How someone in the Netherlands can help people in Ukraine
As the world wakes up for day six of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, people across the Netherlands have rallied together to do what they can to help war victims and refugees. Here’s what’s going on and how you can get involved.
People in the Netherlands rally together to help
Whether they’re offering up a spare room for Ukrainians fleeing the conflict, or collecting clothes and medical supplies, people up and down the country are trying to help those in need. “This war is not far from our bed,” Joke Nuijs, who set up a bake sale to raise money for Ukraine, told the AD. “With a three-hour flight, you are in Marbella, but also in Kyiv.”
A bed and breakfast owner in a village in Friesland has opened her four double bedrooms to any refugees looking for shelter, while truck drivers and their families near the Belgian and German borders have come together to distribute food and water amongst Ukrainian drivers who are stranded thousands of kilometres from home. “I heard that some can no longer access their money at all. And at the same time, they also have families with whom they can hardly get in touch," Aschwin Cannoo told the NOS Radio 1 Journaal.
How you can help refugees and people in Ukraine
There are numerous ways someone living in the Netherlands can get involved with helping those in Ukraine.
It might sound like an obvious option, but the Red Cross maintains that it’s an effective and efficient way to help those who need it. The charity is working to support Ukrainian relief organisations and is helping to supply clean drinking water, food, and medical supplies to people in Ukraine.
Other charities raising funds for Ukraine are Grio 555, Giro 999, and the UN Refugee Agency. In addition to the larger charities, other smaller donation campaigns have also been established; for example, Cannoo is raising money to provide Ukrainian drivers with food and water.
Alternatively, there are various Netherlands-based groups and organisations that have set up their own collections with the aim of sending supplies to people in Ukraine. Rotterdam-based Angelina Kucheruk is calling on people to donate money, medicines, food, clothing, and other necessities (e.g. sleeping bags, blankets) on behalf of an association called the Ukrainian Community in the Netherlands.
The Polish Library in Amsterdam has set up a collection point for everything from eating utensils and toiletries to phone chargers. Supplies will be delivered to and distributed amongst Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands.
Open your home to refugees
Help refugees settle in the Netherlands
If you're unable to volunteer as a host family for refugees, there are other ways you can help Ukrainians settle into life in the Netherlands. Maybe you're a business owner who's able to offer jobs to refugees looking for work. Alternatively, various initiatives across the country are looking to arrange excursions and day trips for refugees to offer a little light relief in these difficult times - as a business owner or entrepreneur, you may be able to volunteer your services.
One initiative working to help employ refugees while simultaneously raising funds is HomeCookd in Amsterdam. The start-up is working with 10 home chefs to develop home-cooked Ukrainian meals which are then sold to raise money to support those displaced by the war.
Volunteer your time
Like the people behind HomeCookd, you could set up your own initiative to raise money for those still in Ukraine or refugees across Europe. Failing that, there are a number of charities across the Netherlands that are looking for volunteers. Some examples include Vluchtelingwerk Nederland and Refugee Company.
There are also platforms that allow residents in the Netherlands to connect one-on-one with refugees looking to socialise with locals - check out the Welcome App or Refugee Friend if that's something you'd like to get involved with.
Over 15.000 people gathered on Dam Square in February in a show of solidarity for the people of Ukraine. Keep an eye on social media or use this website to see if there are any more protests planned in your local area.
Donations pour in for war victims
No matter which Dutch city you live in, there's a way for you to get involved and help those affected by the war in Ukraine. Know of any other ways people can show their support? Share them in the comments below!