In the midst of the merriment of Christmas, it’s important to remember that others are not in such comfortable positions this winter. Not everyone will be celebrating, and it is not necessarily a happy time for many. Some are without family, gifts, or even human necessities and creature comforts. Such is the case in Ukraine, where the ongoing humanitarian crisis finds over 10 million people living without electricity, heat, and water, while temperatures plummet to -20 degrees. A new campaign, An Hour For Ukraine, seeks to draw attention to the plight of the country, as they face the darkest day of the year amongst rolling blackouts.
An Hour For Ukraine
An Hour For Ukraine takes place tomorrow, on December 21, and will see the lights of international landmarks switched off for an hour. The display is part of a $10m fundraising drive for generators for hospitals across Ukraine. The lights will turn off at 8PM GMT at Trafalgar Square, Canterbury Cathedral, Lambeth Palace, and Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Various Christmas lights in key streets around London will also turn off as part of the campaign. Other cities participating in the campaign, such as Paris, New York, Sydney, and more, will turn off their lights from 8PM-9PM local time.
The initiative goes beyond landmark light displays, with an invitation extended around the world for all to participate. Everyone can “turn off your Christmas lights for an hour and share a moment of reflection with the people of Ukraine. This shared moment of darkness will remind everyone to stand in solidarity with Ukraine. This hour with no festive lights will be a glimpse of how 10 million people are spending Christmas this winter.”
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, said the following:
“When the light shuts off, you always take it as something out of the ordinary. But when you spend four, ten, twenty hours or even days without it, and you start to get used to the darkness – that’s the worst thing ever. This means that light is not the only thing they want to take away from you. They aim for everything that is part of your life. This is how we live in Ukraine right now – defending ourselves from the enemy who came to destroy us. That is why I am turning to you now, true friends of Ukraine. We need your support! Every doctor who is forced to operate in the dark. Every father and every mother who does everything to give their families what they need – even in the darkness. Every Ukrainian who has faith in freedom, despite the darkness.
“Together we will stop this war! Please search for new ways to help Ukraine! And thank you to everyone who cares about freedom!”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, also lent his support with a statement:
“2022 will be a year defined by the heroism of the Ukrainian people in defending their homeland against President Putin’s illegal invasion. Whilst we all prepare for Christmas festivities this hour of darkness reminds us all of the hardships and privations being faced by ordinary Ukrainians every day as they live without power, heat and water in freezing temperatures. On this shortest day and every day, London stands in solidarity with Ukraine.”
An Hour For Ukraine sees cities around the world turning off their lights in the hopes of lighting up Ukraine. Will you join them?