By Catherine McGeer •
Published: 31 Jul 2023 • 18:01
Cycling Mayor's Humanitarian Journey: Spokes of Solidarity for Ukraine
Image: Facebook/ Jonas Andersen Sayed
IN a remarkable display of solidarity and support, the mayor of Sokndal, Norway, Jonas Andersen Sayed, embarked on an extraordinary journey to raise funds for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Over an 11-day period, Mayor Sayed undertook a gruelling bicycle tour from his home city of Sokndal to the Ukrainian village of Zaliztsi in Ternopil Oblast. This venture not only strengthened the bond between the two communities but also served as a testament to the mayor’s unwavering commitment to aiding Ukraine during challenging times.
The journey was initiated as a response to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which had led to significant humanitarian crises and heightened tensions in the region. Seeking to provide practical assistance, Mayor Sayed cycled an impressive distance, covering unforgiving terrains to collect funds for the needs of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
Accompanied by a car donated by the Norwegian initiative ‘Biler til Ukraina’ (Cars for Ukraine), the mayor set forth on his cycling trip. The initiative, which supports Ukraine through various donations, proved to be a crucial partner in realising Mayor Sayed’s noble mission.
The efforts of Mayor Sayed and his team yielded an impressive sum of NOK 150,400 (approximately €13,500), which was a testament to the generosity and compassion of both the Norwegian and international communities. The funds raised would play a vital role in bolstering the capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and aiding them in their defence efforts.
Upon reaching his destination in Zaliztsi, the mayor’s charitable efforts did not end. Together with Andrii Noha, the head of the Zaliztsi community, Mayor Sayed carefully allocated the raised funds to procure essential equipment for the military. The purchased items included two Mavic drones, computer equipment for artillery, tablets, a thermal imager, and a power generator. These tools would undoubtedly enhance the military’s operational capabilities and provide them with crucial resources in their ongoing defence against aggression.
Through social media, Andrii Noha expressed heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the Ukrainian military, acknowledging the significance of the donated equipment and the invaluable support extended by Mayor Sayed and the people of Norway. The gifts would undoubtedly aid the soldiers in their arduous mission to safeguard their homeland.
This journey marked the fourth occasion on which Mayor Sayed undertook such a selfless endeavour for Ukraine. His unwavering commitment to helping Ukraine’s Armed Forces has garnered admiration and respect from people around the world. Mayor Sayed’s actions serve as a testament to the profound impact that individual efforts can have in making a difference and fostering international solidarity.
Mayor Jonas Andersen Sayed’s cycling journey from Sokndal to Zaliztsi stands as a shining example of compassion, unity, and international support. Through his tireless efforts, he not only strengthened the bond between the two sister cities but also provided crucial aid to Ukraine’s military in their time of need. As the world continues to face challenges, Mayor Sayed’s actions remind us of the power of empathy and collective action in creating positive change.
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I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!
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