Shreyas Banerjee/The Observer
I still can’t get used to those around me using the word ‘war’ in reference to Europe, and not in the past tense.
The situation in Ukraine is rapidly changing, and it is certainly hard for us all to watch. Whether you read the news on the shuttle when commuting to class or listen to news podcasts while getting ready in the morning, it’s hard not to feel helpless. None of us imagined it would come to this point. But here we are.
On Feb. 24, Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, the world has been watching, hoping, waiting for a glimmer of a ceasefire and a chance for peace. Sadly, it seems that the end is not in sight just yet.
Thus far, almost three million people have fled Ukraine. They have left behind their jobs, homes and lives in an attempt to stay alive.
I wanted to write this article for a bigger purpose than simply bringing attention to the situation. I hope to provide students with a useful resource they can use if they wish to get involved and help those impacted by the war in Ukraine. There are some amazing organizations dedicated to providing aid during these times and it is truly inspiring to see the impact they are having.
First we have the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). This organization has been around for almost 80 years and is now active in over 190 countries. UNICEF is dedicated to providing children around the globe with the resources they need to get the chance at life they deserve. Their operations include child protection, survival, education, emergency relief and innovation. In Ukraine, UNICEF has been working tirelessly to provide aid for the massive number of children that have fled the country. Thus far, their efforts have included providing medical supplies, safe water and protection services. There are multiple ways to support UNICEF. The main impact you can have is with your wallet. On their website you can donate money to support UNICEF’s efforts to protect the children in Ukraine. As well as donating directly, you can also start your own fundraiser through their website. This both spreads awareness and supports the organization in their efforts, all while providing an opportunity to get your family and friends involved.
The second organization is closer to home for us students at Case Western Reserve University. Located just over a 10 minute drive from campus, MedWish International provides students with an extremely accessible resource if they wish to get involved. MedWish International is committed to aiding those in need around the world regardless of political party, religion or race by providing those in need with repurposed medical supplies and equipment. In addition to monetary donations, this organization is always looking for willing volunteers. They have various volunteer positions available, including packing and sorting medical supplies to be sent over to places such as Ukraine. The organization’s website makes signing up for a volunteer shift easy. For more information and to sign up if you are interested, visit their website at https://www.medwish.org.
But you can always take things in your own hands. In this digital age, students can create their own fundraising events, and raise donation money, clothing or supplies, etc. As college students with a large amount of resources, the impact we can have is huge and we should definitely take advantage of it. Even just utilizing social media to raise awareness of local volunteer positions can have a big impact.
For those of you who are interested in getting involved, I encourage you to utilize the organizations mentioned here and also to do your own research! Giving your time and effort to a cause such as this is so fulfilling. I hope that you get to experience the feeling of pride that comes with playing your part.