Shortly after the war of aggression in Ukraine began in February, we opened an emergency fund to support people in embattled areas in eastern Ukraine, especially the women who participated in our 2021 Women’s Peace Tables. Thanks to the network of our partner organisation, KFR Public Alternative, a large number of people in need received essential everyday items.
While the war raged around them, volunteers opened distribution points within a very short time. They located and bought food and medicines, among other things, and also delivered the goods directly to people with health-related restricted mobility. For families with disabled people, mothers and children, they organised transport abroad. The volunteers told us how people held out in the basements and corridors of bombed-out apartment buildings, how the earth shook during bombardments. They carried on nonetheless.
Olena Zinenko coordinated this initiative together with a network of volunteer activists and their co-workers in and around Sloviansk, Sievierodonetsk and Kharkiv, where Public Alternative is based. She is the project coordinator at Public Alternative and also the coordinator of our project in eastern Ukraine. Olena, who fled abroad with her family, continues to be in contact with us, organising the money transfers and making sure the funds reach the volunteers.
Medicine and “Good News”
One of the Women’s Peace Table participants used the money to buy medicine for 30 children in the Kharkiv hospice. Another used part of the money for an internet connection: with her “Good News” and #KharkovLIVE projects, she spreads useful information, encouraging stories and offers psychological support via social media.
Food, medicine, baby clothes, water, petrol, SIM cards and generators: the activists and volunteers have provided these to dozens of people. They enabled them not only to survive, but also to have vital contact with the outside world.
Without donations from people like you, this would not have been possible. By the end of April, more than CHF 28,000 had been received. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and gladly convey the words of another Peace Table participant: “Thanks to this support, we can persevere. It is nice that you have not forgotten us.”
The editorial deadline for this article was 9 May. You can find out more about our Ukraine projects under Programmes. If you would like to donate, you will find all the information under Donate (please mark your donation “Ukraine”).