SAN DIEGO — Dozens of people attended the Ukrainian Culture Festival held in Kearny Mesa on Sunday evening, where all proceeds from the event go to support those still in Ukraine.
“My family is currently separated, my father is in Ukraine and my mother is here with me,” said Anna Belaya, creative director of the Ukrainian Culture Festival. “We can’t sleep so we decided to do something to help these people.”
The event was filled with song, dance, live music, traditional food and dress, which attendees said their home country didn’t feel so far away from, and also allowed those from Ukraine , a place to connect with each other.
“I cannot remain silent when something is happening in my country,” said Melania Nikolienko. Part of his family is still in Ukraine. “You wake up and you feel pain or something, because you know your aunt, your cousins, can all die in a second,” Nikolienko said.
Despite being thousands of miles from their home country, everyone at the event wanted to make a difference.
“We want to give them the means to live, and we also want to give them the opportunity to resettle in safer areas in Ukraine,” Belaya said.
“We can’t choose who is going to eat today, we want to help everyone,” said Anastasiya Kridoshey, organizer of San Diego Helps Ukrainian Kids. Kridoshey was born and raised in Ukraine, and came to the United States in 2009. She and her two children sell items they’ve created to raise money and support children who lost their parents in war.
Through his group, they raised over $2,000 to help support children in orphanages in Ukraine.
“We try to do everything to feed them, get them medicine, do whatever they need, they tell us and we find someone who can buy them, so we don’t give them money, we let’s give the products they really need,” Kridoshey said.
“It gives me hope that good will one day prevail over evil, truth will overcome lies, there should be a turning point and I believe in victory with all my heart,” Belaya said.
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