We have all been deeply shocked and saddened by the news coming from Ukraine over the past two weeks.
Founded 177 years ago, YMCA has always played a key role in providing relief and immediate in-country response during wars, natural catastrophes, and humanitarian emergencies. Here in the UK and across Europe during both the first and second world wars, YMCA was at the forefront of support for those in need including refugees, victims of persecution, armed forces personnel, and their families. As a global organization, we have local staff and colleagues working in over 120 countries, which gives us a unique international reach and enables us to respond rapidly locally, nationally, and internationally.
Today the YMCA’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is already in action. Colleagues in 16 local YMCAs across Ukraine have stayed in the country and are providing community support and care to internally displaced Ukrainians. In Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and Moldova, YMCA has been working tirelessly on the border crossing points providing emergency supplies, access to shelter, housing, and food for refugees. They are also providing van loads of supplies that YMCA colleagues in Ukraine receive at the border crossings and drive back to their communities for distribution.
Here in Scotland, we are supporting YMCA Europe’s fundraising appeal, providing financial support to the YMCA work right where it is needed. We are also working with YMCA Europe and YMCA Ukraine around the opportunities for sponsorship of Ukrainian refugees and coordination of any emergency provisions that are required.
We are conscious that many organizations and individuals are looking for ways to connect and support the people of Ukraine. If you would like more information on how you can connect or support the humanitarian effort through YMCA, please do get in touch or donate here.
We join with our YMCA colleagues around the world in a call to protect human dignity as the foundation of peacebuilding.