We’ve been shocked and saddened by the events unfolding in Ukraine over the last six weeks, and like many people and organisations across the UK, we want to help. Read on to find out about the support two charities have directly provided, how we’ll be helping here at CharityJob—and how you can help too.
“We’ve been providing shelter in the basements of churches and homes. One of our Pastors has had 27 people in his basement, sheltering from missiles flying overhead. It’s a pretty desperate situation,” says John Chamberlain, Mission Without Borders’ UK Country Director. Mission Without Borders is a Christian Charity, working in partnership with local churches to bring practical, emotional and spiritual support to children and families in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. “We work with people in desperate and isolating poverty, irrespective of their race, faith or gender,” says John.
Having already built long-term relationships in Ukraine over the last 30 years, the charity has been well placed to support the current crisis. “We have over 150 staff and volunteers in Ukraine who provide soup kitchens and home deliveries of food and hygiene products as well as summer camps for children,” John says. “Since the war broke out, many of them have worked long and exhausting hours providing food, bedding, clothing and shelter to families fleeing from the east as well as delivering emergency food parcels or transporting other essential goods into the eastern region.
“For those fleeing, we have refugee centres just over the border in Moldova and Romania. Temperatures are still very cold in Ukraine, so children are arriving freezing and exhausted. We provide shelter, mattresses and three meals a day. We’re also shipping out clothing that’s been donated to us, as many refugees are coming with their worldly possessions packed up in just a small suitcase.”
Refugees in Moldova
Focusing on those most in need
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has also been supporting with food, water, medical care, beds, bedding and trauma care. Donations to their Ukraine appeal are funding 13 of their member charities to work with local partners to provide support both inside Ukraine and to meet the immediate needs of refugees as they arrive in neighbouring countries. “Inside Ukraine, aid workers have been restoring water supplies, supporting medical facilities and delivering essential supplies to people sheltering from the fighting in reception centres and metro stations. Through a local partner, Age International has been supporting older people in the east of Ukraine who have been unable to flee the fighting,” says Barney Guiton, Communications and Brand Manager at the DEC. “Some refugee centres have been setting up safe spaces for children to play and take part in activities to help them cope with their experiences.
“DEC charities are focusing on those most in need, including people without friends or family to stay with. One charity helped a family who had fled Afghanistan last year for Ukraine, only to be forced to flee again when conflict broke out there.”
Unsurprisingly, this new level of support has presented challenges for both charities. “Aid workers are doing their best to meet people’s needs in very difficult circumstances inside Ukraine, often working in areas where there is intense fighting. One charity had to stop work 12 times in a day due to air raid siren warnings,” says Barney.
For Mission Without Borders, it’s the emotional impact that has been most challenging. “The emotional energy takes it out of people on the frontline,” says John. “Some of the stories are so desperate, and hearing them can be exhausting. But the encouraging thing is that we’re providing light and hope to so many families by giving them some protection, safety, comfort, and spiritual support if they want it. I’ve been touched and humbled by the kindness and generosity of the people of the UK. It’s been a real source of comfort and hope.”
Barney agrees, “For all the awful stories, it’s been heartwarming to see the impact that DEC charities and their local partners are making. Seeing children smile despite all they’ve been through is testament to their resilience but also to the brilliant work being done by aid workers supporting them.”
Refugees in Palanca
Can you help?
Both charities are urging you to support them financially if you possibly can. But if you can’t afford to donate cash directly, then the DEC suggest organising a fundraising event. “We’ve seen some amazing fundraisers set up for this appeal, many of which have smashed through their targets,” says Barney. “Also, several of our member charities run charity shops that rely on donations of items to raise funds for crises like this one.”
Mission Without Borders are running an emergency appeal to raise £500,000 restricted funds for Ukraine. “This appeal will alleviate the immediate needs of Ukrainian children and families now, but we also have a long-term commitment to the people of Ukraine. And, at some stage, there will be a lot of re-building that needs to take place,” says John. “If you’re unable to give a financial gift you can give up your time. Hold a collection for us, or we need volunteers in our London office. And everyone can hold Ukraine in their thoughts and prayers.”
Movement of Ukrainians on the border with Romania called Vama Siret
How we’re helping Ukraine
To show our support for Ukraine, here at CharityJob we’ll be donating 10% of the revenue from every job ad sold from 4th – 10th April to the DEC Ukraine Appeal. So if your charity is hiring, tell them to purchase their ads that week. More vacancies coming up soon? Buy multiple ads and your credits will be valid for 12 months.