By Jon Everett, Director of Business Development and External Affairs, UK Community Foundations
The invasion of Ukraine will continue to have appalling humanitarian consequences for the country’s civilian population and will have a long-lasting impact on millions of people across the region.
UK Community Foundations and our 47 strong community foundation network, along with the community foundation networks of Poland, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Latvia, are in communication with, and stand in support of, our sister organisations in Ukraine. We are also closely liaising with the European Community Foundation Initiative(ECFI).
Currently 20 of the 33 community foundations in Ukraine remain operational and are being assisted in country by ISAR Ednannia (UKCF’s Ukrainian equivalent). The latest figures from the United Nations show that over two million people have fled the country. That figure is likely to rise. The community foundations of the surrounding countries are providing essential aid and support to refugees of the conflict.
Here in the UK, our network stands ready to support refugees as we have done in the past. We are in contact with the Government about the role community foundations can play, and once the situation has been clarified, we will provide an update on what the community foundation network is doing to support refugees and how you can help.
How you can support humanitarian efforts from the UK
As ever, in times of crisis, there is a groundswell of people that want to do something. We saw this first-hand during the early days of the pandemic and the same spirit of solidarity is shining through today. For those wishing to give, we recommend the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal as the most effective way to support humanitarian efforts from the UK.
Over £100m was raised in the first four days by the Appeal and the money is already making an impact. The member charities of the DEC have the expertise, experience, and infrastructure to ensure that public donations quickly help those most in need on the ground.
We have also compiled a list of local organisations in Ukraine, and neighbouring countries, that are supporting people affected by the conflict. These include:
ISAR Ednannia (to support Ukrainian Community Foundations)
Federation of Community Foundations Poland (to support refugees in Poland)
Bucharest Community Foundation (to support refugees in Romania)
Slovak Community Foundations Appeal (to support refugees in Slovakia)
How to Help Ukraine Now (a list of other Ukrainian charities requesting support)
Ukraine to Latvia (Information for Ukrainians going to Latvia)
In addition to these international efforts, we will update this article with any funds and appeals from within our network, which will support Ukrainian refugees once they arrive in the UK:
Community Foundation Wales has launched the Nation of Sanctuary Croeso Fund, which will support charities, community groups and organisations working with people displaced by conflict who have recently arrived in Wales.
Cumbria Community Foundation have a Welcome Fund to distribute money to community groups supporting refugees, including people coming to Cumbria from Ukraine, to ensure they get the support they need to adapt to their new life in Cumbria.
Heart of Bucks Community Foundation has opened a Total Giving page in partnership with Buckinghamshire Council to fund charities and non-profit community organisations in the region who are supporting the Ukrainian refugees to resettle.
Herefordshire Community Foundation has launched an appeal to fund the transport of essential goods to where they are needed and to support the resettlement of any Ukrainian refugees in Herefordshire.
Leeds Community Foundation has a new appeal that will raise funds to support Ukrainian refugees who arrive in Leeds, going towards accommodation and other forms of crucial support as numbers rise.
Lincolnshire Community Foundation has set up an appeal to support Ukrainians arriving in Greater Lincolnshire in the immediate instance as well as longer term.
Milton Keynes Community Foundation has launched an appeal for people to donate towards its Refugee Resettlement Fund. Money raised will support vulnerable Ukrainian families and individuals settling in Milton Keynes.
Norfolk Community Foundation has launched an appeal to directly fund local charities and community groups in the region that will be helping Ukrainian refugees as they arrive, with services such as housing support and local network building.
Share your fundraising efforts and help to raise awareness
Philanthropy sector partners in Europe, including ECFI, have collaborated to develop an online portal which allows foundations to upload information about actions they are taking and/or calls for funds or assistance.
The portal enables foundations to make information as accessible as possible for those wishing to donate.
The Government has also published advice for people who want to give to Ukraine safely.
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