Ukrainian Refugee Fund

Chrysolis, the organization for which I work, is gathering a small fund to help Ukrainians fleeing from the current conflict. You can give here, recieve updates by following me on Facebook, and below read what I first posted about the fund:

“Watching this conflict unfold from afar, the overwhelming feeling, aside from horror and empathy, is one of powerlessness and incapacity to affect such an unjust and aggressive attack.

Since there’s not much I can do, aside from pray or write to those in power, to affect the big picture, my thoughts have moved away from what I can’t do and towards what I can. And I can see a small way to help some Ukrainians.

Here’s the situation: Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian people are expected to come into Romania as refugees from the war. Many are already there — one of the people living in our Bucharest apartment, in fact, is among them.

The Romanian government has said it will receive up to 500,000 people from Ukraine, and even this morning removed passport controls at points along its 372 mile border with Ukraine.

This is admirable action on the part of the Romanian government. The thing is, though, that the Romanian state doesn’t actually have any ready infrastructure to absorb all these new people; like most countries they don’t expect such a large and sudden influx from their peaceful democratic neighbours and friends.

So what I’m seeing and hearing from around Romania is that the Romanian people themselves are mobilising and that the influx is being responded to by a web of spontaneous homebrewed solutions, thrown together by individuals, organizations, businesses, and churches, who are arranging food, hosting with families or larger locations, clothing, etc.

I have been connected with Romania for over twenty years, our organization has been formally working there for about eight years, and our team — as individuals and as a group — has a good ground-level network of friends and organizations we know who are active in responding to the current situation. We already have an eye for who can be trusted and which efforts are legitimate and operate with integrity.

What I would like to do, as a very small way of supporting some of these local homebrewed efforts, is to help towards the costs of food, clothing, and other basic needs. We’re starting a little fund which will be used exclusively towards the costs of hosting, feeding, and caring for Ukrainians who have fled to Romania, and other countries.

None of the fund will be used for our wider work or for staffing costs — it will be specifically for offsetting the costs for the groups and organizations involved in this; for example, people like my friend who last night hosted 30+ Ukrainians in his ministry centre, fed 100+, and took 500+ sandwiches to the border. Anything remaining in this fund, should the crisis subside, will be given in grant form to organizations working with refugees or with post-war work in Ukraine.

It’s a very small thing, really, and not exactly reshaping the whole situation, but it is a simple practical way we can make a tiny contribution towards these grassroots efforts which Romanians are initiating all around the country to support their Ukrainian neighbours, and to leverage our local understanding and connections to get the help where it’s needed. Plus, as registered charity, Chrysolis can claim Gift Aid on all eligible giving in the UK.”

%d bloggers like this: