🌈 A quick taster for you:
- Offer people a place to stay.
- Support courageous journalists in Russia.
- Together we can all set an example.
🧐 Why do I care?
The war that’s currently unfolding in Ukraine affects us all. That's why today's edition of The Briefing is here to give you a rundown of what we can each do to help — whether it's donating money or much-needed items, providing shelter, or renting an Airbnb in Ukraine.
🔍 What exactly is happening here?
- Sleeping places for refugees
The UN is estimating that up to 4 million people will flee Ukraine and seek protection in the EU. Emergency shelters are currently being set up in many different locations, but if you have a spare bedroom that people could stay in then that would be a great help — you can register on the website "Hospitality Ukraine" or offer to host people for free on Airbnb.
- The information war
Disinformation and fake news can have dangerous consequences — and, when it comes to this war, it’s something that’s spreading fast. When you open Instagram, you’ll probably see a lot of posts about the unfolding war. However, it's really important that we each check our sources before sharing, and also get a wide range of information to help us avoid any fake news. In Germany we’re privileged to have freedom of the press — giving us a variety of independent news outlets so that we can form a realistic picture of what’s really going on. People in Russia don't have that, which is why it's important to educate them. The West has already blocked Russian state broadcasters RT and Sputnik to stop Russian propaganda from being spread — and there are also things we can each do as individuals. You can follow the remaining brave journalists in Russia on Instagram and Twitter, and support them by reaching out. Plus you can report fake news and distance yourself from sites or influencers who spread it.
- Show solidarity! Go demonstrate!
The point of attending protests is to show that you stand with the people of Ukraine — and to show them that they are not alone. Protests and demos also send a message to the German government that we are engaged and looking at their actions (e.g. sanctions). We know that sanctions on Russia can also bring disadvantages for Germany, but we are fortunate to be a lot better off than the people in Ukraine.
- Donations in kind vs. donations of money
The question is always whether it makes more sense to donate money or items. Honestly, it’s best to contact the aid organizations in your city so that you can make sure you’re giving what is most needed. If you donate items they will either be driven to the Polish-Ukrainian border, or be handed out in refugee shelters in Germany.
Although donating tangible items can make us feel like we are really ‘doing’ something to help, donating money is often more helpful. That’s because the organizations and charities know exactly what’s truly needed. Of course, it is very important to research which organization to donate to, so that you know your money will be used wisely — you can find a list of organizations here.
There are also other creative and direct ways to support Ukrainians on the ground. One such way is to book a room in Ukraine on Airbnb — of course without any intention of staying in it — as the money will be paid directly to the person in Ukraine. There are other actions like this happening all over the web right now, so maybe you know of a few more ways to help people on the ground financially!
🤓 What does this mean for me?
In this situation, it's perfectly natural to feel powerless and small. But there are many ways we can each help — and together we will make a difference. It's up to all of us to show that we stand together with Ukraine.