With millions of innocent Ukrainian civilians displaced from their homes and normal lives, it is vital that the rest of the world do whatever they can to show support for those families who are suffering, and provide as much care as possible. As a student, you may often feel helpless as you are limited in finances and power, or perhaps you just don’t know where to start. So, Urmi Pandit has compiled a list of ways in which students, in particular, can do their bit to help the situation in Ukraine.
Donate to Supporting Charities and Non-Profit Organisations
It’s completely understandable that as a broke university student, most of your student loan will go towards rent and general survival, leaving little leftover. However even the smallest financial donation, if you have anything to spare, can go a long way in showing support and solidarity to those who need it.
Help to support the city’s Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain by donating essential items to their drop-off points
Charities such as UNICEF, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal and the British Red Cross accept donations online, providing a simple way to help supply care to Ukrainian citizens:
Fundraising with others is another great way to raise funds and awareness. Bake-sales, sponsored runs and setting up a GoFundMe are among many other fundraising ideas that students can easily organise.
Locally, students in Nottingham can also help to support the city’s Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) by donating essential items to their drop-off points at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre and the Trident Security office.
They politely request for only certain items to be donated, such as sleeping bags, bandages and toilet roll, which are then to be delivered to the Polish border. You can find out more about which exact donations are needed, as well as the association itself, by joining their public Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/163636034484
Book Ukrainian AirBnBs
As well as donating to charities, financial aid can be given directly to Ukrainian citizens through Airbnb – a new and effective idea that has recently emerged. Many accommodation owners in Ukraine have lost business due to the crisis, but students can easily go online to book a stay at different properties through the website without actually intending to go, so that the host still receives their payment.
Show support through social media
Share trending posts from Ukrainian citizens themselves, to ensure their voices are heard
For most students and young people today, social media is their main source for keeping up with current events in the world. Modern advanced technology means that information and resources for helping the situation in Ukraine can be shared to millions of people on various popular platforms like Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat.
Students can raise awareness and empathy, and encourage their peers to educate themselves on the crisis by sharing links to organisations, marches and infographics outlining current information about Ukraine. You can also share trending posts from Ukrainian citizens themselves, to ensure their voices are heard – look for the hashtag, #StandForUkraine.
Take Part in Protests and Marches
People all across the world are coming together to show solidarity with Ukraine by organising public protests and marches. Many have already taken place in Nottingham – in March, more than 200 people took part in a protest in Old Market Square.
Students can keep an eye out online and on social media for more upcoming events like this, in Nottingham and across the UK. Stop The War Coalition have listed cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol in which protests have also been held recently, and further events are upcoming.
Write to Your Local MP
Students can step up and write a letter to their local parliament officials
As well as local community issues, MPs can easily be contacted in relation to support for foreign affairs matters such as the Ukraine crisis. Students can step up and write a letter to their local parliament officials, wherever they are based, outlining their reasons for urging MPs to push the UK government to take action against the Russian forces.
If you are unsure about how to phrase your letter, you can find templates available to copy and personalise at the Ukrainian Institute in London’s website: https://ukrainianlondon.co.uk/write-a-letter-to-your-mp-to-stop-the-war-in-ukraine/
They also provide links to the UK Parliament database for finding out who your local MP is, and their contact details.
In Nottingham, there are three Members of Parliament to contact:
Nadia Whittome (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alex Norris (email@example.com)
Lilian Greenwood (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Support Ukrainian Journalism
Journalists in Ukraine require support in providing first-hand facts and information about what is going on in the country, as many are risking their lives to do so. There are various pages for donations, such as on GoFundMe and from openDemocracy, a UK media platform that promised to match every donation received from their readers before 7th March to help journalists on the front line.
You can also keep up-to-date by reading Ukrainian media publications such as the Kyiv Independent (https://kyivindependent.com/) and Ukrayinska Pravda (https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/) translated into English.
Stay Informed, Up-To-Date and Research the Background
The easiest way for students, and anyone, to show support is to make sure they keep informed about the crisis. It is vital to follow the news to receive daily updates on the situation and do your own wider online research on the background of the issue, to better understand the present state.
As mentioned before, social media is a great outlet to learn from though students must be careful of circulating fake news and false information by fact-checking and analysing a source before anything is shared.
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