Ukrainian refugees clean city streets in show of gratitude to Prague

Refugees from Ukraine now living in Prague have organized a volunteer street cleaning this morning in order to give a little something back to the city.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 09.04.2022 09:59:00 (updated on 19.04.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

If you notice the streets of Prague 7 or Prague 10 looking a little tidier this morning, you can thank your new neighbors for the cleanup job.

A volunteer group comprised of refugees from Ukraine now living in Prague has organized a street cleanup event this morning across two Prague districts. They intend the cleaning as a way of showing the city gratitude for the assistance they've received in adjusting to life in a new city after fleeing their war-torn home.

The cleanup began at 9:00 a.m. this morning, with volunteers meeting in front of the Žabka convenience store on the corner of Dělnická and Komunardů streets. Later today, a follow-up cleaning event will take place in Prague 10.

"We organize the cleaning as a token of gratitude for all our people who have received a wonderful reception and great help," says Marija, who helped organize the event through social media and messaging apps.

"We want to do at least something in return."

Originally from Ukraine, Marija has lived in Prague for the past few years. Over the past month, she has seen compatriots who have fled Ukraine adjust to life in Prague, and has witnessed first-hand the kindness the city and its residents have shown towards those in need.

Marija and her volunteer group also approached Jan Čižinský, Mayor of Prague 7, with their plan to organize the cleanup event. Čižinský attempted to assure them that while he appreciated the gesture, it was not necessary to show gratitude in this way.

"I explained in vain to our new Ukrainian neighbors that we are grateful that their men, women, brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers are fighting for us and our freedom right now in Ukraine," Čižinský wrote on Facebook.

"But they didn't relent and they want to help Prague in any way they can, so they will clean up Prague 7 and Prague 10 on Saturday from 9:00 a.m."

Prague 7 is supporting the event by providing garbage bags and other equipment for the cleanup crew, and ensuring the waste they collect is removed in an efficient fashion. The neighborhood has also identified key areas where the cleanup will be most effective.

Due to the high interest in the event, Prague locals have also volunteered to help the refugee group in their efforts. Čižinský himself has joined the new residents in their efforts to clean up his streets this morning.

Additional cleanup events are planned in other Prague districts at future dates.

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