As the YMCA movement and the world marks one year on from the start of the conflict in Ukraine, Mollie gives an update on the work of the humanitarian partners whose work you have been supporting in the region.
This week, many across the world have been reflecting and commemorating a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. US President, Joe Biden, made a rallying speech in Poland, assuring people that NATO’s support for Ukraine ‘will not waver’.
One year on
Many communities across the UK are finding ways to mark the anniversary of the conflict in Ukraine in their own way: holding memorials, lighting candles, praying, and continuing to support displaced people who are currently living in their communities.
As we reflect on the impact of the past twelve months, we want to extend our gratitude to those who have supported Y Care International’s Ukraine Emergency Appeal. Over the last year, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people and communities across the UK. We are deeply grateful to all of the individuals, churches, and community groups who were able to donate and share the appeal in their local contexts. We experienced an unpredicted response to the appeal, and we invite you to join us as we reflect on the impact that the funds from the Ukraine Emergency Appeal has had.
We have been using funds raised by the appeal to fund the work of several humanitarian partners who are working across Ukraine, Poland, and neighbouring countries.
A complex situation
As a society, we are rightfully increasing concern for mental health and well-being, and as a result, many have noted their worries about how war and conflict psychologically affects individuals and communities. Noting that often, this impact and trauma can last far beyond the duration of the war. This has been an integral aspect of the work we have supported over the past twelve months. One of our humanitarian partners has been delivering an emergency response to conflict-affected Ukrainians in Poland. There are complex needs to be addressed for people who have had to flee their homes, with no definitive answer on when they will be able to safely return and having to find stability in a new and unknown place.
One of these individuals is Maryna, a twenty-eight year old who fled to Poland in March of last year. Maryna was directed to the services that our humanitarian partner was offering.
She has been learning both Polish and English to help her build relationships and networks for work and leisure. She has also been able to go to Ukrainian speaking classes so that she can practice her native language, which is very important to her. Maryna attended classes that have encouraged her to learn more about herself: how she communicates with others, how she has been mentally coping with the conflict, as well as practical things such as cooking. Maryna is allowing herself to relax as well as invest in her future.
‘I like to be part of the community that [our humanitarian partner] gathers around me, because during the period of adaptation to life in a new country, the support of compatriots, as well as creative and mental development support is particularly important’.’
For individuals like Maryna, the support of our humanitarian partner has been vital. In the chaos of conflict, finding security in her new community has been essential for her potential to be fulfilled.
Please continue to give generously to the Emergency Appeal. Your support is still vital, as the war continues with no end in sight, and thousands of Ukrainians remain uncertain of their future.
To give today, go to our appeal page: https://www.ycareinternational.org/what-we-do/ukraine-emergency-appeal/