11th July 2022
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24th February 2022, which is the fastest displacement crisis in recent times and the largest European invasion since 1945, a number of Prism’s Collective Funds have been mobilising funds and working with grant partners across Europe to reach those affected.
As of 7th June, it is estimated that some 7.3 million border crossings have been recorded from Ukraine, with more than 12 million people displaced from their homes. This is roughly a quarter of Ukraine’s population prior to the invasion.
Choose Love launched an emergency fundraiser within 24 hours of the invasion to meet the immediate needs of those on the ground.
Choose Love works with a diverse range of partners who are experts in their field and on the ground to identify, understand, and respond to the urgent needs faced by Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian refugees who have been forced to flee the country or remain internally displaced amidst the conflict. Under Prism, Choose Love has raised over £5.5 million in donations for its Ukraine appeal and continues to work tirelessly to ensure that a large portion of funding is distributed to its partners and charitable organisations providing aid and support to Ukrainian refugees. So far, they have granted out more than £2.3 million. This funding has been crucial to plug gaps in vital sectors, especially as the situation on the ground develops. These donations have been allocated to provide everything from clothes, blankets, shelter, food and emergency medical care to legal advice, translation services, psychosocial support and welcome support for LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities. Below are a few of the ways that Choose Love via Prism continues to support people in Ukraine.
With a £360,000 donation from Choose Love, Humanitas is supplying vital resources to refugees between the Romanian and Ukrainian border and has been on the ground providing food and medical supplies such as defibrillators, antibiotics, pneumatic constrictors, and blood bags. Across other stretches of Ukraine’s borders, Choose Love granted €300,000 to Canadian charity GlobalMedic, that has been essential to providing food to displaced families by taking over existing small restaurants to provide warm meals, supporting soup kitchens, opening ghost kitchens, and packaging and distributing food hampers to families in need.
Within mainland Ukraine, the Integra Foundation has deployed a quick and effective response to provide humanitarian assistance across less accessible, more dangerous zones of conflict such as Kiev, Lviv, Ternopil, Rivne, and Kharkov. Using a €230,000 donation from Choose Love, Integra will ensure that at least 10,000 people have access to basic needs for four months in the form of food, water, and essential items such as clothing, hygiene supplies, generators and medicines.
Choose Love donated €139,000 to Greek charity Faros Elpidas enabling the organisation to deliver front-line psychosocial aid, via staff and shelter, on the Ukraine-Poland border to victims of gender-based violence and trafficking. Faros Elpidas provides meaningful employment to displaced Ukrainian women, emergency accommodation, and supports capacity building for displaced communities in Poland. Other charities supported by Choose Love, such as Stop The Traffik, are reaching Ukrainians on the move to give practical advice on how to seek sanctuary and work safely, in efforts to avoid potentially exploitative situations that lead to trafficking and other abuses.
RefuAid is committed to supporting Ukrainian refugees coming to the UK after being displaced.
Along with local community support groups, RefuAid is facilitating the application process to support refugee resettlement needs, such as housing, schooling, healthcare, visas for family members and other requirements.
RefuAid has expanded its core language, loan, and placement programmes to include ‘Homes for Ukraine’ – a UK Government scheme allowing families in the UK to sponsor visas and provide housing for families and people fleeing Ukraine. RefuAid worked with the Home Office to support refugees through the ‘skilled worker visa route’ and to offer a paid resettlement period.
RefuAid is also working with Ukrainski Dom, an organisation on the ground in Poland, and Refugees at Home in the UK, to assist with ‘matching’ applicants to UK households, sourcing appropriate and safe hosts and supporting visa application processes to ensure people arrive safely in the UK.
Through the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme, over 150,000 UK households have signed up to sponsor individuals and/or families fleeing Ukraine. Once their place is secured, a 3-year visa will be issued for those who arrive in the UK, which will enable them to work, study and have access to benefits and local authority support. RefuAid is doing vital work to guide recipients through this scheme, as securely and efficiently as possible. Once in the UK, they are also referring those arriving to their existing employment and language programmes, wherever possible.
If you want to learn more about our Collective Funds are supporting the crisis in Ukraine, please get in touch today.