The World Steps Up to Support Ukraine
The World Steps Up to Support Ukraine
Ukraine has shown incredible strength and resilience amid turmoil and war, stirring inspiring displays of humanity within the country and around the world. As the Russian invasion rages on and the people of Ukraine fight for their freedom, people from all walks of life are showing their solidarity with Ukraine. From celebrities to professors to young children, the world is standing with Ukraine.
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ZELENSKIY VISITS WOUNDED TEEN
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is receiving praise across the globe for his courage in leading his country amid the invasion. At the same time, he has made a consistent effort to put his people first. Recently, during a visit to a wounded 16-year-old girl in a Kyiv hospital, he received some welcome news: he is a star on the TikTok video app.
After handing Katya Vlasenko a bunch of white and pink flowers as she lay in bed, Zelenskiy said: “It is not easy, but we do the right thing.”
Vlasenko, who was wounded when her family’s car came under fire as they fled Russian forces, replied: “And everybody supports you on TikTok,” prompting a smile from the president and members of his entourage.
“So we have occupied TikTok?” he asked. “All talk about you, it is all about you.”
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher launched a GoFundMe page to support Ukraine following Russia’s invasion. On March 17th, the couple surpassed their fundraising goal of $30 million for Ukrainian refugees, earning a call from President Zelenskiy himself, thanking them for their efforts in raising funds and awareness.
The 38-year-old actress— who was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, but moved to the U.S. as a child—admitted she is a “proud Ukrainian” and has hit out at the “unjust attack” on her home country.
Mila wrote on the page: “Today, I am a proud Ukrainian. While my family came to the United States in 1991, I was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, in 1983. Ukrainians are proud and brave people who deserve our help in their time of need. This unjust attack on Ukraine and humanity at large is devastating, and the Ukrainian people need our support. Our family is starting this fund to help provide immediate support, and we will be matching up to 3 million dollars.
“While we are witnessing the bravery of Ukrainians, we are also bearing witness to the unimaginable burden of those who have chosen safety. Countless amounts of people have left everything they know and love behind to seek refuge. With nothing but what they could carry, these Ukrainian refugees are in need of housing and supplies right away.
“Through GoFundMe.org, this fundraiser will provide an immediate impact on refugee and humanitarian aid efforts. The fund will benefit Flexport.org and Airbnb.org, two organizations that are actively on the ground providing immediate help to those who need it most.”
“Our work is not done,” said Kutcher. “We’re going to do everything we can to ensure the outpouring of love that came from you all as a part of this campaign finds a maximum impact for those in need.”
Many celebrity supporters have stepped up to aid Ukraine, including Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, Hayden Panettiere, and David Beckham, all of whom have launched fundraising initiatives to support the nation.
FROM FRANCE TO UKRAINE
When Russia invaded Ukraine, French professor Yves Gineste didn’t think twice—he set off on a four-day drive to the eastern edge of Slovakia to offer his Perpignan house to refugees.
Bearing a cardboard sign seeking “One family for a house in France, travel and house free,” he registered with a charity at Vysne Nemecke, a crossing on the Slovakia-Ukraine border.
A few hours later, he was helping 26-year-old manicurist Nastia Kiselyova, along with a friend traveling with her daughter and niece, load their belongings into his campervan before heading back the 1,200
miles to southwest France. Kiselyova said she had left behind her parents, her father being military age and her mother employed as a nurse in a military hospital, and that her group had an acquaintance in Spain where they might try to travel on to from France.
SUPPORT IN SMALL PACKAGES
Gioia Maria, a 10-year-old Italian girl, says she would like to do more for people suffering from the war in Ukraine, “but I’m very small.”
So every night, she prays. And she wants Ukrainian children to know it.
The girl wrote a letter in her best English on a large yellow sheet of paper and gave it to her mother to bring to a church, collecting food, medicine, and clothing to be sent to Ukraine and border
areas taking in refugees.
“Dear Ukrainian friends, my name is Gioia Maria. And I’m Italian. I’m very sorry for this horrible war. I’m very close to you with my heart. I’d very much like to do more, but I’m very small and far away. Every night I pray for you and I ask God to help you. With love. Gioia Maria.” Six heart signs follow her name.
Her mother, Katherine Valerio, said Gioia Maria used her savings to buy gifts for Ukrainian children to send along with the letter.
“I have two daughters, a 10-year-old and an 8-year-old, and they ask me why all this is happening and above all, they ask me how they can help these children,” she said amid the bustle of volunteers receiving, sorting, and packing donations outside Santa Sofia church in Rome’s outskirts.
UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKIY PRESENTS FLOWERS TO KATERYNA VLASENKO, 16-YEAR-OLD GIRL WHO WAS INJURED AS SHE FLED WITH HER FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF VORZEL AS RUSSIA’S ATTACK ON UKRAINE CONTINUES, AT A HOSPITAL IN KYIV, UKRAINE MARCH 17, 2022. © UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS