It is insane what is going on in the world right now. The current unjustified war, an invasion by Russia to Ukraine based on false claims of a mad dictator. Ukraine has every right to defend itself and arm itself for defense.
I wish the best for Ukraine and we should stay civil, and not hate Russian people in general. Not all Russians support the ongoing criminal actions and they try to survive in Russia as well. Their protests are silenced. We should not give fuel to the Kreml propaganda with hate speech and actions.
We can support Ukrainians with donations and actions. A lot of charities and humanitarian institutions are gathering money and supplies for the people of Ukraine. And in case you live in Europe, you could also help locally as there are bound to be refugees in need in many countries by now. Here is a good TED article by Melissa Flaming on 8 practical ways to help refugees:
If we do not stand together now, who knows in what kind of world we will live in the near future, or die in. I hope for the best, for a better future. For all of us.
- List of resources how to help Ukraine, curated by RazomForUkraine.org:
- Info on the conflict and list how to help:
- Come Back Alive – the biggest organization providing support to the Armed Forces of Ukraine:
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are also gathering funds in a GoFundMe campaign:
The situation is sad and I think we all (well most) hope, that everyone would, and should, respect the sovereignty of another country and try to live in peace and love one another, no matter our ethnic backgrounds and beliefs. Assumed intent (or just made-up lies), is no reason to start an invasion and commit crimes against humanity. Unless you are a madman, but still not acceptable.
I am aware of the criticism that westerners are not seeing all that is happening, that this is nothing new to some parts of the world, where conflicts have continued for years if not decades or longer, but this does not mean we should not speak up on the Ukraine situation. It is true that our local media is likely not constantly providing information on all emergencies and conflicts around the globe, but we still can educate ourselves and choose to be aware and help how we can. So I also want to raise a few pages where you can read more and see how you can help in other humanitarian emergencies around the globe:
- UNHCR pages provide information also on other ongoing emergencies, you can also donate or get involved in other ways:
- Did you know that actress Angelina Jolie is a UNHCR Special Envoy and helps people in refugee and displacement issues
- UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to drive change for children and young people
Just to name a few. Also, note that Refugee week is in 20.-26th of June this year, see a few tips on how you can contribute with simple acts:
Be mindful of how and where donations are directed, some are using this situation to their advantage and we do not want to funnel money to Kreml or other crooks. Also in case of supply deliveries, there should be provided only what is listed as needed, to prevent unnecessary logistics and carbage piles to other countries. If you are not sure, stick to well-known charities.
Does art play a role in humanitarian emergiencies?
Perhaps not directly as physical aid, but support mental health and can be used to help raise awareness and give refugees their own voice. Art is a strong medium in propaganda as well in its different forms, so we should counterattack the negative aspects with positive countermeasures and help spread the truth. Be loud.
There have been some art initiatives to help refugees in different ways. Read this article by Lauren Parater on art initiatives to help refugees, to perhaps get some art ideas on how to help in local shelters?: https://www.unhcr.org/innovation/7-art-initiatives-that-are-transforming-the-lives-of-refugees/
Few articles related to art and the war in Ukraine:
- CNN article by Jacqui Palumbo and Oscar Holland on art world response to Russian invasion of Ukraine : https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/art-world-response-ukraine-russia-updates/index.html
- CBS article by on few Ukrainian artists creating in the midst of war, hear their stories: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ukraine-art-music-war-with-russia/
Here is a shoutout to a few Ukrainian artists:
- Anna Kovalenko, a painter, who is gathering funds with the help of Havenlight to support her home country:
- Vera Lytovchenko, a violinist, creating art and supporting Ukrainians with fundraising:
- Oksana Drachkovska, an illustrator, who is currently influenced in her art by the horrid events in Ukraine and is raising awareness:
- Sana Shahmuradova, a painter, being loud and raising awareness on the situation in Ukraine and making art:
- Yuliana Chi, a photographer, strongly influenced by the events and showing her support to Ukraine in her latest works:
I wish well to all these and other artists out there. Stay safe.
I also want to raise awareness on Counterpoints, since Counterpoints Arts in the UK is a national organization in the field of arts, migration, and cultural change, that supports and produces arts by and about migrants and refugees. See more on their work and artists on their pages:
And a few art fundraisers/sales to support Ukraine:
- Artists for Ukraine page that has a fundraiser to support refugees and sell art:
- NOTE: They will have an emergency fundraising exhibition on the 24 March, featuring works by over 50 international artists from Ukraine and the UK
- Black Swans Arts auction: Artists for Ukraine auction will be held online and in-person at Black Swan Arts in Frome between 1 – 24 April 2022
- Beréskin Gallery – Ukraine Relief Project: Friday, April 1, to raise funds for Ukrainian people
- NOTE: Artists can also donate a sunflower piece for the exhibition (due 29th March)
- Art Pop art gallery is also taking in donated sunflower art from local artists to raise funds to support Ukraine:
Slava Ukraini. Stand with Ukraine. Stop the war.
Also here are a few Finnish organizations or divisions to donate to, for Ukrainian refugees or other emergencies:
Finnish Red Cross – how to help
Finnish red cross disaster relief funds – distributes help in the middle of battles: Food, medicine, shelter
Unicef – Finland – humanitarian aid to Ukrainian children and families
Plan International – Finland – relief fund for humanitarian aid
UN Women – Finland – humanitarian aid to women and their families
World Vision – Finland – humanitarian aid to Ukrainian children and families
Save the Children – humanitarian aid, help refugees
Finn Church Aid – humanitarian aid, help refugees
fida – humanitarian aid, help refugees