By Euro Weekly News Media • 24 February 2023 • 10:04
Image: Dobra Kobra/Shutterstock.com
Unfortunately, while the world reacted initially with justified outrage and provided incredible relief for the Ukrainian community faced with this assault, the sheer constancy of the war has dulled many to the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Media coverage has started to focus much more on the shifting front-lines and military actions, as if covering a chess or tennis match, rather than reminding us all of the horrors of this brutal, unjustified war. And we acknowledge that for many, even where the details remain visible, the pain of paying attention can simply be too much to bear.
At this inauspicious anniversary, we want to both take a moment to thank the wonderful donors, volunteers, and partners who have joined with us in rallying to provide relief to the Ukrainian people, and call on all the world to join us in a renewed commitment to providing humanitarian relief to a desperate community ever more in need of our support. Whether we like it or not, this war not only impacts Ukraine, but every single citizen of this country and truly all people around the world.
Our organization was formed in February 2022 with an initial focus on getting refugees out of the war zone safely, while simultaneously delivering first aid kits (IFAKs) and other humanitarian aid to those that needed it most. Being entrepreneurs, we quickly assessed that the most practical and efficient way to help was to leverage our existing relationships, and build an organization that could be nimble enough to evolve as circumstances changed. We established many partnerships here in the US, as well as on the ground in Ukraine, and have tried to listen and learn, and then fill gaps left open between government and other private sector relief efforts. We continue to evolve, and have identified a number of new initiatives we are launching during this second year of conflict.
With the help of our incredible donors, passionate volunteers, and partners at other nonprofit organizations and government agencies, we oversaw the following accomplishments over the past year:
If it is not already clear, we didn’t do any of these things on our own. We don’t deserve or accept credit. It was all accomplished with great effort from our donors and volunteers, as well as the The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), TDF, the Ministry of Health, Rotary International and the City of Bucha – to name a few of the many involved. It is only through these relationships that we were able to provide direct and immediate aid.
As we look to the future, we hope and pray for an immediate cessation of hostilities. But we also know that hopes and prayers don’t always change the world – sometimes action is required. And we will not rest. Ukraine urgently needs help. For example:
With all of the above in mind, we will continue to focus on bringing medical equipment to Ukraine, but will add a bit more of a technology focus to our programs as well. True to our entrepreneurial spirit, we are happy to share that we have launched a new program focused on bringing laptops to Ukraine to help children participate in remote learning. And we will keep listening and learning and seeking to partner with anyone and everyone who is willing to support the ongoing provision of humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine.
Michael Sinensky, Chairman of the Board, Ukraine Friends
Joe Sullivan, CEO, Ukraine Friends
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