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How You Can Help Ukraine Today

On February 24, 2022, the world was shocked at the news that Russia had invaded Ukraine. Statements have been released by governments and companies around the world condemning Russia’s actions and calling for all military action to be immediately ceased. Sanctions have been placed on Russia by the US, EU, UK, and individual businesses including Apple, Boeing, IKEA, and many others are pulling operations out of Russia. Russia’s airlines have been banned from airspace around the world and while the sanctions are appearing to bring the country’s economy to its knees with the Russian Ruble now worth less than one US cent, so far this has not stopped the relentless attack on Ukraine and its people. As the situation unfolds, a million people have escaped Ukraine to neighboring countries, often with little more than just the clothes on their backs. If you are watching this on the news and on social media and feel compelled to help these people, there are lots of meaningful things that you can do to offer your support.

Who is Impacted the Most?

UN data suggests that in 2021, the crisis in Ukraine impacted one and a half million people, with half a million of these minors and children. As is the case with most crises, children, women, marginalized communities and the poor are likely to be those who are most affected by these situations. Parents in Ukraine are already taking unthinkable measures to protect their children, including sewing information about their blood type into their clothes in case of bombings and shootings. Civilians in Ukraine have been sheltering in subway stations to protect themselves and their families from air raids and there have been reports of women giving birth in these situations along with babies that have been moved to a makeshift ward underground after the hospital was bombed when they were in the NICU.

How Can I Help People?

When confronted with a crisis like this, it is often normal to feel helpless, especially if you are sitting in your home safely from thousands of miles away. Survivor’s guilt around the world is very real right now, but the good news is that you can use the position that you are in right now to be supportive of others and make a difference in the lives of these people who are facing some of the toughest and most traumatizing events that anyone will ever go through. Here’s a summary of the main ways that you can do to help Ukrainians right now.

Donation

There are various global and local organizations that are currently actively supporting people who are still in Ukraine and people who have escaped the situation in neighboring countries with humanitarian and medical aid. Some of the best organizations that you can donate to in order to put your money to good use helping the people in Ukraine include:

Save Life: This Ukrainian fund covers the needs of defending Ukraine. This includes supplying technology, training, medical care and ammunition to help save the lives of Ukrainians and help soldiers defend Ukraine. This organization does not use funds to buy weaponry. The funds are only used for defensive initiatives to keep the civil population safe.

The Ukrainian Red Cross: This organization does a lot of humanitarian work including aiding refugees on the ground and training medical professionals.

People in Need: This organization provides humanitarian aid to more than two hundred thousand people on the ground. They provide food packages, safe drinking water, coal for heating, hygiene items, and emergency accommodation to the people who need it the most.

International Medical Corps: This organization is currently on the front lines in Ukraine. They are prepared to assist citizens with a range of emergency health care service along with mental health support. Throughout the crisis in Ukraine, they are also keeping the COVID-19 pandemic a major priority by providing items and services to help reduce the risk of displaced citizens also being affected by COVID-19.

CARE: This organization is responding to the unfolding crisis in Ukraine by helping citizens with needed food, access to water, access to cash, hygiene kits, and psychosocial support services.

UNICEF: This children’s charity is currently actively working in Ukraine by providing an emergency response to children who have been affected by the conflict. They are also repairing schools and other children’s services that have been damaged by Russian aggression.

Nova Ukraine: This non-profit organization is working hard to deliver aid packages to Ukraine containing a huge range of essentials from hygiene products and baby food to household supplies and clothing.

OutRight Action International: This organisation is helping to support LGBTQ+ organisations and groups on the ground in Ukraine and among refugees in neighbouring countries. They are providing safety for citizens and setting up shelters. All donations that you make go directly to the cause.

UNHCR: The UN’s refugee agency has boosted its operations during this crisis and is directly working with governments in neighbouring countries to help them keep borders open to people seeking protection and safety.

Save the Children: This organization is working to respond to the most urgent needs of children who have been affected by the crisis and their families. They provide life-saving assistance including food and water, access to cash, and safe places for children to go to as they flee with their families. They are working to make sure that children who have been affected by this crisis will have access to the support that they need.

United Nations World Food Program: This organization has deployed emergency operations in Ukraine and the surrounding countries to provide assistance with food to people who are fleeing the conflict.

Voices of Children Foundation: This organization provides psychological support to children who have been affected by war to help them overcome the consequences of experiencing armed conflict, and the impact that this will have on their development.

National Bank of Ukraine: The National Bank of Ukraine has opened a current account designed for the purpose of accepting donations for humanitarian purposes.

Take Action

Along with donating to a cause that is actively helping in Ukraine right now, there are various other ways that you can help by taking action. Taking action could be something as simple as showing your support on social media to joining people who are travelling to Ukraine to help with the defense of the country. Remember that no action is too small, as around the world the support shown for the Ukrainian military and people has helped to boost morale and let the people that are in the midst of this crisis know that even when people cannot be beside them to help, they are in the minds and hearts of people all around the world.

Join the International Legion of Territorial Defense

If you have military or combat experience and believe that you are in a good position to help on the ground, Ukraine is welcoming an army of volunteers to support the military and civilians that are currently fighting against the Russian invasion in their country. To join, you should contact the Embassy of Ukraine in your country and let them know your intention to join. You will receive information on the equipment that you will need. Before you can go to Ukraine, you will need to report to the embassy with your documents for an interview and visa clearance.

Donate Needed Goods

You can help by donating needed items to various organizations in your local area. Check social media for Ukrainian clubs and groups in your local area that may be taking collections of the most needed items right now to take to the Ukrainian borders in Poland, Moldova, and Romania to help refugees who have lost everything. You will usually be able to find more information on items that are most needed. Right now, survival gear, warm clothes, hygiene items, and first aid items are high up on the list. You can also donate tactical gear and medication for the military through organizations like ArmySOS.

Help Refugees at the Border

If you want to help in person then there are several ways to help refugees who are crossing the border. With over a million people who have now left Ukraine to escape the violence from the Russians towards their country, borders are packed with people who need support on the next steps to take. You can volunteer to help with a range of organizations that are helping out at the border such as the Red Cross.

Join a Peace Protest

Since Ukraine was invaded by Russia, peace protests have been happening all around the world with citizens everywhere showing their support and calling for an end to this senseless war. Even in Russia itself, people have been defying the regime to go out and protest against the war and call for peace, which has led to several people being arrested. If you want to do what you can but are not in a financial position to donate or help out in person, then joining a peace protest is a good way to show your support and get involved.

How to Stay Informed

The best way to make sure that you are in a position to help vulnerable people in Ukraine is to stay informed about what is happening and learn about how citizens are being affected by the invasion. You can do this in several ways including finding Ukrainian people on social media to get their stories directly along with following reputable sources of news such as:

With this crisis unfolding around them, your help and support no matter how big or small can make a difference to the lives of the innocent people affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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