A campaign arranged by the City of Turku between December 7–10 to help residents of the city of Kharkiv brought in large amounts of electric and heating equipment. A lorry load of 29 EUR-pallets of goods, with a volume of 76 m3 and weighing about 8 tons is to depart to the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Donors ranging from private individuals to groups of friends, as well as organisations and companies wanted to provide concrete help to the Ukrainians as Christmas approaches. A total of 122 donors participated.

Photo: Student at Turku Vocational Institute Anna Botskova, Samuli Saarinen who together with colleagues from the City of Turku donated an aggregate to the aid campaign, and teacher of logistics Jani Forsström from Turku Vacational Institute at the Kharkiv aid event on 9 December 2022. Photo: Irene Pendolin

The goods include 86 electric generators, 157 heaters and 19 water pumps, kitchen implements, and some other items such as electric blankets and flashlights. Donations included both new and used generators and heaters. There was also winter clothing and toys collected by the Ukrainians of Finland organization.

“I warmly thank all the people, companies, and associations who took part in the collection. Your desire to help has been touching and for its part we hope that it will bring at least a slightly warmer Christmas to Turku's twin city Kharkiv, where the situation with electricity and heat is very critical”, says Turku Mayor Minna Arve.

The names of the donors have been posted, with their permission, on the website of the City of Turku:

Transportation from Turku to Kharkiv will be carried out in cooperation with the Ukrainians of Finland organization. Other cooperative partners in Turku include the Turku Vocational Institute (TAI), the Turku Chamber of Commerce, and Turun Yrittäjät.

Oleksandr Kharinov, Henri von Adlerkrone and Oleksandr Kuzmuk from the Ukrainians in Finland Association were packing the donated equipment together with the students from Turku Vacational Institute. Photo: Irene Pendolin

TAI students enabled logistics arrangements

Students of service logistics at the Turku Vocational Institute played a big role in the aid campaign. For four days they received, packed, and weighed the donated goods for transport.

“Thanks to the students and teachers at the Turku Vocational Institute the logistics of the collection proceeded efficiently and professionally from beginning to end”, says Mika Akkanen, Manager of International Affairs at the City of Turku.

“It is wonderful that we and the students had the opportunity to take part in this important project. The students used the opportunity to apply what they had learned in practical work, but above all we were able to take part in taking concrete action to help the Ukrainians”, says Marko Männikkö, teacher of logistics at the Turku Vocational Institute.

There will be more information on the City of Turku website on the arrival of the aid in Kharkiv www.turku.fi/en/ukraine.

Student from Turku Vacational Institute Mariana Kuzmenko moves the donated electric and heating equipment by forklift. Photo: Irene Pendolin

Large number of individuals, groups of friends and families participated in the collection drive

In addition to companies and organisations, the Kharkiv collection drive received a lot of donations from ordinary people, groups of friends and families. Everyone was motivated by a desire to provide concrete aid to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.

Karl Nurro donated a new generator to the collection drive together with his co-workers and friends.

“The war has such a major impact on civilians and they really need a lot of help right now with the temperatures dropping. It feels great to be able to help in some concrete way,” Nurro says.

Turku Vocational Institute logistics teacher Jani Forsström and student Saku Sironen received the generator brought in by Nurro.

“This is a major opportunity for us to do the right work for such an important and good thing. When the power grids are down there in Kharkiv and people are left without any heat, every bit of help is needed,” explains Sironen.

Another service logistics student, Severi Puronen received a generator brought in by Asko Laakso.

“The desire to help is part of this, and they really need it there in Ukraine,” says Laakso.

Teacher of logistics Jani Forsström from Turku Vacational Institute, Karl Nurro who together with friends donated an aggregate, and student Saku Sironen. Photo: Irene Pendolin

The Kharkiv drive is part of the international Generators of Hope campaign

The aid collection drive of the City of Turku for Kharkiv is part of the Generators of Hope campaign of the international Eurocities network to help Ukraine. The campaign was launched in November by Dario Nardella, the Mayor of Florence and President of Eurocities, and by European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

Florence Mayor Dario Nardella was invited to bring a humanitarian message to an ecumenical Christmas event that was taped in Turku on 15 December 2022. During the visit, Turku Mayor Minna Arve and Mayor Nardella signed an update of the 30-year-old twin city agreement between the two cities.

Asko Laakso and TAI student Severi Puronen at the Kharkiv collection drive. Photo: Irene Pendolin