PWRDF Ukraine Relief Update for FaithWorks (part 2)
By Janice Biehn,
Communications and Marketing Coordinator
HelpAge International receives $50,000 from PWRDF
“I'm not going to leave here. I hide in the basement from shelling. Now I sometimes spend the night there, or in the bathroom, which I secured after a shell hit the house. I'm afraid that everything I have can be destroyed in a second. But I hope for a speedy peace. A HelpAge volunteer brings me food and we speak together. After talking with her, I want to live. God give her strength.”
Alexander, 81, from his home in the Donetsk region of Eastern Ukraine.
HelpAge supports vulnerable seniors globally and has assisted seniors living in Eastern Ukraine since the Russian invasion in 2014. It has provided food, medical assistance and sometimes even wheelbarrows of coal to help them heat their homes. They were well positioned to provide assistance from the beginning of the war in 2022.
Currently, HelpAge International is helping Ukrainians of all ages who have fled to Moldova, where 1 in 4 Ukrainians fleeing are seniors. Because men between 18 and 60 are not able to leave the country, many elderly people are accompanying children and other family members. HelpAge International is supporting 5,620 Ukrainian refugees through 80 Emergency Accommodation Centres in Moldova with food, hygiene kits and other essentials.
Initiative E+ receives $164,000 from PWRDF
“PWRDF’s help with purchasing ambulances is very needed – thank you! There is a catastrophic lack of ambulances in the deoccupied territories of the country. We currently have requests for ambulances from over 50 hospitals and medical centres as their vehicles were destroyed or seriously damaged by Russian forces.”
Valentyna Varava, Initiative E+ Executive Director
This Kyiv-based organization was established in 2014 to help medics and first responders provide relief to families impacted by the 2014 invasion. Over the last two years they’ve supported hospitals and medical centres in treating COVID patients. When the invasion began at the end of February, they were able to ramp up their operations and partner with the Ministry of Health.
With PWRDF funds they are providing tactical medical equipment, such as tourniquets, dressings for serious wounds and external braces and supports for broken bones. These supplies are being delivered to hospitals, medical centres and first responders in Kyiv, Kyiv Oblast, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Mykolaiv. These areas are the ones subjected to the most serious attacks by Russian forces.
A donation of $100,000 from Richard Bird of the Diocese of Calgary will cover the cost of two new ambulances that Initiative E+ is using in cities that were formerly occupied.
Fight for Right receives $64,000 from PWRDF
“Thanks to these funds from PWRDF, and support from other partners, we will be able to operate a hotline for people with disabilities during wartime. The hotline will be used for various requests, including evacuation, psychological and legal assistance, provision of medication, etc. … This support will allow us to improve the way we work to provide our hotline services,”
Anya Zaremba, Fight for Right coordinator
Established and led by Ukrainian women with disabilities, Fight for Right’s core mission is promoting the rights of Persons with Disabilities in Ukraine. To date the organization has already evacuated or assisted 645 people with disabilities, with more than 2,000 additional evacuations requested. After evacuation, most people face psychological difficulties and legal issues that need to be addressed in their EU destination.
The overarching objective of FFR’s emergency response is to promote and support the rights of people with disabilities during the war in Ukraine. PWRDF is contributing to this work by supporting a hotline launched with a focus on:
· medical supplies and support
· assistive technologies and durable equipment (wheelchairs, white canes, hearing devices)
· financial support
· accommodations in Ukraine and abroad (including hospitals, rehabilitation institutions)
· food, water, basic goods for daily living (hygiene kits, personal care items, special dietary needs)
Dzherelo Children’s Rehabilitation Centre
receives $71,000 from PWRDF
Based in Lviv in Western Ukraine, Dzherelo has been providing physical rehabilitation services and social support for patients and their families since 1992. Since the war started in February, the city of Lviv became a major hub for housing of Internally Displaced People and a transit point for Ukrainians leaving the country.
Dzherelo has been running a 24-hour Assistance Post at the railway station helping people with disabilities. Dzherelo’s six handicap-friendly minibuses have been used to transport IDPs within Lviv and to the Polish border. The centre has provided accommodation for more than 350 people with disabilities and their relatives or companions. Dzherelo staff have provided accommodation assistance, assistance descending into bomb shelters during air raid alarms, and more than 2,000 hot meals, along with many other services.
The demands on Dzherelo’s services will continue as the number of people with disabilities in Lviv has increased dramatically. PWRDF will be funding the centre’s heating system, which will in turn decrease maintenance and heating costs, resulting in a larger percentage of donations to be used for programming.
Voices of Children receives $83,000 from PWRDF
The Voices of Children Fund has been providing psychosocial support to children to help them overcome the consequences of armed conflict since 2015. During the recent Russian invasion in Ukraine, VoC is also helping in the relocation process and providng humanitarian response to more than 7,000 people.
PWRDF’s contribution will be used to launch a mobile psychological support for children and their parents affected by war to access the most vulnerable populations in the Kyiv region, in small deoccupied cities and villages like Bucha, Irpin, Makariv, Borodyanka and others. Psychologists will carry out a minimum of two field visits every week in the most critical areas. There is a great demand for psychological support services in such areas after the extreme cruelty of the invaders and the constant massive attacks on civilians, including rape and torture. Funds will also be used to create videos of children telling their stories.
It is sometimes challenging to connect with local organizations that are working in a war zone or engaged in a lot of high pressure, time-sensitive evacuations. Nevertheless, PWRDF is committed to supporting these responses. These challenges are the small price of supporting the people and organizations best positioned to help Ukraine.