Tuesday, June 25, 2024

‘Two years of continuous turmoil’: Aid for Ukrainian refugees on Vancouver Island dwindling


As Russia continues to wage war against Ukraine, more refugees have been continuously displaced throughout the last two years, but donations to help them find food and shelter are dwindling. 

Help Ukraine Vancouver Island (HUVI) is an organization who supports over 1,400 Ukrainian refugees on a shoestring budget, donations and volunteer power. 

They say at this time last year, they provided aid, food and shelter for 707 refugees, but this year, they support a total of 1,459 even though their donations have hit an all time low.

Year-over-year, HUVI says their donations are 94% lower than what they were receiving last year. They hope that this holiday season, Vancouver Islanders will be inspired to supply them with donations that will help the displaced Ukrainians under their care survive. 

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“The relentless war has forced thousands of Ukrainians to flee their homes, leaving behind everything they once knew in search of safety and stability,” said Karen McNamara, General Manager of HUVI.  

“These refugees are facing unimaginable challenges as they attempt to rebuild their lives, with the most immediate concerns being access to food and shelter. Unfortunately, the humanitarian efforts that sustained them in the initial stages of the conflict are now facing a critical shortage of funds.”

In an effort to raise funds, HUVI is producing a play called A Dictionary of Emotions in War Time, about the realities of living through the war under a Russian occupation. The play opens on January 18th at Langham Court Theatre in Victoria.

For those who are in the giving spirit, online donations and other ways to give to HUVI can be found here

Curtis Blandy

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