Today, BTC City Ljubljana saw the official opening of the Ukrainian Charity Centre “Chervona Kalyna”, which was established in partnership between the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Slovenia, Caritas Slovenia and the BTC company, which provided its premises for use free of charge. The centre aims to help Ukrainian refugees with clothes, shoes, toys and school supplies, as well as basic information about living in Slovenia.

The Ukrainian Charity Centre “Chervona Kalyna”, located on the lower floor of the Emporium, is named after the red viburnum, a flowering shrub typical of Ukraine, which provides the refugees with a symbolic connection with their homeland. Among other things, the centre will organise activities for both adults and children (meeting other people, learning the Slovenian language, etc.). It also contains a children’s corner, where children can play and relax.

At the opening, Natalya Markevych, Head of the Ukrainian Charity Centre and Representative of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Slovenia, expressed her gratitude to all who have made this centre possible. “The Centre was established with the desire to provide first assistance to Ukrainian refugees and to be a place for socialising and learning where people can feel comfortable, which will result in positive consequences for Ukraine as well as Slovenia.

Miha Mermal, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer at the BTC company, pointed out: “Overnight, war confronted the citizens of Ukraine with the darkest side of life. It is only right that, in such a situation, we become aware of the priceless value of peace and that everyone helps to the best of their ability. At the BTC company, we have shown a sense of community and humanity and supported Caritas’s efforts to help the Ukrainian refugees who have sought shelter in Slovenia. Thank you to Caritas and its volunteers for their selfless efforts in establishing the centre. We believe that this space will take away at least a part of the everyday worries suffered by people in need and that it will help maintain faith in the good and confidence in life.”

Peter Tomažič, Secretary General of Caritas Slovenia, said: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Where people have an open heart, there are no obstacles, only challenges on a shared path, a common journey. We were happy to listen to the idea of the Ukrainian Embassy to establish a Ukrainian Charity Centre in Ljubljana. Thank you to all the Ukrainian volunteers for all their efforts and thank you to the BTC company for providing the premises. At Caritas Slovenia, we are currently providing material assistance to more than 1,200 refugees from Ukraine, who live in private accommodation across Slovenia. At our Caritas offices in Celje and Maribor, we are already organising weekly meetings and workshops for children. This centre in Ljubljana will also become a place of help for adults and a place for socialising, learning and playing for children. We wish all Ukrainians who have found refuge in Slovenia to feel good here and be connected with us and with each other.”

Everyone is invited to donate school supplies. At the moment, the most needed items are notebooks, slippers, pens, handbags, crayons, pencils, etc. in order to make it easier for Ukrainian children to start school. Children will also enjoy sporting goods and toys (skateboards, scooters, badminton equipment, balls, etc.). Social and didactic games are also welcome, as the Charity Centre also has a children’s corner. The goods are collected at Letališka 32 every working day from 9.30 am to 6.00 pm.


Ukrainian Charity Centre

PHOTO: Aljoša Rebolj