The church bells of the Helsinki Cathedral will ring to start the event, after which a minute of silence will be observed. Candles will then be placed on the steps of the Helsinki Cathedral by Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Finland Olga Dibrova, Education Minister Li Andersson (Left), Nordic Cooperation and Equality Minister Thomas Blomqvist (SPP), Employment Minister Tuula Haatainen (SDP), Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Greens), Transport and Communications Minister Timo Harakka (SDP), Family Affairs and Social Services Minister Krista Kiuru (SDP), Agriculture and Forestry Minister Antti Kurvinen (Cen), and representatives of the event’s organising parties Helsinki Mayor Juhana Vartiainen, Helsinki Parish Union director Juha Rintamäki, and Rector of the University of Helsinki Sari Lindblom.
After this, members of the public are welcome to express their sympathy with the people of Ukraine by placing candles on the steps of the Helsinki Cathedral. Participants are welcome to buy a candle beforehand and write a greeting on it, but the event organisers will also have 2,000 candles available for people to place on the steps at no cost.
At the close of the event, the Ukrainian Association in Finland will collect the candles and deliver them to the front line in Ukraine, where the stearin will be used as a source of energy and light.
The bells of the Helsinki Cathedral will once again sound at 18.00, this time joined by other Evangelical Lutheran churches in the city, as well as Orthodox and Catholic parishes and other places of worship. The public is invited to place a candle in support of Ukraine independence in the windows of their homes at this time, if they wish.
Members of the public are welcome to arrive at Senate Square any time between 16.00 and 20.00. At approximately 18.05, a choir from the Ukrainian Association in Finland will perform “Plyve kacha” ja “Prayer for Ukraine”, followed by a performance of “Finlandia” from a Male Voice Choir quartet.
Light for Ukraine – a candlelight memorial for Ukraine war victims is being arranged at Helsinki’s Senate Square on Friday, 24 February 2023 by the City of Helsinki, the Helsinki Parish Union and the University of Helsinki, in cooperation with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ukrainian Association in Finland. Personnel from the Embassy of Ukraine will also participate in the event.
Material assistance to Ukraine continues
On 24 February, the collection results of the “Generators of Hope” campaign will also be announced. The metropolitan cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa participated in the European Parliament and Eurocities network’s joint campaign to collect new or used but still serviceable generators and equipment for heating and electricity production for shipment to Ukraine. The collection period in the capital region closed on 10 February.
On the same day, the City of Helsinki will also announce additional humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Participants in the 24 February event at Senate Square will also have an opportunity to donate to the Finn Church Aid charity collection for Ukraine.
Interested parties can also help Ukraine and its residents by donating money to international charities, such as the Red Cross, UNICEF, Save the Children, SOS Lapsikylä, Plan International, UN Women, World Vision and Fida, as well as Finn Church Aid and the Ukrainian Association in Finland (autaukrainaa.fi). The Ukrainian Association in Finland’s website has information on donating clothing and other useful items.
Light for Ukraine event programme
The church bells of the Helsinki Cathedral will ring to start the memorial, after which a minute of silence will be observed.
Representatives of the organising parties and their invited guests will be the first to place candles on the Cathedral steps.
The bells of the Helsinki Cathedral will once again sound, this time joined by others from various churches in the city, some representing other faiths.
A choir from the Ukrainian Association in Finland will perform "Plyve kacha" and "Prayer for Ukraine", followed by a performance of Finlandia from a Male Voice Choir quartet.
The public is invited to place a candle in support of Ukraine independence in the windows of their homes at this time, if they wish.
Close of the event.
Exhibition: Unissued Diplomas
Unissued Diplomas is an exhibition which reveals the lives and identities of young students who died in Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The exhibition displays unissued diplomas to students who put their education on hold to protect their country. The exhibition will uncover the stories of 30 Ukrainian students killed in the war. It will be held in 45+ universities worldwide on the 24th of February.
The exhibition is created to remind us about the ongoing war in Ukraine and the price Ukraine, as a nation, is paying daily. It is organized by active Ukrainian youth in cooperation with SUSK and University of Helsinki and is free of charge.
Location: Porthania, University of Helsinki, Yliopistonkatu 3, 00100 Helsinki
Dates: 24.2.–3.3.2023 Mon-Thu 7:45–20:00, Fri 7:45–18.00, Sat 25th Feb 9:00–14:00.
For more information contact student Mariia Fursina email@example.com or Yevheniia Kuznetsova firstname.lastname@example.org or Communications Manager Hannamaija Helander, who can provide Mariia Fursina´s phone number and pictures from the exhibition.