Giving Ukrainians a voice

Giving Ukrainians a voice

Rotary clubs have been making sure Ukrainians both in the UK and back in Ukraine have the skills and resources they need to get by.

Rotary clubs in Enfield have been helping a North London Ukrainian Hub set up by Yevgeniya Pozigun, a Ukrainian who has lived in London for 15 years and who wanted to assist Ukrainian refugees arriving in London.

As well as organising clothing collections and providing assistance with finding new housing, one of the main ways Rotarians in Enfield have been able to help is by providing English language conversation classes.

These are truly remarkable people and deserve every possible help I and others can provide.”

Steve Vincent – a member of Enfield Chase Rotary – is a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) qualified English Language teacher and has been providing conversation classes three times a week to those who wish to improve their communication skills.

Steve has benefitted from help provided by other local Rotarians who have supported the classes and have interacted with the refugees individually too.

Steve commented: “I have heard some horrific tales of war from some of these women, and yet here they are learning a foreign language, adapting to our culture, finding schools for their children, applying for jobs and successfully coming to terms with Universal Credit administration.

“These are truly remarkable people and deserve every possible help I and others can provide.”

The gifts from KidsOut arriving in Ukraine.

A little further up north, The Rotary Club of Bedford’s Ukrainian Support Project started in July 2022 and adapts its services to the evolving needs of Ukrainian refugees living in the Bedford area.

Club President Brian Garner’s research into transport of humanitarian aid to Ukraine led him to Jeremy Fish, CEO of Ardent Hire Solutions, a plant hire company, and creator of The Plant and Hire Aid Alliance, a trade group working together to transport badly-needed support items to Ukraine.

Jeremy had received requests for Christmas presents from sources in Ukraine via the Rotary Club of Kosice in Slovakia, which is acting as a distribution hub, and asked Brian if Rotary could provide gifts for the children in Ukraine.

Brian approached KidsOut, frequent and long-term collaborators with Rotary, for help and the organisation did not disappoint, providing 7,000 presents at short notice.

Bedford Rotary then got a team of volunteers together to help wrap, load and gift the presents to children all over Ukraine with the assistance of The Charity Fund of Support and Development of Ukraine.