In WCS Blog

Supporting Female Defenders in Ukraine: WCS Cleanup Event in Kyiv

By Natalia Andrushchenko

On June 24, 2023, we organized a cleanup event in Kyiv, Ukraine. This effort took place amidst the stunning beauty of the forest-like park – Holosiivskiy National Park. Our goals were twofold: to clean the area and promote a healthy, clean environment while also networking with like-minded individuals. We were a group of five enthusiastic individuals, opening the very first cleanup day organized by WCS in Kyiv!

For two hours, we diligently cleared the park, collecting a significant amount of trash scattered amidst the breathtaking scenery of lush grass and trees. Among the most prevalent were plastic bags, bottles (both plastic and glass), and numerous small pieces of plastic – it was a stark reminder of the pressing issue of plastic pollution and the need for responsible waste management. We also came across discarded masks, highlighting the ongoing environmental challenges associated with the pandemic. 

However, we found solace in the fact that, compared to previous years, there was a noticeable decrease in the amount of litter. This signifies a positive shift in community awareness and behavior, indicating that our collective efforts to raise awareness about the environment are making a difference.

Despite the challenges of the day, including a lack of sleep due to air raid alerts and shelling, our determination to create a better world and protect nature remained unwavering. We believe that no obstacle should hinder our commitment to building a cleaner and healthier environment.

A vital aspect of our cleanup event was the collaboration with Zemliachky, a local volunteer organization dedicated to supporting female defenders in Ukraine. Through our joint efforts, we aimed to raise funds for their safety gear and uniforms, recognizing the importance of empowering and protecting those who safeguard us citizens. All the donations we will collect during this initiative will be directed to their cause. We extend our gratitude to Zemliachky for their invaluable support. The donation opportunity will remain open for a few weeks for additional donations.

Additionally, we would like to thank KITCHEN&GARDEN cafe, where we enjoyed refreshing summer drinks after our productive endeavor.

The participants were not only happy with the impact they made during the cleanup but also expressed their gratitude. One notable interaction involved a woman who joined us after completing a volunteer opportunity at a pet shelter earlier that day. We also had a talented photographer documenting our efforts, capturing inspiring photos that showcase the dedication and enthusiasm of the participants. Additionally, we were fortunate to have a female defender in our group, further emphasizing the strength and resilience of the women who joined us.

Our cleanup event was not limited to Kyiv alone. We invited people from all over the world to participate and clean up their own areas, emphasizing that every individual effort contributes to a cleaner and thriving environment. We were thrilled to have Lael Giebel, our Event Committee Co-Chair, join the initiative in her own city in the USA. She shared amazing pictures of her cleanup and encouraged others to do the same.

We encourage everyone to take action in their own community, emphasizing that every individual effort contributes to a cleaner and thriving environment. Furthermore, we urge you to support our fundraising initiative to support female defenders in Ukraine.

During our cleanup event, participants expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to make a positive impact and their eagerness to participate in future events. Engaging in conversations about women’s challenges in the army, equal rights, and volunteering opportunities not only strengthened our bond but also shed light on important social issues. We realized that through our actions, we have the power to inspire change and create a more inclusive and sustainable society.

Looking ahead, I have plans to organize more cleanups as we have identified more locations in need of cleanup, and we aim to involve more people in our future initiatives. We believe that through collective efforts, both at organized events and individual endeavors, we can create a lasting impact. Moreover, I envision combining future initiatives with fundraising efforts, allowing us to extend support to those who have lost their homes or are facing health issues.

Recent Posts