Friday, March 27, 2015

#Veronika's Prom

#Veronika's Prom

Make Your Prom Count

Did You Know...

  • Russia and Ukraine do not like each other.

  • In Ukraine and Russia, orphans who turn 16 become unadoptable and age out of the orphanages. Many are forced to live on the streets with no way to survive.
  • 60 percent of girls are lured into prostitution.
  • 10-15 percent of orphans commit suicide before they turn 18.
  • 50 percent of Eastern European orphans don't live to their 20th birthday.

Sasha and Veronika...

My name is Sasha. I was adopted from Russia when I was 17 months old. Now I am a senior at Cedar Crest High School. Since I was adopted, I was rescued from becoming a nameless statistic. Now, I have the chance to experience the love of a family, get an education, and be a normal teenager.

Veronika is a teenage orphan in Ukraine. She is fifteen and if no one adopts her, she will age out and become a statistic. A family has stepped forward to adopt Veronika and show her what it means to have a forever family. Now, she will get to experience things that we take for granted.

#Veronika's Prom

This year, as a senior in high school, I have the opportunity to attend prom. Next year, Veronika will have the chance to attend prom too. However, had a family not chosen to adopt her and welcome her home, she would be one of the statistics I shared above. She would not have a family. She would not be loved. She would not matter to anyone.

In Honor of Veronika, I am choosing to not go to prom. Instead, I am fundraising for her adoption.

The Average Cost of a Ukraine Adoption: $25,000

The Average Cost for 200 students (half my senior class) to attend prom: $55,400

On Cedar Crest Prom Night, Friday, May 1, 2015, there will be party Dedicated to Veronika. This is for anyone, from any school! You can go to BOTH Prom and #Veronika's Prom, for a night of pizza, movies, games and more!

Time: 4:30pm-12 am

Cost: Donation at the Door

RSVP: April 17, 2015

Or Make a Donation at:
JOIN our Facebook Group at #Veronika's Prom!

Please consider the impact that you could help make in a child's life. By donating to #Veronika's Prom, you could help someone know what it means to be loved.

He Who Saves One Life, Saves the World Entire.”

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Ukraine has a Tatar (Mongolian) population.
This minority group is being forced to leave Ukraine, as a result of ethnic cleansing.

Please, spread the word about the persecuted Tatars.
Go to "Our Crafts" tab to see how you can make a difference in Ukraine.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Flowers in the Darkness

Shared by CNN...

Please take time to read Viktoria's story. This is story is not an exception. It is reality.

Ukraine suffering the world doesn't see

Radoslaw Rzehak, Emergency Coordinator for UNICEF Ukraine, recently led an aid convoy into Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. The views expressed are the writer's own.
(CNN)One-year-old Viktoria lives almost entirely in the dark.
She was born in Donetsk, as the crisis in eastern Ukraine was taking hold last year. Now, she and her parents stay in a putrid cellar that also serves as a bomb shelter, on the outskirts of the city. They are usually packed in tight with dozens of other people.
It takes torchlight to see their faces: children, women, men and the elderly, sitting in a sea of filth. There is no water and no toilet, just buckets overflowing in a space where people have to eat and sleep. This is the world Viktoria has experienced so far, the place where she is having to learn to talk and walk.
It's an extraordinary contrast with just a few years before, when Donetsk was a thriving city that helped host the European Football Championship. Now the streets are empty and most of the shops are closed. The shelling is so incessant that our driver tells me it feels like having techno music playing constantly in the background.

I hear a lot about the politics of the Ukraine conflict: which leader has said what to whom, the provenance of arms, the big picture. What is missing from the debate is the people -- it is ordinary citizens who are suffering the most. Behind the grand headlines, there are children in desperate need who are suffering now and who will continue to suffer the consequences of the crisis in years to come.

Around 1.7 million children are affected by the conflict in Ukraine -- including more than a thousand who are seeking refuge in bomb shelters in Donetsk. These are not modern bunkers. They are freezing holes, normally in the cellar of a house, which are simply unfit for human habitation. If a building collapses in a bombing, everyone will be buried.
That is why in Debaltseve, for example, aid organizations are bringing body bags with them. Children are unbelievably stressed. They have seen friends and relatives die. They are afraid to even step outside of the cellars, as they fear they will never come back. 
On a recent U.N. aid convoy into Donetsk, UNICEF delivered more than 27 metric tons of essential hygiene supplies, education kits and drinking water. We made sure we prioritized the neediest children -- those in underground bomb shelters as well as those who are living with disabilities, who have been orphaned or who are affected by HIV. But this is not the sort of childhood one would imagine for 21st century Ukraine.
In a country where children are too often institutionalized, the ongoing crisis can only exacerbate the problem. Social systems are collapsing and children are bearing the brunt. In an orphanage for babies born to HIV-positive women, we found there were no tests to check if babies were HIV positive or not, let alone the necessary medication to treat them. These babies are in limbo -- nobody wants to adopt them and their status is not known. 
This area of Ukraine had one of the highest level of HIV before the conflict began. Now we just have no idea how bad the situation has become. Elsewhere, we found children in detention in Donetsk who hadn't seen relatives in more than a year. In a center for children with disabilities, mothers told us they had no insulin for their diabetic sons and daughters.

We have to help these children now, but also plan for when the fighting stops -- people will need new homes, and we'll have to deal with unexploded ordnance and the terrible psychological damage on children, among other things. This is not a case of delivering aid now and that's the end of the story. We need to commit for the long term.
Until then, though, the needs are huge and resources are scarce. In December, UNICEF called for additional support of $32.4 million to scale up its humanitarian response to address the urgent needs of children and families in conflict-affected areas in Ukraine. Today the needs are even greater.

In the basement shelter, Viktoria's parents cradle her tightly. They ask me the same question again and again: "When will it all be over?"

Canada is Planting Flowers...

Shared by: Euromaidan Press

'Thank you Canada, again!!!
Thank you Canada, again!!!


Please Join Us, Canada, and other countries Around the World as We Stand With Ukraine and Plant Flowers of Freedom and Peace.

Request Declined

16:10 Mar. 17, 2015
Shared by Ukraine Today

26 world leaders to attend Putin's Moscow Victory Day parade

Russian troops march during the Victory Day Parade in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2014 (AP Photo)

Many Western leaders have rejected invitations from Moscow to attend WWII anniversary parade .

Ukrainian news agency Interfax-Ukraine reports that a total of 26 world leaders have confirmed their attendance at Moscow events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, according to a statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
"Invitations have been sent to 68 heads of state, as well as leaders of the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the European Union. As of yesterday, leaders of 26 states, UNESCO and the Council of Europe confirmed their attendance," Lavrov said at a meeting of the Victory Day organizing committee.

Confirmed attendees include the leaders of China, North Korea, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Greece, Slovakia and Cyprus, according to the minister.
However, a number of prominent world leaders have snubbed the celebrations over Russia's military intervention in Ukraine. Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has confirmed that she will not attend Victory Day celebrations in Moscow this year.
US President Barack Obama has also confirmed that he will not be joining the ceremony on May 9, which marks 70 years since the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. Also not attending are the leaders of France, the UK, the Baltic states and Poland.

The snubs from major world leaders will have particular resonance in Moscow, where the Soviet victory in WWII is regarded as a source of great national pride and serves as one of the cornerstones of the post-Soviet Russian national identity.  

**Update March 21, 2015:
Bulgaria has also declined the invitation to the Victory Day parade

Simply Elves, Hobbits and Humans

Crimeans find a new way to protest Russian occupation — via the Census


2015/03/21 •     Shared by Euromaidan Press

Among the “nationalities” some in Crimea declared were Elves, Hobbits, Goblins, Orcs, and Martians — or “simply a human being” or “a resident of the world.”

There are many ways that the powerless can protest their status – jokes, indifference and contempt, among them. But some residents of Russian-occupied Crimea have come up with a new one – they’ve come up with some invented nationalities to show what they really think of their new Russian overlords.
The occupation authorities conducted the census last October but released the results only last week. Most people answered in conventional ways, although the Russian officials said that some did not want to answer any questions at all and others provided answers that suggest that they didn’t take the Russian measure at all seriously.
Among the “nationalities” some in Crimea declared were Elves, Hobbits, Goblins, Orcs, and Martians — or “simply a human being” or “a resident of the world.” Others said they were Arians, Scythians or Novorossiyans. Moscow may not be unhappy with the latter, but it can hardly welcome the former.
There are, of course, precedents for making such declarations. Small but statistically significant numbers of Russians made similar declarations in the 2002 and 2010 censuses in that country, apparently because they wanted to invoke their constitutional right to declare any nationality they want or not to declare one at all.
Indeed, for many in the Russian Federation, that right which has been trampled on by the Putin regime which wants to fix the nationalities of its subjects as tightly as possible is a terribly important one because it gives people a freedom they never had in Soviet times to decide who and what they are.
Now, some in Crimea are asserting the same right because they too want to be free, a status that the Russian occupation forces oppose and certainly have reason to fear. If the residents of Crimea refuse to fit in to the categories Moscow has established, Russian officials will have another problem that they don’t know how to cope with – except by force and lies.

Edited by: A. N.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Free Savchenko!

Today, people all over the world are Speaking Out and Standing Up for the Freedom of Nadiya Savchenko and the Democracy of Ukraine!

Keep checking this post throughout the day for updated pictures of more people who have joined the Movement for Freedom and Peace.