The 6 month anniversary of the war in Ukraine coincided with Ukraine Independence Day on 24th August which many clubs across Rotary GB&I marked including various events which our
Ukrainian guests wanted.
We want to take this opportunity, in the Taskforce Bulletin, to thank each and every one of you for whatever you have done over the last 6 months in response to support our Rotarian colleagues in Ukraine, in bordering countries and across our islands.
The Rotary GB&I Ukraine Crisis Taskforce, led so ably by PDG Allan Smith, was established at the outset of the war to raise awareness of the priority needs identified from their contacts across Ukraine and in the bordering countries and it has done an incredible job.
They have operated in accordance with the guidelines set for them by the senior leadership in GB&I. The Taskforce has established a strong collaborative relationship with Ukraine’s own District 2232’s Crisis Team including both DG Vitalii Lesko and IPDG Volodymyr Bondarenko.
We know all you are doing is alongside the many other humanitarian service projects you are involved in every day in your communities both locally and elsewhere in the world.”
They meet regularly as a combined team and more frequently in smaller groupings to ensure the information and requests they provide to us all in these islands is what has been identified by our Ukrainian colleagues as the key priorities.
Their work is ongoing and at present the GB&I Taskforce is awaiting an updated project list from D2232 of their highest priority needs following the Moshchun Recovery Project which has been the focus in July and August.
This new ‘menu’ of projects will be made available to you all as soon as it is available and 2-4 projects from it will be focused on every 2 months or so. Sadly there seems little end in sight to this devastating war and the harsh winter conditions are just weeks or even days away.
We want to thank you in advance for your ongoing support for everyone impacted by this war, including our guests here in Great Britain and Ireland. We know all you are doing is alongside the many other humanitarian service projects you are involved in every day in your communities both locally and elsewhere in the world.
You are all extraordinary people making a difference. Thank you.
Nicki Scott – Rotary International Vice President 2022-23
Garth Arnold – Inaugural Chair of the Regional Board 2022-23 Rotary Great Britain and Ireland
There are still some vital supplies that are needed by those in Ukraine to help them survive this ongoing conflict.
Cherkasy & Poltava are the two largest agricultural regions in Ukraine and their crops help feed many countries in the world.
Farmers must sow winter wheat end October/early November latest and be able to sow those crops safely now but they can’t due to six months of shelling, landmines and unexploded ordnance from downed missiles.
€41,000 is urgently needed in order to purchase two drones with special magnetometers and software for reconnaissance that can detect fertile land that is safe to use for the farmers.
This kind of equipment is not available in Ukraine so the funds are needed urgently to in order to purchase the drones in Europe.
There is also an urgent need for more tourniquets to be shipped into Ukraine – these simple first aid devices have been saving lives by stopping traumatic blood loss in those injured during the conflict.
Previously, with thanks to the financial support from donors, the International Rotary Fellowship of Healthcare Professionals (IRFHP) have been supplying tourniquets in batches of 2,000 almost weekly over many months.
Now, the IRFHP supply these when and where their Ukrainian colleagues advise they are needed, with 2,000 tourniquets cost £14,000.
27 wheelchairs are currently in Harlow ready to be delivered but transport is needed in order to get them to Ukraine or a bordering country.
Finally, the Ukraine Crisis Taskforce received a message from Olena Samarska of Ukraine. She says: “My daughter Sofia Matvienko is a flautist from Ukraine who is studying in London. She asks you to give her the opportunity to join your activities in support of Ukraine.
“Sofia can hold a number of charity performances with other musicians. Sofia is the winner of many international competitions.
“Please include Sofia in your musical events, this is important for Sofia. Sophia’s family in Ukraine helps defeat Russian terrorism.”
If you wish to help with any of the projects mentioned in this article then make sure to email Ukraine Crisis Response Team member Janine Birtwistle for more information.