First of all, to say simply and firmly that we stand strongly against the war. Against any war, but this particular war for sure. Full stop.
Rosehip and Rye was founded by two women with roots in both Russia and Ukraine. Most of our team members over the years have been from Ukraine. Both Russia and Ukraine are two places dear to us. Complex places with complex histories. Two nations for centuries intimately connected, through food, blood and spirit.
We make a clear separation between Russian Politics and Russian people and culture. They are not the same. #RussiaisnotPutin
We cannot believe the horrors we see happening in Ukraine. Most of us who grew up across the space of the former Soviet Union, grew up with one mantra indoctrinated in us - 'never again'. Never to repeat the nightmare of the war that our lands had gone through.
At a very personal level we are feeling angry, sad beyond words, but also, to be honest, quite numb at the moment. We are in shock, unable to process the horrific news fully. Overwhelmed with wanting to help, to do something, and not always knowing what to do. But we understand that so many people in Ukraine, including many of our friends and family there, are experiencing such a level of threat right now where paralyses is very dangerous.
So, what are we doing?
We want and will support of many amazing people and groups who have created projects to support those suffering from the war and those helping them, both in Ukraine and outside, such as:
- We are setting up donations to the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal (through our events and café pop-up. we'll be keeping you up to day via our newsletter)
- Check out Olia Hercules and Alissa Timoshkina’s #CookforUkraine pages, the project collects donations and distributes information
- Behind the stage we are in touch with friends and family in Ukraine, some of who need help: practical and emotional
- But the way how we feel we can be directly helpful is to provide a safe and nurturing space to many of those affected here, in London. People of different nationalities with links in and to Ukraine.
We are hoping that at our café pop-up in tranquil Queen’s Wood, we can provide a space for people to gather up, to look for advice and help, to find respite of sorts. We sincerely believe that these spaces are really important right now. For all of us in London who care for the destiny of our homelands, struggling with the overwhelm and fears.
The situation is changing hourly. We are monitoring the situation and will see what and how we can do that’ll be helpful. As a small business we feel we must keep calm, to keep our families and ourselves sane as much as possible and therefore supportive of the others.
Katya and Karina
(the picture above is of a granddaughter of a wonderful, spirited Ukrainian man, a farmer with an organic piece of land, that Katya visited back in 2011 in the western part of Ukraine, whilst doing her anthropology ethnography. The little girl (now not so little) and her family live in a village not far from Lviv. we are hoping and preying for you and your people)