How can we help help the people of Ukraine?


Images from Ukraine are popping up left, right and centre on our social media pages. Terrified parents holding their children close in shelters, neonatal wards forced underground. It’s heart-wrenching, it’s eye-opening and it’s hard to just sit back and watch. Here’s some ways you can help the people of Ukraine.

Last week, Russia invaded Ukraine, despite all diplomatic efforts to resolve tensions. World leaders have been quick to condemn Russia, with the United States and the United Kingdom initiating sanctions, while Australia has provided both cyber security aid and most recently, weapons.

As the crisis in Ukraine continues to play out, all we can do is watch on in horror. As I enjoy a lunch break in my quiet kid-free home (thanks daycare!), I read stories of babies born in metro stations, parents tucking their kids to sleep on the ground, and neonatal babies rushed to the basement of maternity hospitals.

For those who have been forced flee, there are heart-wrenching images of women holding their babies and kissing their partners goodbye. Many men are required to stay after President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed a decree to start conscripting reservists aged 18-60.

The images show fear. They show pain. They show a life so unimaginable compared to what we are living.

Yet they also show a tremendous amount of resilience and bravery from a nation that deserves so much more.

How to explain what is happening in Ukraine to kids

There’s no doubt our kids are being subjected to footage and news from Ukraine and have their own questions about what is happening.

Experts recommend honesty and reassurance when opening up these conversations – delivered in an age-appropriate way.

It’s important to check in with your kids, no matter their age, even if those conversations are short.

Ane Lemche, a psychologist and child counsellor with Save the Children, said children around the world might not fully understand what is happening in Ukraine and may have questions about the images, stories and conversations they are exposed to.

“What is happening in Ukraine can be frightening for both children and adults. Ignoring or avoiding the topic can lead to children feeling lost, alone and more scared, which can affect their health and well-being. It is essential to have open and honest conversations with children to help them process what is happening,” said Lemche.

Five steps to explain what is happening

  1. Make time and listen when your child wants to talk.
  2. Tailor the conversation to the child.
  3. Validate their feelings.
  4. Reassure them that adults all over the world are working hard to resolve this.
  5. Give them a practical way to help.

Read more here.

Here are some other helpful videos:

How can we help?

It’s so hard to comprehend this is occurring on the other side of the world, while I sit here contemplating what to feed the kids for dinner tonight.

My heart hurts, while my head gets on with life right here, right now in Australia.

So, is there something more we can be doing? If you’re looking to help, in any way you can, here’s a guide to the charities that are supporting the people of the Ukraine.

  • Save the Children: Your donation to Save the Children’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund can help provide children and families with immediate aid, such as food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support and cash assistance.
  • Voices of Children: Charitable Foundation Voices of Children helps children affected by the war in eastern Ukraine. They provide psychological and psychosocial support to children. It helps them overcome the consequences of armed conflict and develop.
  • United Help Ukraine: Donations helps provide medical supplies and humanitarian aid, as well as raising awareness of the conflict.
  • UNICEF: UNICEF is urgently ramping up efforts to deliver aid to hundreds of thousands of children and families whose lives hang in the balance.
  • Sunflower of Peace: Sunflower of Peace is a non-profit organisation whose current mission is to provide medical and humanitarian aid for people affected by violence in Ukraine.
  • Red Cross: As conflict devastates Ukraine, the Red Cross is vowing continued support for at-risk families in the region.
  • Caritas Australia: They are providing vital humanitarian assistance. Caritas Ukraine has been working in eastern Ukraine since April 2014 and has helped nearly 826,500 people affected by the crisis since then.
  • CARE Australia: CARE will be supporting their local partner in Ukraine, People in Need, to distribute food, water, hygiene kits and money for supplies. People in Need is one of the largest aid organisations in Eastern Europe and has been providing humanitarian assistance in Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict in 2014.
  • The Ukraine Crisis Appeal: The Ukraine Crisis Appeal – a collaboration between the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO), Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) and Caritas Ukraine – is the largest Australian tax-deductible fundraising effort for Ukraine.
  • GoFundMe: GoFundMe has an Australian “How to help Ukraine” hub on its website where it is adding verified Australian GoFundMe pages set up by individuals for specific purposes.

More help & support ideas


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