With Mother’s Day around the corner, the London branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress is inviting the community to march in support of Ukrainian mothers amid the ongoing Russian invasion of their country.
The “Mothers’ March for Ukraine” event, set to take place in Victoria Park on Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m., plans to honour the mothers who will spend Mother’s Day within war-fueled uncertainty.
“We share in their struggles and losses,” said Ola Nowosad from the London branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. “We just want to show our emotional and moral support.”
“All Ukrainian mothers deserve extra attention because they have sacrificed so much to protect their children,” said Claire Guzanova, a Belmont resident working to bring home distant family in Ukraine. “Some have had to stay or have been trapped under horrible circumstances. Some have left and faced intense struggles to provide for and comfort their children, and some have gone to serve and left their children to protect them in a different way.”
On March 14, Guzanova started her journey to Romania to meet her distant family with the goal of bringing them to safety in Canada. This includes her mother-in-law Nina Huzanova, sister-in-law Lidiia Sazhko, two-month-old nephew Timur Sazhko, and long-time friend Svitlana Cherepanova.
Born in London, Ont., Guzanova is a legal administrative assistant at Only Immigration, a law firm focused on Canadian immigration, citizenship and refugee law. Working under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel, available to all Ukrainian nationals and their families to stay in Canada for up to two years, Guzanova said that the process is taking longer than expected.
“That’s because they (Lidiia and Timur) did not have passports,” said Guzanova. “But we’ve tried to remain in good spirits.”
However, every once in a while, they have their fair share of emotional setbacks, according to Guzanova.
“There have been a lot of sad moments where I’m missing my family but, at the same time, that pales in comparison to my sister-in-law who’s left her husband behind indefinitely,” said Guzanova. “It’s hard enough for her being a new mom, but I can’t imagine all the upheaval she’s gone through on top of dealing with all the postpartum things to then have a war thrown into the picture.”
Regarding the upcoming “Mothers’ March for Ukraine” event at Victoria Park, Guzanova added that “all these mothers deserve applause and the utmost respect for their sacrifices and love that embody the true spirit of motherhood.”