Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
These Celebrities Are Helping Ukraine
The traumatising violence that’s happening in Ukraine is highlighting the burden brutality, poverty and inequality has on women
By Jessica Jurkschat
22 march 2022
Since Russia’s invasion on Ukraine, nearly 6.5 million Ukranians have been displaced, on top of the 3.2 million who have already fled the country in search of safety. As Ukrainians continue their fight for freedom amidst Russia’s invasion, numerous governments, celebrities, and ordinary citizens have come together in solidarity with Ukraine and its people. These are the most extraordinary ways that global citizens have rallied together and used their platform to support the cause – plus, how you can help.
Football legend, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and our Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being Ambassador handed over his Instagram account – and its 71.5 million followers – to Iryna, a Ukrainian nurse, on Sunday. Iryna, a paediatric anesthesiologist and the head of the regional perinatal centre in Kharkiv – Ukraine’s second largest city, and a constant target of Russian shelling – shared her first-hand experience of daily life since Russia’s takeover. Videos showed her doing rounds in a cramped, dimly lit basement where all pregnant women and new mothers were evacuated to during the first day of the Russian invasion, and photos of newborns in the intensive care unit.
Beckham urged his followers to donate to UNICEF to help provide families with access to food, clean water, ready-to-use maternity kits, medical equipment and child protection services.
Following the footsteps of her friend and fellow model Mica Argañaraz, Gigi Hadid – who has been an outspoken critic of Palestine’s occupation – announced that she would be donating all her earnings from AW22 runway shows ‘to aid those suffering from the war in Ukraine, as well as continuing to support those experiencing the same in Palestine.’
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher
Power couple Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have already raised more than £26 million for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the country amidst Russia’s invasion. Their Stand With Ukraine GoFundMe fundraiser will provide an immediate impact on refugee and humanitarian aid efforts, benefiting Flexport – which is organising shipments of relief supplies to refugee sites in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova – and Airbnb – which is providing free, short-term housing to refugees who are seeking safety.
Marina Ovsyannikova is the amazingly brave employee of Russia’s most watched news program, Channel 1, who protested Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on live TV. She burst onto the live broadcast standing behind news anchor Ekaterina Andreeva with a sign bearing the message: ‘NO WAR. Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They are lying to you here.’ Ovsyannikova also urged fellow Russians to join anti-war protests in order to bring an end to the conflict. Her statement marked the first time that an employee from Russian state media has publicly denounced the war – and cost her 30,000 roubles (£218) after being fined by a Moscow court for her “spontaneous” act of rebellion.
Anna and Sonia – aka the Bloom Twins – are a Ukrainian-born English pop music group and #TOGETHERBAND Ambassadors for Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals. Since Ukraine’s invasion, Anna and Sonia have been using their platform to raise funds, supplies and awareness for Ukranians. The duo helped curate, host (and perform!) at London’s Night for Ukraine, a live music event to raise vital funds for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) in aid of humanitarian support in Ukraine. They’ve also been using their Instagram as a platform to share resources and ways people can help Ukraine.
Sporting the yellow and blue colours of her country's flag, Ukranian Tennis pro Elina Svitolina pledged to donate all of her tournament winnings this year to the Ukrainian military and relief efforts. ‘My family is there. Lots of my friends who didn't leave the country are there. They're fighting for their life, some of them are fighting for our country. The most painful thing I would say is I feel completely useless because I want to help them. I want to do something for them.’ she said.
Olia Hercules and Alissa Timoshkina
In a unity in the face of war, London-based chefs Olia Hercules and Alissa – originally from Ukraine and Russia – are using food to bring people together. Cook for Ukraine is their campaign to raise money for humanitarian efforts and raise awareness about the ongoing conflict. The campaign encourages people to celebrate Ukrainian and eastern European culture by cooking traditional meals, and possibly donating to its JustGiving page. So far the campaign has raised over £280,000, with the money going to UNICEF to support children and families impacted by the war.
Ways you can help:
One of the simplest ways to help the most vulnerable in Ukraine is by staying informed and learning more about how citizens are being affected by the conflict. If you want to fact-check news and information you're seeing about Ukraine, #UkraineFacts is a great tool, along with the fact-checking website of news agency AFP here.
There are a ton of organisations on the ground and globally that are supporting people within Ukraine and refugees seeking safety elsewhere with medical and humanitarian aid.
CARE is responding to the crisis by providing Ukrainians in need with food, hygiene kits, psychosocial support services, access to water, and access to cash. Donate here.
UNICEF is repairing schools damaged by the bombings and providing an emergency response to children affected by the conflict. Donate here.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is deploying emergency operations in Ukraine and surrounding countries to provide food assistance to those fleeing the conflict. Donate here.
You can also view a list of local Ukrainian businesses and charities here.
The world must stand up against President Putin and stand together with Ukrainians. Around the world – from the UK and France to Japan, Turkey and elsewhere – people have shown solidarity with Ukraine, holding anti-war protests against Russia’s invasion. You can find your nearest demonstration here.
If you're in London, The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is inviting all those who wish to show solidarity with Ukraine to join together on Saturday 26 March for a march and vigil. ‘London stands with Ukraine’ will begin with a solidarity march from Park Lane to Trafalgar Square, starting at 2pm.
Host a refugee
Several countries around the world, including the UK, have opened their borders to allow Ukrainian refugees to seek safety. The ‘homes for Ukraine’ programme allows individuals, charities, community groups and businesses across the UK to offer a room or home rent-free to Ukrainians escaping the war, regardless of whether they have ties to the country. To date, more than 100,000 British people across the UK have offered to host. If you can and you’re willing to, you can sign up here.
Urgent action is needed to avert a looming humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine. #TOGETHERBAND stands with Ukraine during this devastating time in history and will be donating 20% of all proceeds from BOTTLETOP AND #TOGETHERBAND to CARE International. CARE International works around the world to save lives, fight poverty and help women and girls fulfil their potential. In response to the war in Ukraine they have set up an Emergency Appeal to provide food, water, hygiene kits, cash and wellbeing support to people in Ukraine affected by the crisis. You can donate directly to CARE International on the link below.