Helping Ukraine amidst a devastating crisis
On 24 February 2022, the world watched in horror as Russia invaded Ukraine, sparking a conflict that has since caused much human suffering and displacement. Giving across the UK increased as people sought to respond. Here at Stewardship, we experienced a massive spike in giving, as it climbed to £2 million above any Ukraine-specific giving seen previously.
Our response was to launch a Rapid Response Fund to provide help for Ukraine that raised over £365,000, boosted by matched funding from one of our philanthropists. That fund was then used to make almost 50 grants to charities and churches offering practical help and gospel hope in the face of the war and UK organisations helping those fleeing the conflict to take refuge in the UK.
One year on and the deep impact of the Rapid Response Fund can be seen in the ongoing work of those first grant recipients. These organisations have been working tirelessly to provide aid and their efforts have made a real difference in the lives of people who are struggling to cope with the effects of this war.
The deep and long-lasting impact of charity partners
As we look back on the impact the Rapid Response Fund has made in the year since the war in Ukraine began, we are heartened by the work on the frontlines. We are also so grateful for the generous gifts which funded the work which we able to now report back on.
Hope Lebedyn, located in the Sumy region of Ukraine, distributed Christmas gifts to every local child, along with an invitation to come to their local centre for support. In addition to medical care, the centre offers many programmes and is now opening a Bible college to train and equip new leaders prepared to plant churches in villages where they have been destroyed. The anniversary is being marked by a special thanksgiving service at Victoria Baptist Church, Eastbourne from 4pm on Saturday 25th February.
Another partner is Medair who, thanks to the generosity of supporters and the preparedness of its Emergency Response Team, was the first international NGO registered in Ukraine following the onset of the crisis. Since then, their international and local teams have reached over 330,000 vulnerable Ukrainians with life-saving healthcare, shelter and essential supplies.
CRY (Care and Relief for the Young) were able to put their grant, and other funds raised in partnership with Stewardship, to helping young Ukrainian refugees find homes in surrounding countries. They have been particularly successful in housing and working with refugees placed in Romania (see video below), Poland, Moldova, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Israel and Germany. CRY are still working in Ukraine providing much needed humanitarian support; especially in the area of school provision where learning is taking place online, in schools and in an anti-bomb bunker (when needed) that has been converted into a classroom.
The Sanctuary Foundation, a coalition of charities, was set up to support Ukrainian refugees in the UK. The Homes for Ukraine Scheme has helped to house over 112,000 refugees in people’s homes, more than at any time in the UK’s history. The Sanctuary Foundation distributed gifts to many mums and children from Ukraine over Christmas and is now focused on helping refugees find work and housing. It has also written, produced and distributed over 27,000 welcome books for Ukrainian refugee children and trained over 2,000 hosts in how to safeguard and support Ukrainian families.
Our grant to Transform Europe Network (TEN) has helped them to support their partners in south-east Romania, Bulgaria, and Moldova, who have continue to deliver vital supplies into Ukraine, as wells finding accommodation for refugees. One partner in Romania has made an appeal for woodburning stoves, blankets and food for a refugee camp of about 150 people where there is no electricity or gas. Another partner in Moldova continues to work with churches in Ukraine to provide aid to those who are still in the country and support refugees in Moldova. In the last four months alone, they have helped over 1,500 adults and over 2,000 children with food and hygiene packages and continue to support over 160 refugees through their programs.
There are many, many more stories of hope that we will be sharing in the coming weeks and months as our partners continue to work hard. You can keep up to date on these by subscribing to Generous, our monthly newsletter, and following us on our social media channels. We are also pleased to be able to share with you our Ukraine Response Report that gives further details on the generosity that we witnessed, as well as where funds were distributed.
Where do we go from here?
As we continue to navigate the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, we are grateful for the incredible work of our charity partners and the generosity of those who have supported their efforts. Christ, through His Church, has offered a beacon of hope and light in the darkest of times and we give thanks for the many lives that have been touched and transformed by it.
We remain committed to providing the necessary resources to enable our charity partners to continue their critical work, and we call on others to join us in supporting those affected by the war in Ukraine. Together, we can make a real difference in the lives of those who are suffering and bring hope and healing to those in need.
As we commemorate the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine, we are reminded of the ongoing struggles faced by the many who have been affected by the conflict. We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and our charity partners and continue to pray for their strength and resilience as they work tirelessly to provide much needed assistance.
The need for financial support remains acute especially as our charity partners struggle to meet sharply rising costs. International humanitarian agencies are further challenged as they stretch their resources to also respond to the earthquake disaster in Syria and Turkey.
Every little bit helps, and even a small donation can make a significant impact on the lives of those affected by the conflict. You can give to the Ukraine Rapid Response Fund today, either with a one-off gift or a monthly commitment.
If you are interested in our philanthropy services then please subscribe to Impact, our quarterly newsletter for major donors and their advisers.
Monthly emails for supporters. Inspiration, practical tools and guidance to support the causes you love in more meaningful ways.