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March 02, 2022
Responding to the Crisis in the Ukraine
As of February 28, 2022, fighting continues to intensify throughout Ukraine, impacting both the National Council in Kyiv and local YMCAs throughout the country. There are now over 500,000 Ukrainian refugees in neighboring countries. These numbers are expected to grow in the near future. YMCA Europe is in daily contact with national and local YMCA Ukraine leaders.
The YMCA Movement stands in solidarity with Ukraine and all people affected by this conflict.
YMCA of the USA is working closely with YMCA Europe, the World YMCA, YMCA Ukraine and other YMCAs in the region to mobilize the U.S. Movement's efforts to provide financial and technical support for youth, families and communities in need.
The Role of YMCA Europe
YMCA Europe, the Area Alliance (regional resource office) for 44 national YMCA movements in Europe, is coordinating the short, mid, and long-term response plan. This includes:
- Emergency support, including food, clothing, housing, transportation and psychosocial counseling for Ukrainian refugees (including Y staff and volunteers) in Romania, Moldova, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
- Support for the Ukraine YMCA response efforts in the country if/when the situation permits.
- Coordination of regional response efforts and local, national and regional partnerships.
- Support to re-establish long-term peace and reconciliation, cooperation and youth programs between Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.
Updates from Local YMCAs Responding to the Crisis
Staff and volunteers from YMCA Romania, together with a coalition of 30 nonprofit organizations, have been providing support to hundreds of Ukrainian refugees arriving at the Sighetu Marmației border crossing with Ukraine in northern Romania since Thursday, February 24. The support includes food, clothes, hygiene products, lodging and transportation to their next destination. In addition, YMCA Romania is mobilizing material support to send to another nearby border crossing in Teceu, Transcarpatia region. YMCA Romania leaders also helped YMCA Ukraine volunteers and their families cross the Romanian border after an 80-hour trip.
YMCA Moldova, YMCA Slovakia, and YMCA Czech Republic are also providing support to Ukrainian refugees arriving to their countries, including lodging, food, clothes, and other supplies. YMCA Slovakia is providing transportation from the border to safe lodging, food, clothing. Slovak leaders are also preparing several apartments as temporary lodging for Ukrainian refugees. In addition, they are coordinating with local YMCAs in Ukraine to ensure Ukrainian staff and volunteers arriving in Slovakia can be quickly supported by the YMCA.
About YMCA Ukraine
The YMCA was established in Ukraine in 1902. After being banned from 1917 to 1991 when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, the YMCA was reorganized and restarted in 1993.
There are 25 local YMCAs around the country reaching tens of thousands of youth and young adults each year through programs focused on sports, camping, psychosocial counseling, performing arts, HIV prevention, international exchanges and civic engagement.
NEW: Listen to a Feb. 27 update from Viktor Serbulov, CEO of YMCA Ukraine.
Make a Gift Today
How to Help
YMCA World Service, the national annual campaign of the U.S. Y Movement to support the critical work of YMCAs around the world, launched an emergency appeal in anticipation of the growing needs and response by YMCA Ukraine and YMCAs in the region on February 24. More financial resources are urgently needed to address critical basic needs.
Thank you for considering making a gift at https://www.ymca.org/Crisis-in-Ukraine.
Thank You For Your Support!
Heartfelt thanks to the more than 100 individual and local Y donors who already contributed $16,000 as of Feb. 28. Y-USA will send these resources to YMCA Europe this week to strengthen and expand emergency services in the region.