The events of the past two weeks in Ukraine have been overwhelming and heartbreaking as we watch the horrors unfold from afar — missiles striking once buzzing public squares, mothers cradling their dying children, whole cities left shaking with fear in underground bunkers.
A gut-wrenching 5.2 million people have now been affected by the futile conflict with 1.6 million of these actively displaced from their homes within and outside Ukrainian borders as the Russian invasion continues to inflict growing casualties on the civilian population.
In a massive swell of support, the UK public has already raised more than £100 million in aid for Ukraine as our empathetic civil society takes action to help support the wellbeing of those miles away. There are now a growing number of funds and charities on the frontline of this global crisis and it may be hard to know where to start if you too are looking to donate. Here’s a quick, introductory guide to five places to donate then — please show whatever support you can to help the lives of millions get through this humanitarian crisis.
Voices of Children
The Voices of Children Foundation has been helping children affected by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine since 2015. A number of psychologists work within the charity offering services like an art therapy program, designed as a safe space where kids can work through complicated emotions, and individual sessions within boarding schools in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
It has been working overtime since the recent full-scale Russian invasion providing non-stop assistance to affected children and families from all over the country. You can support the organisation via Patreon.
The Red Cross
The Red Cross is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide, and has been working in one form or another since 1863. The Ukrainian branch of The Red Cross has been a member of the international federation since 1993 and has been working tirelessly through the current conflict providing food, warm clothing and other aid to around 8,000 people sheltering in metro stations and first aid training to 1,000 of these.
They have also been helping families to stay in contact, and educating people on international humanitarian law, and the risks of explosives. You can help support The Red Cross by donating money through their emergency appeal.
Charity RefugEase was founded in 2015 off the back of the harrowing death and subsequent photo of a three-year-old Syrian boy Alan Kurdi, who tragically drowned in the Mediterranean sea as his family were trying to reach Europe. Based in the UK, it has been very active during the crisis providing food parcels, and hygiene and medical packs, which you can purchase for Ukrainians in need via its online aid shop.
A family food parcel containing essentials such as breakfast biscuits, long-life milk and bread, fruit and vegetables, and multivitamins, is just £45 and has everything a family of four would need to stay fed and watered for a week.
These vital resources are all sourced in neighbouring Hungary so they can get to those who need them sooner, and alongside this service the charity is also fundraising for a truck to deliver said supplies more efficiently.
World Central Kitchen
The millions making the daunting journey over the Ukrainian border into neighbouring Poland are often doing so without food for days. Founded 12 years ago by Michelin-star chef José Andrés, not-for-profit World Central Kitchen specialises in providing localised support for exactly this type of situation, having also played a vital role in disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and last year’s earthquake in Haiti.
On the aforementioned Ukrainian-Polish border World Central Kitchen has set up food trucks at eight border crossings, providing hot, nourishing food to those who need it, as well as supporting local restaurants preparing meals in eight Ukrainian cities including Odessa, Lviv, and Kyiv. You can donate money to World Central Kitchen here.
The Kyiv Independent
A free press has never seemed more important than in this conflict, and The Kyiv Independent, Ukraine’s English-language media outlet, is one of the finest, undertaking sterling, often-dangerous work to inform Ukrainians and the world over about the truth behind the invasion, and all from Ukrainians themselves.
Created by journalists who were “fired from the Kyiv Post for defending editorial independence” it relies on readers and donors to run. You can help support its editorial team through its GoFundMe page.