The Ukraine crisis: what can we do?

Ukraine flag

In the last week, we have witnessed extensive media and social media coverage about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Many of us have been both deeply moved and shocked by the events unfolding, and are seeking ways to provide help to the Ukrainian people. Many of us know people directly affected and want to help them and so many others.

So far, the response across the UK has been overwhelming, to the extent that many organisations are no longer able to accept item donations. Charities are urging people to check whether items are needed, prior to donating, and whether the organisation is able to transport them.

For those keen to help, we’ve pulled together various ways that we can provide support for Ukraine, and its people.

Offer cash donations

Global charities operating in the UK and Ukraine are appealing for funds. Cash can reach people quickly, whereas items donated such as clothing will take time to cross borders and reach those in need. We’ve highlighted the work of some major global charities, actively providing support to people affected by the conflict and an established charity which supports the Ukrainian army.

  • The British Red Cross| Ukraine crisis – your contribution will help to provide food, medicine, clothing, shelter and first aid training.
  • UNHCR United Nations Refugee Agency – your donation will fund emergency shelters, costs of repairs for damaged homes, emergency cash assistance and warm clothing.
  • Save the Children’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund – your funds will help to provide children and families with immediate aid such as food, water and cash assistance, as well as psychological support.
  • Ukrainian Army – this well-known and trusted charity supports the Ukrainian army.

Could you spare a room?

Many Ukrainians will be seeking shelter. Do you have a spare room to host refugees?  If you can help, shelter4ua need accommodation providers from all over the world to come forward. You can let them know by signing up on their website, then clicking, ‘I can help’ and completing the form.

Let’s keep Ukraine’s media going

This GoFundMe page was set up by a senior executive from the Kyiv Independent. To date, it has raised thousands for national and regional titles battling the chaos caused by the Russian invasion. The funds raised will help the media to relocate, establish offices and continue with their operations from nearby countries.

Follow trustworthy sources

Ukraine’s situation continues to change rapidly. People who are on the ground are best able to report on it. This article by The Standard showcases eight reliable Ukraine correspondents you can follow on Twitter. Follow them to keep up with the latest developments in the conflict zone.

Spend 10 minutes writing to your MP

At the time of writing this blog, the Prime Minister has eased visa requirements to allow immediate family members to join Ukrainians settled in the UK. However, there’s still more that can be done.

You can send an email to your MP urging them to push for further sanctions and support Ukraine. You will be able to find your local MP’s contact details here. If you’re unsure what to write, the Ukrainian Institute has drafted an email template which can be found here.

Join the Ukraine Advice Project UK

This is an advice service launched this week by immigration lawyers providing help and support to Ukrainians seeking refuge in the UK. Over 100 lawyers have already registered to help, and more still are being encouraged to take part. For further info, The Law Gazette has covered the story.

Talk to your children

For many families, talking to your child(ren) about the conflict may be uncharted territory. Some children will want to discuss their concerns and ask for reassurance. Younger children may find it difficult to comprehend the situation.

The Government has put together this help page to guide families when talking to their children about the Russian invasion. There is also helpful advice on how to help children to spot false information. Use child-friendly and accurate sources such as BBC Newsround, as the content will be age-appropriate.

This is not an exhaustive list and there are other charities and organisations helping people affected by the crisis. If there are any organisations you feel we should include, please let us know and we will continue to update this blog. 

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