On July 24, 2014, Euromaidan Canada organized what happened to be their 51st protest. At 7:30 pm, hundreds of concerned Canadians met in front of the Russian Federation’s Consulate General. This evening’s protest was in memoriam of the 298 civilians lost on July 17th in the MH 17 disaster.
It began with a memorial service and was followed by speakers from Euromaidan Canada (Antonina Kumka and Markian Shwec). Yana Bilyk talked about some of the victims of MH 17 – the family who lost their three children from Australia and the sole Canadian who lost his life, Andrei Anghel. She emphasized the fact that, before this tragedy, the war in Ukraine was considered a local problem, now however, it is a global issue.
The protest itself was created, organized and circulated by Euromaidan Canada, an organization that many of us know well since its inception in November 2013. It has held numerous protests, rallies, marches and fundraisers to support the Ukrainian Revolution and now to support Ukraine during the war.
The New Pathway spoke to Antonina Kumka, one of the Euromaidan Canada's leaders, to get a better understanding of the change the organization has had recently and the new projects it is organizing.
Antonina believes that the main goals of Euromaidan Canada have not changed – they still support the democratization of Ukrainian politics, society and economics. However, this latest crisis has now re-prioritized their goals.
Firstly, Euromaidan Canada is now tasked with spreading the truth about the situation in Ukraine and “fight the propaganda that is out there. This is now more important than ever, since Russia is out there spreading lies” about Ukraine.
Secondly, Euromaidan Canada is helping with the military efforts in Eastern Ukraine, getting “bulletproof vests, helmets and anything else” to the troops. Thirdly, they are helping the refugee children of the Ukrainian war.
At the moment, they are fundraising for the “School Zone, Not War Zone” campaign which is trying to “send 52 children safely to school in the area they are in now, since they will probably not be able to go home due to the war.”
Lastly, they are working with various NGO’s in Ukraine. One of these Kumka indicates as “Vostok SOS” – an organization that created a missing people database and “is now being used by Ukraine's Ministry of Defence”.
Euromadian also has other projects that it is planning. They began a projected called “Computers for Ukraine”. They will “collect old computers, external hard-drives, monitors, smart phones and laptops which will go either to the army or to orphanages in Ukraine.” Those destined to the army will be used as communication devises between units and the smart phones will be used as GPS stations in the field. If anyone is interested in dropping off their old and used electronic items, you can do so at the UNO building at 145 Evans Ave. in Toronto, call local Euromaidan Canada representatives or visit their website for more information.
Euromaidan Canada events will certainly continue – the New Pathway received exclusive confirmation that on August 13, 2014 in Toronto, they will be holding a major press conference regarding the events in Ukraine.
They will also be visible during the Independence Day celebrations at Centennial Park on August 23 and this year’s Toronto Ukrainian Festival in Bloor West Village on September 12-14, creating a mini-Maidan on the street.
Euromaidan Canada also has initiatives to get people more involved and if anyone is interested, they are asked to go on their website for more information. As Antonina Kumka states, “We’re constantly asking for people to write letters, sign petitions and we’re also always asking for volunteer help.”
It seems that as the human tragedies of the Ukrainian war are mounting, Euromaidan Canada will need any assistance it can get from Canadians to help Ukraine and spread truthful information throughout Canada.