Responsibility Unites!

More than 1 300 people from various parts of Ukraine and abroad have joined the Responsibility Marathon. Together, they have planted over 5 000 sunflowers of the Bohdan Hawrylyshyn variety, which was bred on the initiative of the “MIM-Kyiv” Business School for Bohdan Hawrylyshyn’s 90-year anniversary in 2016.

We hope that in growing this plant we can unite active Ukrainians and remind them that everyone must take responsibility for changes in the family, community and country. This action is also dedicated to the memory of Bohdan Hawrylyshyn, with gratitude for his unique contribution in the development of Ukraine and the world”, – Olena Bekreniova, Director of the Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Family Foundation.

The Marathon aims to act as a reminder of the positive changes that occur every day, and of the active and conscious Ukrainians who create those changes. The task for each individual was to plant a sunflower, become acquainted with the Declaration of human responsibilities, and to choose a paragraph which is the most kindred to you and in which you would like to be more responsible. Participants to the Marathon shared information on social media (hashtags: #bh15, #SunflowerChallenge) about the initiatives they are involved in, the changes they are implementing in Ukraine, and the ways in which they plan to become more responsible.

The BHFF team started the marathon by planting sunflowers in Kyiv’s Taras Shevchenko Park, near the memorial stone of Bohdan Hawrylyshyn’s words “Learn, dream, act!”. These words were the creed of Bohdan Dmytrovych, and continue to inspire more Ukrainians for new achievements.

The personal responsibility of each and every individual is vital for achieving the changes which are so needed by Ukraine and the world. When you do something valuable and it resonates in the hearts of other people, collective actions amplify ideas, messages, and projects.

Both this year’s participants of the Local Development Schools and graduates of the Program ‘Young Generation Will Change Ukraine’ took part in the Marathon of Responsibility, alongside representatives of several educational institutions including the National University of Ostroh Academy, Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv Gymnasium, and other schools, kindergartens and youth centers from different regions of Ukraine.

The embassies of various countries, which play host to participants of the Young Generation Will Change Ukraine Program, also joined the Marathon.

We are thankful to Kyiv Regional Youth Center for sharing the #bh15 values of the Marathon of responsibility. Thanks to their active team, nearly 600 participants joined the challenge, including pupils of sport and community clubs, members of public organizations, clubs and out-of-school education centers, young families, leaders of student self-government, and employees of youth centers from different towns and villages in Kyiv region (Kyiv, Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyy, village Svyatopetrivske, Vyshneve, urban village Kotsiubynske, Irpin, urban village Hostomel, Bucha, Bila Tserkva, and Koshiv) and Chernihiv region.

The act of planting a sunflower seed can help inspire us to do good things, to participate in positive change, and to promote respect for our world – this is what the marathon hopes to accomplish. As we watch the sunflowers grow, we are reminded of the growth and development of humanity, and are inspired to continue the cause of Bohdan Hawrylyshyn and his family – to change Ukraine,’ – said Svitlana Nazaruk, Head of the Youth and Information Policy Department of Kyiv Regional Youth Center, and participant of the Young Generation Will Change Ukraine program in Odessa (2019).

If you want to add happiness and light to your day – watch this short storyline about how the participants of the Young Generation Will Change Ukraine Program from Dnipro and little members of Plast (Scout Organisation) were planting sunflowers 🌻. Members of the Plast organisation had a conversation with children about human responsibility.

This video is in Ukrainian language, but you still can see and feel the atmosphere there.

This event seemed to occur spontaneously, but left a deep mark in the soul. We received a proposal from Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Family Foundation to plant sunflowers of a special hybrid, named after Bohdan Hawrylyshyn, who also was a Plast member. The Marathon of Responsibility took place thanks to the Young Generation Will Change Ukraine Program: when you plant sunflowers in a public place, take care of them and take particular care to do good deeds during the 100 days they take to grow.

We immediately remembered our Ukraine’s first ATO Museum. Those who visit see metal sunflowers as part of the street exhibit, an exhibit which resonates with those who have experienced recent events. Now, next to the Museum there will be a flowerbed with fresh sunflowers.

A nice moment was when we were reading the Declaration of Human Responsibilities and discussing it with our youngest Plast members, children aged 3-6 to 10 years. We found out that this is our norm, this is the way we choose to live! – says Olya Podhornova, Plast member and participant of the “Young Generation Will Change Ukraine” Program in Dnipro.

Over 5,000 seeds are now sprouting as beautiful sunflowers, reminding us to think again of what we do for ourselves, for Ukraine and for the world. Most of the participants of the Marathon chose those paragraphs of the Declaration of Responsibility which outline concern for ecology and the environment, consideration for your health, and attention to harmonizing their lives by creating a balance between private, professional and social life.

Seeds of responsibility arose! All of them! Our small sunflowers of the Bohdan Hawrylyshyn hybrid seeds, which we planted during the Marathon of responsibility, are growing bigger and stronger before our eyes with every passing day! It is incredible how such a small wonder can bring such joy to the heart and such motivation to the team of our Center!’ – team of the Chernihiv Regional Youth Center.

As the sunflowers grow, take care of them. Meanwhile, don’t forget to do at least one small good deed per day, so that you too can become a more responsible person.