We Love Ukraine

We Love Ukraine

Fundraising Campaign We Love Ukraine

After the outbreak of the full-scale war in Ukraine (February 2022) and the ensuing massive refugee crisis in Europe, we launched the We Love Ukraine fundraising campaign through donio.sk. Our goal was to raise money to help people arriving in Slovakia who urgently needed food, warm clothing, hygiene supplies, accommodation, support, and much more.

Grant Programme We Love Ukraine

Subsequently, at the beginning of March, we opened the We Love Ukraine grant programme. Its aim was to financially support organizations, schools, and municipalities that were helping refugees at the borders and in communities in eastern Slovakia. In 2022, we allocated 172,247 euros to 48 projects focused on providing humanitarian aid, accommodation, childcare assistance, access to education, obtaining necessary documents, communication with the state, job market integration, and psychosocial support for war-traumatized people arriving from Ukraine. The grant scheme responded to the needs of all refugees, with special attention to vulnerable groups such as mothers with young children, the elderly, people with disabilities, Roma, and LGBTI+ people. We provided assistance through administratively simple grants, which we decided on a weekly basis. In this way, 14,000 refugees from Ukraine received help.

In 2023, as NGOs, schools, and local governments began to provide more systematic assistance to refugees, the We Love Ukraine 2.0 grant scheme was reopened to provide larger grants for projects offering long-term and sustainable help to refugees from Ukraine. In this round, we allocated 80,000 euros to 7 projects, helping 1,064 refugees in Slovakia, half of whom were children.

Grantový program Máme radi Ukrajinu

The funds for both rounds of the We Love Ukraine grant programme were allocated from the Carpathian Foundation Crisis Fund, which responds to acute crisis situations of local, regional, or global character. Funds from the We Love Ukraine fundraising campaign and donations from donors and partners (see below) were also directed to this fund.

Raising Awareness

Disinformation and hoaxes spread by pro-Kremlin propaganda have also influenced part of public opinion in Slovakia, which started to oppose helping women and men refugees from Ukraine. Therefore, as part of our activities, we focused on raising public awareness and increasing awareness of the importance of continued solidarity with refugees. We created a lot of content on our social networks, wrote articles, gave interviews, and produced and published video documentaries and podcasts, reaching 338,432 users (social media users, viewers, readers).

The video "From War to Paradise" maps the story of a young woman, Olha Kalinenko, who had to flee the bombed Kyiv to protect her young daughter and start a life in a completely unknown country without her husband. Over time, her sister Anastasia joined her, and they ended up in a small village in Slovenský raj (Slovak Paradise), where they found new friendships with local residents. The video shows difficult times but also beautiful moments and testimonies 🢃

A shorter version of the video can be viewed HERE

The video captures the work and operation of the Ukrainian-Slovak HUB in Kežmarok (a project supported through the We Love the East grant programme), the needs of refugees living in the town of Kežmarok, and their contributions to the local residents 🢃

Women did not come to Slovakia for a better life; they left Ukraine for the safety of their children and want to create a space here where they find peace and joy and do not constantly think about their fathers and the war. Victorya Bondarenko came to Slovakia back in 2018, and after the outbreak of the war, she created a center for mothers with children from Ukraine in Košice. In the first short video, she tells the story of many Ukrainian families, including her own, and in the second video, she talks about the important activities of the Radosť (Joy) center 🢃

The organization Women's Algorithm created the Women2women project (supported through the We Love Ukraine grant programme) to help women from Ukraine find work in Slovakia, gain new experiences and knowledge, and create a strong supportive community 🢃

An interview with Regina Lovišková reveals the trauma experienced by refugees from Ukraine and about art therapy, which helps them process this trauma (but also helps others who experience trauma and emotional stress). The article was published on the online news portal aktuality.sk 🢃

Partners and supporters of the We Love Ukraine programme and awareness-raising activities: