Finns eager to buy Ukraine bows, with South Karelians the most eager to participate

Support for Ukrainians arriving in Finland is well under way and is being funded by Ukraine bows sold in K grocery shops. Food gift cards with a total value of EUR 50,000 have been distributed to Ukrainian families with children and the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare works to offer them meaningful activities that bring Finns and Ukrainians together. People living in South Karelia have been the most eager to participate in the fundraising, which will continue until the end of June.
Ukrainian families in MLL family cafe

The Ukraine bow fundraising programme was started by K Group and the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare (MLL) in December 2022 and will continue until the end of June. The funds raised from Ukraine bow sales will be used for MLL's national relief efforts to support Ukrainians arriving in Finland. To ensure that aid can be provided as swiftly as possible, the raised funds have been put into use already during the fundraising period, and MLL and local associations have been granted funds for the first regional projects.

The operations arranged across Finland will offer meaningful activities for Ukrainians as well as bring locals and Ukrainians together.

Various activities and operations help the Ukrainian families meet the other local parents and children, find new friends, as well as getting to hear and learn Finnish. “We want to help the families who have fled from the war to get to live good, normal everyday lives here in Finland,” says Leena Poutanen, Director of Communications and Fundraising at MLL.

Funds have been granted for activities including various family events, courses, and trips for this year. For example, a national park trip for Ukrainian families was implemented at Leivonmäki in cooperation with other local actors, and funds have also been granted to a culinary club that was set up by a group of local Ukrainians and which has now met several times. In MLL's Lapland District, funds are used to arrange free club activities for primary school aged Ukrainian children. The clubs are led by Ukrainian and Finnish speaking coordinators and involve playing, arts and crafts, games, and spending time together outside.

The funds are used to train volunteers and coordinators for hobby clubs and other jobs that support Ukrainian parents and children. Practical operations are made easier when the funds can be used to acquire interpreting and translation services that will help Ukrainians to find activities and communicate with Finns.

“I dearly hope that Finns’ eagerness to help has not subsided yet. It is understandable to lose interest amidst constant news regarding the war, but Ukrainians who have fled to Finland still need help and support. Now is the last chance to participate in the fundraising,” says Poutanen.

Emergency help was already offered in February 2023 when MLL distributed EUR 50,000 in K grocery shop gift cards to Ukrainian families.

“The aid provided with the gift cards allows the recipients to choose themselves the food and other daily necessities that they need. To date, 1000 food gift cards have been distributed and will be further distributed to those in need after the end of the fundraising period,” says Timo Jäske, Kesko’s Sustainability Director for the grocery trade division.

South Karelians have been most eager to help Ukrainians on average – Most bows sold in Uusimaa

To date, by far the largest number of Ukraine bows have been sold in Uusimaa. Urban residents stand out among those participating in the fundraising, with most bows being sold in Helsinki and Turku. However, South Karelians have been most eager to participate on average.

“In South Karelia along the eastern border, more bows have been bought on average in Imatra, Lappeenranta, as well as smaller locations. We hope that customers will participate in the final weeks of the fundraising in June by buying a Ukraine bow from the nearest K food store,” encourages Jäske.

The Ukraine bows costs EUR 5 apiece. The bows are sold exclusively at the K-Market, K-Supermarket, K-Citymarket and Neste K shops until 30 June 2023. Kesko and the K retailers do not take a sales commission for the Ukraine bows. You can find more information about the cooperation in Finnish and Ukrainian.


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