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Ukrainian genocide posterTo mark the 75th anniversary of the Stalin-era forced Famine-Terror in Ukraine which claimed over 7 million lives, Canadian Friends of Ukraine have undertaken a number of  joint Canada-Ukraine projects to strengthen international awareness of Ukraine's genocide.

Canadian Friends of Ukraine have worked with Canada's Government and Parliament to ensure the passage of Canadian legislation
and have worked to raise awareness of the genocide by working with government officials and the media.

For decades, the Soviet regime denied its complicity in this heinous tragedy and deliberately suppressed all historic documentation which proved the Kremlin's pre-meditated policy to destroy the Ukrainian people. The subject of Stalin's engineered famine was banned from school curricula. Historic documentation of the USSR's anti-Ukrainian policies was inaccessible to Ukraine's general population. Archival material on the Terror-Famine,  hidden for decades in KGB and Security Service archives, have only recently become available to the public.

Today, Canadian Friends of Ukraine is helping to implement a public awareness campaign through public education projects in Canada and Ukraine.

Recently, Canadian Friends of Ukraine initiated four new Genocide Awareness Projects:


Student Interviews with Holodomor Survivors is a youth-oriented public awareness project which aims to focus attention on the Famine-Genocide by bridging communication and knowledge between several generations. The project's first phase was carried out in Ukraine where students were invited to interview family members who witnessed the Famine-Terror of 1932-33. The competition was divided into two categories of participants: secondary school students and university students. Participants were required to submit their written interviews in digital format along with photographs and biographical information on the Holodomor survivor being interviewed. Supplementary audio and video documentation were also admissible.

Initially, the project was carried out in 7 provinces (oblasts) in Ukraine: the provinces of Kharkiv, Sumy, Luhansk, Chernihiv, Donetsk, Poltava, and Dnipropetrovsk. The competition and its rules were be advertised in each province's local newspapers in the fall of 2007. The Student Interviews with Holodomor Survivors project is overseen by the program's coordinator in Ukraine, Lida Madoyan. A three-person jury in each province judges submissions made in their respective provinces, subsequently announcing the winners in each of the two categories. The deadline for submissions was March 1, 2008. All participants receive a specially cast Famine-Genocide memorial lapel pin, official competition certificate, educational materials, and Canadiana.

In August 2008, the authors of the winning submissions travelled to Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, where the official announcement and award presentation took place. The competition's finalists were presented with a monetary prize, Winner's Award Certificate, books, Canadiana, and multi-media prizes. The presentation ceremony took place at the National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine. Click here to read all about this recent event.
Canadian Friends of Ukraine sponsor student interviews with Holodomor survivors
Canadian Friends of Ukraine plan to compile and publish the genocide survivor interviews, so as to make them available in Canada to individuals and institutions dedicated to the study and prevention of genocide.

The project's honorary chair is Jurij Darewych.


Canadian Friends of Ukraine has partnered with the National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine in Kyiv to present a unique exhibition dedicated to Ukraine's Famine-Terror. The exposition showcases books pertaining to Stalin's Forced Famine and Red Terror of the 1930's. Particular focus will be given to materials in Ukrainian and other languages published outside Ukraine.

The foreign embassies in Ukraine have been invited to provide materials from their respective countries. Ukraine's parliamentarians, government officials, diplomats, historians, journalists, and human rights activists are invited to attend the official opening of the exhibit.

Canadian Friends of Ukraine has compiled a collection of multi-lingual books on the Terror-Famine published in the diaspora, including works of fiction and non-fiction. The publications include books from Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Australia, and the USA.

The official opening of the exhibit took place on August 26, 2008 to coincide with the awards ceremony honoring the winners of the Students' Interviews with Holodomor Survivors.

The project is chaired by Lisa Shymko.


Canadian Friends of Ukraine have initiated a unique educational program known as the Genocide Curriculum Development Project. The project will begin as a pilot project in Ukraine entitled: "The Symbolism of Death: The Holodomor through the prism of art and culture."

The project will be implemented in Ukraine's eastern and northern provinces, as well as the Crimea region of Ukraine, where decades of Russification and Stalinist propaganda sought to deny the truth about the Soviet state's complicity in the anti-Ukrainian genocidal policies of the former Soviet regime. The curriculum will also be utilized by educators for summer youth-outreach programs.

The curriculum will also be taught in Canada in several Ukrainian-language schools and heritage language programs. The approach taken by this curriculum development project is unique because it will addresses the issue of the Terror-Famine through the prism of an Art and Culture course, utilizing varied historical sources in literature and fine art, such as poetry, prose, paintings, drawings, posters, and placards.

Teacher training and preparation for implementing this curriculum development project will begin in the summer of 2008.

The project is chaired by Margareta Shpir.


Canadian Friends of Ukraine are supporting an initiative entitled "Walk for a World Without Genocide."

Stefan Horlatsch, a survivor of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide, is the initiator of a symbolic walk across major Canadian cities to raise public awareness of this horrific period of the 20th century.

To learn more about this endeavour, please click here.

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All the above-named Famine-Genocide awareness projects undertaken by Canadian Friends of Ukraine are made possible through the support of individual Canadian donors and partner organizations.

If you wish to support our ongoing efforts in Canada and Ukraine to promote public awareness of the Terror-Famine, kindly forward your donation to: Canadian Friends of Ukraine, 620 Spadina Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5S 2H4. Please indicate "CFU  Famine-Genocide Projects" on your cheque. For additional information, call (416) 964-6644.

Copyright  2014 Canadian Friends of Ukraine