Supporting people and communities in Ukraine

This article looks at how community foundations in Europe are responding to the war in Ukraine and the most effective ways to support the humanitarian effort.

  

  

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:

 

  

In addition to these international efforts, we have a list of active funds and appeals from our network, which are supporting Ukrainian refugees who are arriving in the UK, as well as refugees of all nationalities.

You can learn more about these efforts and get involved in your local area by clicking on the links below:

  

  • 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 has 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.

  • Dorset Community Foundation has launched its Welcome Fund to support refugees of any nationality arriving, residing or settling in Dorset. The fund will support local community groups providing anything from household items to mental health and befriending services.

  • 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.

  • Worcestershire Community Foundation has a Ukraine Welcome Fund to support the arrival and resettlement of 550 expected Ukrainian refugees, set to be hosted by local families in the county. 

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.

You can access the Philanthropy for Ukraine portal here

 

The Government has also published advice for people who want to give to Ukraine safely.

 

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