United Nations Association of Canada helps Ukrainians crossing into Poland

Much of the effort to help people trying to leave the Ukraine-Russia conflict is focused in Poland, and now the United Nations Association in Canada has started a fundraising drive to help out.

Many Canadians have watched helplessly as Russian troops invade Ukraine, and refugees make their way into Poland, some having made unimaginable journeys.

The people welcoming them on the other side are often volunteers, including those with the United Nations Association of Poland.

But from feeding people to providing shelter, further support is needed, which is why Jaime Webbe with the United Nations Association in Canada is appealing for donations.

“Poland is a volunteer-based organization and they’re working really hard to try to mobilize resources, but they’re trying to do so in an increasingly difficult environment. The estimate is that there’s going to be about 500,000 refugees from Ukraine war, we’ve already seen over 350,000 Refugees enter Poland alone. They sent out an appeal and said, ‘We just need support from our sister United Nations associations around the world.'”

The associations are registered global charities “with the mandate to educate and engage citizens on the work of the United Nations and global issues that affect us all.”

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Webbe says her Canadian branch is working with their Polish counterpart in an effort to ease the transition for many Ukrainians fleeing war.

“The first thing we’re doing is supporting storytelling so that people who are coming into Poland from Ukraine are able to share their stories with Canadians and with the world and they’re able to talk openly and safely about their experiences,” she said.

“The second thing we will be doing is supporting finding temporary housing for refugees. While they are processing the visas whether it’s Ukrainians seeking to come to Canada, or for example, today they supported Nigeria nationals who came through to Poland and need to arrange for onward transportation. They found them housing in Warsaw so that they can manage this very difficult, very stressful process from a place of security, safety and warmth.”

With the current state of unrest in the Eastern European nation, many are unable to leave the country, and those that can, are left to build a whole new life.

Webbe says for any Canadians wishing to help they can donate directly through the United Nations Association in Canada page, and are eligible for a tax deduction.

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