On Thursday, Feb. 24, Russian troops crossed the border into Ukraine and proceeded to forcibly make their way toward the country’s capital, Kyiv — a fact that many Cornell students have become very familiar with over the past few days. From news articles to Twitter posts, a plethora of media claiming to shed light on the dire situation in Europe is available to interested viewers, but solutions are not.
After reading numerous articles and listening to podcasts explaining the war from various points of view, I thought that I had a decent grasp of the situation. However, one question remained in my mind: How could I help? Although news sources are abundant, it is hard to find legitimate ways to help the Ukrainian people. Of course, the occasional GoFundMe link would pop up as I scrolled through my Instagram feed, but I did not know if I could trust those posts.
For me, the war in Ukraine hits particularly close to home. I have relatives living near the city of Lviv, and I have heard countless stories from my grandparents about their childhoods in Ukraine. I have no doubt that other Cornellians have connections to Ukraine, whether they be friends, family or simply devastating stories seen on the news. To those out there who wish to help but don’t know where to start, I will highlight some organizations that have dedicated funds to helping the people of Ukraine.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has a donation webpage which clearly states how your donations will help Ukrainian families. It includes a chart breaking down where all of its funds go. The organization, which works to improve the lives of refugees around the world, offers monthly or one-off donations.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has been operating in Ukraine since 2014, at the start of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. When donating to this organization, your money will be used for anything from providing Ukrainian families with essential items to supporting local healthcare facilities and repairing damaged households.
Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) is working with local authorities to help Ukrainians maintain access to medicine and healthcare facilities during this crisis. Since the invasion, the organization has used funds gathered from donations to distribute medical kits in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol and has set up teams on the border with Poland.
The International Rescue Committee helps displaced people rebuild their lives by providing education and healthcare. They aid communities in their recovery by supporting local businesses and providing millions of low-income families with cash relief. This organization currently has teams in Poland working to assist Ukrainians crossing the border.
Voices of Children provides support to children who have suffered from war and works to improve children’s rights around the world. Your donation would make psychologists more accessible to Ukrainian children and help to relieve the burden of war from their lives.
Sunflower of Peace is a charity dedicated to preparing medical backpacks for doctors on Ukraine’s front lines. Each backpack contains equipment for soldiers to survive in extreme conditions, as well as medical tools for combat groups to use if they are in areas without access to medical assistance.
For a more direct approach, the National Bank of Ukraine has opened a bank account dedicated to supporting the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This is a special fundraising account, and it accepts multiple forms of currency.
The war in Ukraine is ongoing, and the people there need help. As citizens of a peaceful country, we’re privileged to have stability and security in our lives that Ukrainian families do not have. Therefore, we have a responsibility to be aware of the world beyond us and recognize when we can help others. I urge you to raise your voice in support of Ukraine and donate if possible so we can spread awareness about this heartbreaking situation.
Anna Liba is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected].