Lena and Adriana are both from the U.S.A., but like the rest of the world we are horrified by the events occurring in Ukraine. We both have friends, acquaintances and even family members from Ukraine. We have felt dismayed, paralyzed and numb as yet one more atrocity occurs in the past few years, and the world does little but look on. We were relieved to see that the Wix.com platform that hosts this website, has linked resources to support efforts of Ukraine to subvert their invasion. Canva.com the platform we use to create our media is also donating USBs and $1,000,000.
I hesitated writing this post as I am not a political activist, nor well versed in world affairs. But ignorance is not an excuse to sit idly by. While we may not feel we can do much from thousands of miles away. There are a few things we can do, and urge you to do too.
First is write your legislators, political leaders, and even major corporations that you support with your funds. Either through taxes or through sales. (this doesn't cost you money, but time. That is why I put it first.)
Please read Razom's post on what to write and how to contact your representative.
Second is to donate money. There are several organizations, working on all fronts to aid in this most recent crisis.
They also have an easy to use Linktree to do more.
Unfortunately in any crisis, assistance is needed on all fronts, as other issues tend to rise to the surface.
Amnesty International is busy gathering evidence of human rights violations. This crisis evidence lab is documenting and investigating human rights violations within the war zone, and beyond.
Racism and refugees. Perhaps the hardest to identify places to give and support are those not immediately seen by the international media at this time. There are people of color facing racism at border crossings and being denied safety. International reporters describing white refugees as "different or more desirable" from non-white, non-european refugees. Not only are conflicts, famine and or economic collapse still impacting people in Afghanistan, Syria, Haiti, Venezuela, Central America, Yemen and many more, but these refugees are still faced with numerous hurdles even if they are granted asylum. It takes months for government paperwork to be processed before they can legally work. People have fled for their own safety and moreover the safety of their children. And yet many places are not as welcoming as one would hope. After facing such a traumatic experience to need to flee one's home, refugees are then faced with different languages, standards, foods, and politics. That is all before dealing with the normal hurdles we all face, from housing shortages, access to healthcare, transportation issues, and increases of cost of living while wages remain relatively stable.
If you prefer sites with more tangible assistance check out Choose Love where you can choose from refugee kits for children, mothers, immediate assistance and more.
Mental Health and triggers. One thing the memes have not touched on much is the triggers to mental health of survivors of torture, trauma and military service that this barrage of images may impact. While many of us feel sorrow and pain when we see this it is entirely different from the response and corresponding needs of someone that has experienced something similar. A few helpful organizations: Survivors of Torture International , National Alliance on Mental Illness, Wounded Warriors Project, and Team Rubicon just to name a few.
These are just a few ways to help and please, please remember that these needs will go far beyond the next few months, and beyond the media coverage and memes. If you do not have funds now, you can always give in the future. Many sites have very nice gift donation sites, and you can always give a donation in someone's name instead of a birthday, mother's day or father's day gift. What better way to celebrate love and caring than by giving to those that need it most?
Third is to write and take care of yourself. Writing and journaling has long been a way to help process the feelings and emotions surrounding difficult times. If you have the means and access to talk to a mental health professional I urge you to do it. Even if you think things are fine, times are hard, and we are all just doggy paddling through through this crazy time. If you do not have the means or access to a professional, many health care professionals, medical groups, hospitals and universities have websites to help this process. Remember this is a process, and if it worsens your mental health or state stop. I am not a mental healthcare professional. Humans are not a solitary species. Although I am deeply introverted, I need people. I need their help, their assistance, their friendship, their perspectives and their presence in my life.
We never fully know what someone else is going through, so please be kind to one another. Give each other grace and space.