This post is part of our series Razom Says “Dyakuyu.” Dyakuyu means “thank you” in Ukrainian. Our work supporting Ukraine and getting humanitarian aid on the ground where it is needed most, would not be possible without the generous donors. With this series, we are highlighting some of the amazing donors and unique fundraisers that have supported Razom.
As Ukraine continues its fight, people from around the world are running to aid Razom’s humanitarian efforts. Sometimes they are even running the distance of a half-marathon – 13.1 miles, or 21 kilometers.
Razom wants to express deep appreciation to a group of volunteers that gathered in London to organize one such charity race in support of Ukraine and Razom’s work towards bringing victory closer. The “Freedom Run Homepage” race took place on July 31 in central London’s Hyde Park.
“Feeling as if you are not doing enough is now the new norm after a full-scale invasion,” said Freedom Run organizers Mykola and Oleksandra Kuzmenko. “Once the first wave of press coverage passes, and the media is no longer so eager to cover the ‘everyday’ of the war, it becomes clear that the threat of gradual oblivion creates additional dangers for the fight of the Ukrainian people.”
The London race was scheduled to take place at the five-month mark of russia’s continued invasion of an independent, sovereign Ukraine. As the organizers emphasized: “There is no denying that 24 February 2022 is a dark day in the history of the world. Ukraine is suffering from a full-scale unprovoked russian invasion, atrocities like that of Mariupol, Bucha and Irpin are still happening in peaceful Ukrainian cities”.
With the goal of keeping Ukraine in people’s hearts and minds, Mykola and Oleksandra proposed several different charitable organizations to which the donors and participants could contribute. Razom was selected as a humanitarian aid option and other potential beneficiaries were UACC (military), EMpower (youth support), and UNITED24 (an initiative launched by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy).
Oleksandra and Mykola’s meticulous planning resulted in great success.
There were “440 registered runners, of which about half were local — each with their own story, but one goal on that day,” the organizers said. Of $84,712 raised, $67,385 was directed to Razom’s Emergency Response project, which provides humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people. See Freedom Run allocation report for a more detailed funds distribution on the Freedom Run webpage.
Razom and all the people who we’ve been able to support on the ground in Ukraine during the war say “dyakuyu” to the organizers and participants of Freedom Run London.