00.
“The war is not over, let’s stick together”
UNITED FOR UKRAINE – UNITED FOR PEACE is organised by the Lutheran Church in Helsinki, the Ukrainian Association in Finland and Mothersforpeace in cooperation with the City of Helsinki and the University of Helsinki.
– Restoring peace in Ukraine is our common cause. That is why we want to show our support for Ukraine and Ukrainians. Together we can show that now is the time to forge swords into plowshares again,” says Juha Rintamäki, Director of the Helsinki Parish Union.
Vassili Goutsoul, Chairman of the Ukrainian Association in Finland, says Ukrainians are very grateful to Finland and the Finns for their continued support.
– On Independence Day, we unite around the world to send waves of support to Ukraine and express our gratitude to all the people who have been supporting us in our fight for freedom. This is also a good opportunity to remind everyone: the war is not over, let’s stick together,” says Goutsoul.
– On Ukraine’s Independence Day on 24 August, Russia’s war has been going on for a year and a half. Ukraine needs visibility and Ukrainians need all the help and support they can get to maintain their independence and freedom. It is great to be a part of this event. It will be our third peace march for Ukraine and Ukrainians,” says Susanna Makaroff from Mothersforpeace.
The City of Helsinki, a partner of the event, has shown its sympathy and support to Ukraine through humanitarian aid and support to organisations helping Ukrainians in Helsinki since the beginning of the war. The city has also provided services and support to those escaping the war. Guidance and further information on these matters is available through hel.fi/ukraine, InfoFinland.fi and International House Helsinki.
Another partner of the event, the University of Helsinki, has supported Ukrainian students and researchers to continue their research or academic studies in Finland. Scholarships have been provided for Ukrainians so that they have been able to study at the Open University of Helsinki free of charge.
A more detailed programme of the UNITED FOR UKRAINE – UNITED FOR PEACE event, including speakers and performers, will be published closer to the event.
Event on social media: #WeStandWithUkraine #Helsinki
Lutheran Church in Helsinki: Simo Lemmetyinen, email@example.com
Ukrainian Association in Finland: Nadiia Fedorova, firstname.lastname@example.org