How to help Ukrainian people, in and outside Ukraine, in 2023
Ukrainians need your support more than ever in 2023. You can give money to these local grassroots organisations
Most of Ukraine’s relief effort to date has been borne by Ukrainians themselves – many of them volunteers rather than international NGOs, some of which launched massive fundraising appeals but failed to get money to the right places.
As the war drags on, those local organisations risk running out of resources, both human and material, as they continue their invaluable work supporting civilians at the centre of the Russian invasion.
So we’re publishing an updated list of Ukrainian organisations that you can send money to (here is the original list, from March last year).
We’ve focused on small and medium-sized outfits that have real reach on the ground, particularly in areas that have been most affected by the war.
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openDemocracy has confirmed these initiatives are working as of 3 January.
Here’s who you can donate to
Vostok SOS: Launched in May 2014 as a volunteer-run hotline, Vostok SOS was one of the first organisations to provide assistance to war victims in the east of Ukraine and in Crimea. Since the invasion, they have used this experience to assist people who need evacuating, help improve conditions for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and support Ukrainian teachers and schoolchildren.
Women’s Solidarity Ukraine: Ten women-led Ukrainian organisations have joined forces to provide help specifically to women, including those living under Russian occupation. This includes basic necessities such as food and fuel, medical needs, evacuation and protection of rights. They have a big reach, particularly in southern and eastern Ukraine.
Freefilmers Mariupol: This collective of filmmakers and artists originally from Mariupol in Donetsk (which was besieged for three months and is still under Russian occupation) has taken a leading role in dealing with emergencies and evacuations. It is raising funds for fuel, food, medicine and emergency expenses related to evacuation and helping grassroots organisations, particularly those aimed at the most vulnerable (such as people forced to flee their homes, and Roma communities).
Generators for Ukraine: In partnership with Freefilmers, this fundraising initiative has been set up to buy generators for at-risk Ukrainians, particularly in the east of the country. Used for general purposes as well as in field hospitals and reconstruction projects, generators are currently hard to source in Ukraine and very expensive, so the plan is to buy them in Poland and then transport them across the border.
Women for Women: Launched by a long-running Ukrainian NGO, Women’s Perspectives, this platform publishes the (anonymous) stories of women in crisis. Donors can support individual women to buy food, medication or for other needs.
Good Bread: This Kyiv bakery provides bread for people in need. Since the February invasion it has baked more than 160,000 loaves for people across the country, including Kharkiv and the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. It has just bought a generator so it can continue its work despite the frequent power cuts caused by Russian bombing.
The Kharkiv and Przemyśl Project: This initiative was set up by a British student who was studying Russian in the UK before she dropped everything to go to the Polish/Ukrainian border to assist refugees fleeing Ukraine. KHARPP has helped ship humanitarian aid to devastated areas, and is currently assisting people repairing homes damaged by shelling in Kharkiv and the surrounding region, particularly in villages that aid doesn’t reach.
Solidarity Collectives: This group of European and Ukrainian left-wing activists collects equipment and aid for their comrades fighting with the Ukrainian military, and also for civilian organisations, such as hospitals or trade unions, that are under pressure from the Russian invasion.
Ukrainian Trade Union Lifeline: This joint effort between the State Employees Union of Ukraine and Labor Initiatives, an NGO providing workplace legal advice, collects donations to support their members and the wider public affected by Russia’s war.
Cards for Ukraine: The basic needs of Ukrainian refugees seeking protection in Austria are not being met, according to this initiative. They have to wait weeks, sometimes months, before receiving any kind of support from the government. Cards for Ukraine is helping by distributing €50 vouchers for groceries and other essential items to displaced Ukrainians.
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