Ukraine: Four things you can do to help right now

Let’s do our bit to stand with Ukraine

CN: Discussions of war

The resilience and resolve of the Ukrainian people in the face of Putin’s unprecedented violence deserves global solidarity. But with misinformation and distance being key features of modern warfare, and world powers failing to provide the support the Ukrainian people so desperately need, many of us are left wondering what we can do to help that has the power to make a real difference.

We’ve put together a list of quick and easy things you can do right now, to support the people of Ukraine as they face needless violence and humanitarian crisis.

1. Donate

Donations are one of the easiest ways to make a real difference to charities and non-profits both on a local and global scale in their mission to help the refugees displaced by the crisis and the soldiers fighting to end it. However, it’s important to ensure you donate safely and to genuine organisations that can reach the impacted areas. Here are a few suggestions:

Sunflower of Peace – a local Ukrainian charity helping paramedics and doctors. They have been fundraising for medical supplies among other resources.

Voices of Children – a non-profit helping children affected by the war through art therapy and psychological support.

International Committee of Red Cross – The Red Cross is currently working on a crisis appeal to deliver clean water and rebuild infrastructure in the hardest-hit areas.

Come Back Alive – a Kyiv charity with a focus on providing software, supplies and equipment to the Ukrainian military which has won a reputation as one of the most trustworthy and accountable charities working in Ukraine.

2. Educate yourself

21st-century wars are fought with miseducation on a media battleground. And this is a war we can all play a part in through highlighting and refusing to amplify disinformation. Although it’s easy to fall victim to the bright colours of the Instagram infographic, it’s important to check the sources of the information you’re spreading before you share.

Here are some news and information outlets which have been recommended:

Salwan Georges – a staff photojournalist at The Washington Post currently on the ground in Kharkiv. He shares photos and reporting of the humanitarian crisis.

Selected Wisdom – Selected Wisdom’s Miburo Solution’s team have put together a cohesive debunk stack of the false information Russia is trying to spread, through domestic outlets, and across the globe.

Jane Lytvynenko – a senior research fellow at the Technology and Social Change Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Centre who is originally from Ukraine. She regularly updates her Twitter with information and opportunities to help.

3. Platform Ukrainian voices

Aside from consulting your regular news outlets such as the BBC, it’s invaluable to read and support Ukrainian voices and platforms. The problem with just consulting Western media is that it fails to champion the voices that Putin would have silenced. Here are a couple of suggestions of Ukrainian journalists and news outlets that cater for an English audience:

The Kyiv Independent – a news outlet based in Ukraine which offers on the ground reporting and social media coverage.

New Voices of Ukraine – Ukraine’s largest daily news resource from local journalists in English.

Ukraine World – offering news, analysis, podcasts and videos on the current crisis and how it reached boiling point.

4. Increase pressure on the British response

It is no secret that although Britain has been active in responding to the crisis, pledging another £80 million in aid to deal with the humanitarian crisis and implementing sanctions, we have failed to provide adequate assistance to those displaced by the destruction. Despite charities such as Amnesty International and Save the Children writing open letters urging the UK to play a leading role in providing sanctuary, the Home Office have remained adamant. However, here’s what you can do:

Write to your MP – Express our concerns about our response and lobby for further sanctions on the Russian government or increased action to tackle the refugee crisis. A template from the Ukrainian Institute in London can be found here.

Sign petitions – Petitions are one of the easiest ways to open the doors of parliament for issues of primary importance, examples can be found here:

As the crisis continues to rage full force for the people of Ukraine, it’s important we recognise the power we have, particularly as we watch such power being taken away. Freedom of speech, freedom of information and the freedom to help those in need, should never be underestimated or ignored. Indifference is simply not an option.

Feature Image Credit: Sarah Swift

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