Rotary response to Ukraine crisis.

Date: Sunday 1st May 2022



The war in Ukraine is having devastating consequences on civilians as families flee their homes. According to the United Nations, more than 5 million people, most of them women and children, have sought refuge in neighboring countries and across Europe, while about 7 million more people have been displaced within Ukraine.

Rotary and Rotaract clubs in Europe and around the world have taken swift action and are working with members nearby to provide food, water, medical equipment, and shelter for refugees.

Because of our generous donors, The Rotary Foundation has received more than $10.4 million in contributions that will be prioritized for disaster response grants.

Below are some of the latest projects as of 20 April

Ukrainian Rotary clubs take action

  • The Rotary Club of Cherkasy purchased and delivered medical supplies and medicine to multiple local hospitals. The club has also organized daily meals for 250 evacuated families from Sumy, Herson, Kharkiv, and Chernihiv.
  • Some members of the Rotary Club of Kharkiv International have traveled to border countries to help refugees adapt to their new situations. Members are also working, through their project Yellow Help, to evacuate families near war zones.
  • Club members of the Rotary Club of Kyiv Synergy collected 350 boxes of medical supplies from Italy and distributed them to areas in Kyiv and Sumy.
  • The Rotary Club of Kyiv-Sophia are preparing and delivering hot meals to residents of Kyiv and Irpen-Bucha. Members have purchased and delivered hygiene products and medicine to young mothers and the elderly.
  • Members of the Rotary Club of Lviv are unloading and organizing relief aid from European countries, then facilitating delivery to several humanitarian hubs across the country.

Members of the Rotaract Club of Klagenfurt-Wörthersee, Austria, collect medical supplies, food, sleeping bags, and generators for transport to the Polish-Ukrainian border to assist people displaced by conflict in Ukraine.

  • Clubs in Rotary District 2231 (Poland) are using a $50,000 disaster response grant to provide transportation, accommodations, food, and medical assistance for refugees who crossed the border from Ukraine.
  • Rotary District 2240 in the Czech Republic is purchasing $50,000 worth of sleeping bags, medicine, food, and defibrillators, EKGs, and oxygen concentrators to victims. 
  • District governors in Germany created a national task force to coordinate member initiatives and relief efforts on an online platform. A liaison office for government agencies and nongovernmental organizations has been established in Berlin.
  • Rotary clubs throughout France have mobilized to collect and distribute necessities to refugees. District governors are coordinating donations from French clubs to help Rotary clubs in Ukraine as well as to assist refugees traveling through Poland and Romania or taking refuge in those countries. The needs are determined by the France-Ukraine, France-Poland, and France-Romania-Moldova intercountry committees.
  • District 1910 in Austria is using a $25,000 disaster response grant to provide accommodations, baby supplies, medicine, hygiene materials, psychological care, food, and appliances to Ukrainian refugees in Austria.

Rotaract Europe

The European Rotaract Information Centre, a multidistrict information organization that serves Rotaractors all over Europe, created a United for Peace site that compiles information for refugees and volunteers.

  • The site offers information about free rail, bus, and air transportation available to refugees and lists details about what’s needed and how to help at specific national borders.
  • It also has fundraising details for hospitals in the western Ukraine city of Lviv, as well as for clubs that are helping in various places and for other organizations in the region.
  • The site lets Rotaractors coordinate shelter for refugees stranded at the border. Volunteer hosts can sign up through an online form and specify how many people they can house and for how long. Begun as an initiative to help fellow Rotary members leaving Ukraine, it’s now being used by Rotaract and Rotary members all over Europe to offer help.
  • A tool on the site links a demand for goods with available supplies. It was created within 48 hours after a team of 60 members from 10 countries met by videoconference about how to meet the most urgent needs.

Ukraine

Ukraine has 62 Rotary clubs and six satellite clubs with about 1,100 members, and 24 Rotaract clubs with more than 300 members.

  • District 2232 (Ukraine and Belarus) formed a committee to help people affected by the crisis. It has launched an appeal to Rotary members worldwide for funds to provide basic necessities.
  • The city of Lviv has had an influx of people displaced from other cities around Ukraine. The Rotary Club of Lviv International, working with local authorities and major hospitals, created an online spreadsheet of relief items that can be accessed by people who want to help. Members arrange for the donated items to be delivered to hospitals and coordinate storage with local warehouses.

Poland

Poland has taken in more than a million refugees, and Rotary clubs all over the country created a central account for contributions.

  • The Rotary Club of Olsztyn is collecting and managing donations for more than 150 Ukrainians who are staying at Ostróda Camp, a conference and recreation center. Most of the occupants are unaccompanied children whose parents stayed in Ukraine. Four cars full of supplies including food, clothes, toiletries, and toys were donated hours after the center began accepting refugees.
  • Members of the Rotary Club of Zamosc worked with a member of the Rotary Club of Wolsztyn, who owns a medical supply distribution company, to coordinate a partnership with other organizations to collect supplies and equipment.
  • The Rotary Club of Gdansk Centrum is providing accommodations for four refugee families, and members who own businesses are offering them work.

Other countries that border Ukraine

  • The Rotary Club of Kisvárda, Hungary, is coordinating contributions and mobilizing members to donate necessities and deliver the items to where they’re needed.
  • Rotary members in Romania and Moldova have created a central fund for contributions and set up WhatsApp groups that organize food donations and coordinate shelter for refugees.
  • In Slovakia and the Czech Republic, clubs have partnered with a railway and cargo company to offer transportation to nearly 2,300 refugees.

Kim Widlicki and Claudia Brunner contributed to this article.

Follow updates on how Rotary members are providing humanitarian relief on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn. Check back for updates on Rotary.org and My Rotary.

Rotary response to Ukraine crisis

Date: Monday 28th February 2022

It is a tragic and sad time for the people of Ukraine and the world. 

At Rotary, we are deeply concerned by the devastating situation in Ukraine and the escalating loss of life and humanitarian hardship there. Continued military action against Ukraine will not only devastate the region, but also risk spreading tragic consequences across Europe and the world.

As one of the world’s largest humanitarian organisations, we have made peace the cornerstone of our global mission.

Following a meeting this afternoon with Rotary International General Secretary, John Hewko, which included more than 40 Rotarian leaders from Ukraine and neighbouring countries, plans have been put in place for Rotary to respond and support the horrific and ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

On a global level, a central disaster response fund is being launched, which will be coordinated through The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees. Our efforts will principally focus on refugees escaping the war.

There are many existing infrastructures that we can work through to reach those most in need, including the Rotary Action Group for Refugees and Intercountry Committees.

Collaboration has also begun with ShelterBox, our global partner in disaster response, and they are in direct contact with Rotarians in Eastern Europe. As well as ShelterBox, Rotary is also in contact with other emergency response organisations including Red Cross and the United Nations to ensure our efforts are complementary and coordinated.

In Great Britain and Ireland, we have established an operational taskforce, which will be led by Allan Smith, Rotary GB&I Humanitarian Disaster Response Lead. This will give Rotarians, who are always so quick to respond with support in situations such as this, a central point of contact and assistance through their District International Team.

In addition, we have our own Rotary GB&I Disaster Recovery Trust, which can also act as a vehicle for channelling donations that can be used for the recovery phase of this crisis. An appeal will be established in due course.

Rotary International will be communicating directly with all members around the world, and will advise Rotarians on how they can provide humanitarian relief via My Rotary.

Our thoughts are very much with the people of Ukraine, and our fellow Rotary members. Rotary will do everything in its power to bring aid, support and peace to the region. 

 

 

Date: Sunday 6th March 2022

In response to the deepening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, The Rotary Foundation has created an official channel for Rotary members around the world to contribute funds to support the relief efforts underway by Rotary districts and has designated its Disaster Response Fund as the main avenue for contributions.

To this end, The Rotary Foundation has approved:

  • Now through 30 June 2022, designated Rotary districts that border Ukraine and the Rotary district in Ukraine may apply for grants of up to $50,000 each from the Disaster Response Fund. These expedited disaster response grants can be used to provide relief to refugees or other victims of the crisis including items such as water, food, shelter, medicine and clothing.
  • During this same period, other impacted Rotary districts that wish to offer support to refugees or other victims of the crisis in their district can apply for $25,000 grants from the Disaster Response Fund.
  • Now through 30 April 2022, Rotary districts can transfer unallocated District Designated Funds (DDF) to support the Disaster Response Fund, directly supporting these Ukraine-specific humanitarian grants.
  • Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund in support of Ukraine can be made here. All funds need to be received into the Disaster Response Fund by 30 April 2022 in order to qualify for use in support of the Ukrainian relief efforts.
  • Although the Disaster Response Fund will be the main avenue for Rotary Foundation support, Rotary and Rotaract clubs are also encouraged to create their own responses to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

In addition to support provided through the Disaster Response Fund, the Foundation is coordinating with partners and regional leaders, exploring effective solutions to the increased humanitarian needs.

  • We are in contact with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees – USA to prepare for and respond to the needs of those being displaced in Ukraine and to neighboring countries.
  • ShelterBox, our project partner for disaster response, is in communication with Rotary members in Eastern Europe to explore how it may offer support with temporary transitional housing and other essential supplies.
  • The Rotary Action Group for Refugees, Forced Displacement, and Migration is also mobilizing its resources to assist in this crisis.

A million people have fled Ukraine and are in dire need of emergency aid. The United Nations estimates that number could grow to as many as 5 million people displaced. Rotary clubs in Europe and around the world have stepped up their relief work, some working on the ground to help displaced families.

We will continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine and neighboring countries. Visit My Rotary and follow Rotary on social media to stay updated on how clubs can get involved and what actions Rotary members have taken and the impact it has had for people in the region.

For all other questions and to obtain more information, please contact the Rotary Support Center at rotarysupportcenter@rotary.org.

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