Gratitude orchard to be planted in Wales by Ukrainian refugees
An orchard is to be planted by Ukrainian refugees in Caerphilly to show their enduring gratitude to the Welsh people who warmly opened their hearts and homes following the Russian invasion.
A special event for the Ukrainian Gratitude Orchard will take place this Saturday (January 27) at Morgan Jones Park, marking the 2nd anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022 and fighting has continued with no end in sight causing thousands of deaths on both sides of the conflict.
The event will showcase Ukrainian culture and will be accompanied by Ukrainian music. Refugees will also perform a song in Welsh to express their gratitude to Wales.
Several public figures will attend including Culture Minister Dawn Bowden, Caerphilly Mayor Mike Adams, Cllr Lindsay Whittle, Deputy Council Leader James Pritchard, Wayne David MP, Plaid Cymru MSs Peredur Owen Griffiths and Delyth Jewell, Counsel General Mick Antoniw and leader of the Wales Green Party Anthony Slaughter.
The orchard and its future fruits will stand as a testament to the resilience of the Ukrainians who sought refuge in Caerphilly County Borough during the ruinous Russo-Ukrainian War.
Mick Antoniw said: “As a second-generation Ukrainian, I’m honoured to attend this event, taking place on the eve of the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
“This orchard-planting will be an important display of solidarity between Welsh and Ukrainian people, and a lasting expression of gratitude to the people of Wales who welcomed those fleeing Putin’s invasion.
“As someone who regularly visits Ukraine to deliver aid and visit family, I know how grateful the Ukrainian people are for the solidarity and practical support the people of Wales have given, and continue to give.
“The garden, its trees and plants, and the flowers and fruits these produce will be a lasting symbol of the link between our two nations for generations to come.”
Wales Green Party leader, Anthony Slaughter said: “It’s a privilege to be invited to represent Wales Green Party at this important community event, coming together with others to pay tribute to the resilience of Ukrainian citizens forced to flee their homes and the generosity of the local community who have extended such a warm welcome to them as have communities across Wales.
“As we approach the second anniversary of Russia’s illegal invasion it’s also an important reminder of the need for our governments to continue to fully support the people of Ukraine in every way possible. The war on Ukraine is an attack on democracy and international law which must not be allowed to succeed.”
This legacy project is a collaboration between Ukrainians in Caerphilly Group, Climate Action Caerffili, Keep Wales Tidy and CCBC.
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