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"Mama Ukraine"

Story and photo: Katia Garan

Illustration: #JeniaPolosina


People all over the world began to go to rallies in support of Ukraine after February 24, 2022. One of the most numerous actions took place in Germany. Thousands of people gathered at the main square of Frankfurt am Main, where Katia lives. There Katya met other Ukrainians, Lara and Polina, who wanted to help their homeland.

Polina had already organized a volunteer event Drink with Grandma Halia, where they sold wine, borscht and pies, and Katia had the idea to hold an exhibition of illustrations of Pictoric. Over dinner, the women decided to team up and organize a joint charity event. The Massif Central space which had a kitchen, a bar, a gallery, a bicycle workshop and a concept store under one roof, seemed like a good location. Florian, the CEO, gladly supported the idea.

In just two weeks, the Massif Central bar cooked 100 liters of borscht, baked 700 pies and exhibited illustrations by Ukrainian artists for the Mama Ukraine event. It seemed to Katia that almost all of Frankfurt came to their event, because plenty of people gathered (even the Consul of Ukraine in Frankfurt with his wife visited the Pictoric exhibition). The hosts decided not to sell the illustrations, but to accept orders for printing and arrange a full-fledged exhibition at Massif Central. In just one weekend, 5,000 euros were collected, which was later doubled by the Ukraine Hilfe Berlin organization and donated to Kyiv Volunteer.

Mama Ukraine began to expand. Florian invited the hosts to participate in the Vintage & Champagne fair, where they gathered 20 Ukrainian clothing brands and 15 jewelry designers. Hangers, rails and mirrors were brought by Lera's mother and sister, who worked at a local humanitarian center, and fitting rooms were set up in the tattoo studio in Massif Central. The 5,000 euros collected at the fair were transferred to the Ya Mariupol (I am Mariupol) charity fund.

Katia continues to hold Mama Ukraine in other locations. She is planning new formats and plans to go to other cities in Germany. The woman gets a lot of motivation from such events, because she receives a lot of support, sympathy and understanding of what Ukrainians are going through now.


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