The multinational community of Klaipeda University is joining the festivities of the 11th of March. On this day important for Lithuania, KU invites everybody to historian dr. Vygantas Vareikis’ lecture Freedom must be Defended: Lithuania’s Independence, March 11, and the Time of Painful Experience followed by a campaign of solidarity with Ukraine and its people “Borsch of Freedom”. Laura Brekke, master chef of Ciop-Ciop Klaipeda, will make borsch, an iconic dish of the Ukrainian cuisine.
“This year, the 11th of March will be not just about Lithuania and its path to freedom. This year, it will also be about Ukraine, whose children are studying at our University and whose people are fighting for their own and our fragile freedom, for a peaceful and secure Europe. We shall celebrate and rejoice that we are free, and with our presence and donations we shall support the people of Ukraine who are forced to leave their homes and look for a safe refuge abroad,” says the Rector of KU prof. dr. Artūras Razbadauskas.
A plate of warm and lovingly made borsch goes very well with the freshness of the Lithuanian spring, which is only starting. All the money donated by the participants of the campaign for a warming bowl of soup will go to a charitable account of support for students from Ukraine and their families.
The Ukrainian borsch, seasoned with sincere compassion for the people of Ukraine, will be cooked for this campaign by the famous chef of Klaipeda Laura Brekke. She did not have to be persuaded to donate the festive day, her time, and the soup ingredients. Laura herself organized charity campaigns to support Ukraine which is surviving the horrors of war and worked as a volunteer at the Food Bank because, as she says, it hurts… “It hurts to watch the war in Ukraine. And I want to help in every way I can. I don’t know what will happen in a week, but today it is important for me to be with the people who are fighting for us and to show how grateful I am to them. And I can do it through what I know best, through cooking,” says the virtuoso chef from Klaipeda. The “Borsch of Freedom” will be served at the KU Campus Square at noon.
It was not by accident that KU historian dr. Vygantas Vareikis formulated the topic for the holiday lecture: the war demonstrated that freedom must be defended. “In my lecture, I will talk about the development of the Lithuanian statehood from the end of the First World War to the present day, the formation of the Lithuanian nation, the characteristics of the struggle for freedom, the road to the Lithuania of the 11th of March 1990, the post-Soviet world and global challenges, the history of Ukraine in the 20th through the early 21st century, and a threat to European civilization from the East. Today we are witnesses of it”, says dr. Vareikis. Incidentally, the lecture will take place in a hybrid way: those who want to hear it live and possibly join the discussion are invited to Stasys Vaitekūnas Classroom at KU, and those who are unable to come will have the opportunity to watch the broadcast of the lecture on the Facebook account of Klaipeda University.
Currently, we have 43 young people from Kherson studying at KU, Kherson which is the present epicenter of military action in Ukraine. When the war broke out, they were left without support from home and with great concern for the safety of their families and friends. KU helps to deal with their daily problems: the residents of the dormitories are exempt from the accommodation fee, free meals are available, and psychological assistance has been offered. KU has also accommodated members of the students’ families who had already arrived in Lithuania; some of them are just on their way to Klaipeda. So far, it is not possible to predict how long they will stay, and the account opened for their support can help to solve the problems of their life in Klaipeda. For those who want to donate, we announce the account number: LT687300010129229701 (AB Swedbank); the recipient is Klaipėdos universitetas, and for payment, please enter “Support for Ukrainians”.