Almost three months after the war in Ukraine began, there are still millions of people, most of them women and children, who have fled from the conflict within Ukraine or in neighbouring countries. The sense of solidarity is still strong. The King Baudouin Foundation is making all its philanthropic structures, expertise and networks available to strengthen this wave of solidarity and support organisations that are making efforts to help.
Actions in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries
Countries bordering Ukraine such as Poland, Hungary, Romania and Moldova have received the majority of the more than six million Ukrainian refugees since the Russian invasion on 24 February. There is a strong sense of solidarity, but the unprecedented flood of people is putting societies and existing reception structures under pressure in those areas.
The Belgian Consortium 12-12 (BE 19 0000 0000 1212 or online via 1212.be) has raised a heart-warming 25 million euros through an emergency appeal to support people in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. To supplement this emergency aid, the KBF is making its philanthropic structures, expertise and networks available to all philanthropists who want to show solidarity with Ukraine.
Funds are helping too
A number of the Funds managed by the King Baudouin Foundation are responding to the urgent needs in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Funds such as the EU Staff Fund, the Euroclear Fund, the Solvay Fund, the R&Co4Generations Fund, the Ergon Capital Fund and the Fund Forbidden Colours have already provided more than € 2,000,000 in support to organisations in the region. Some of these focus on specific target groups such as unaccompanied minors, mothers with babies or the LGBTQI community.
Donor circle for people in Ukraine
The Foundation has also set up the ‘Help people in Ukraine’ donor circle. Three local Ukrainian organisations – Caritas Ukraine, People in Need and the Ukrainian Red Cross – have already been allocated € 750,000 to allow them to provide food, shelter and medical assistance to vulnerable people and communities in Ukraine. The remainder of the funds raised (€ 27,000) will be used for similar purposes.
The war in Ukraine is being fought not only with weapons but also with information. The Foundation is therefore also supporting initiatives to combat disinformation and safeguard the freedom of the press in Ukraine. For example, support is provided to ‘Reporters without Borders’, which has set up a centre for press freedom in Lviv to support Ukrainian and foreign journalists.
Finally the Foundation also wants to help to strengthen democratic voices in Ukraine. It is therefore funding two grants for employees working for Ukrainian think-tanks and making a contribution to the ‘Ukraine Truth Defenders’ Fund and the Civitates “Solidarity with Ukrainian Civil Society” Fund. These are providing essential injections of funding for independent NGOs and social media players.
Actions in Belgium
The war in Ukraine is having effects in Belgium too. There are currently 40,000 Ukrainians who have been officially given temporary protection in Belgium. This is fewer than the numbers expected at the beginning of the crisis, but despite the necessary policy measures the influx of people is still giving rise to specific needs in the areas of education, housing, language etc.
Government bodies are seeking to respond to these needs. The KBF has also set up a donor circle entitled ‘Help people in Ukraine’. Examples of ways in which the donations received are used:
· “Promote Ukraine”, which provides information and informs policymakers on specific needs;
· “Alliance Française Brussels-Europe” for basic French courses;
· “Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen” (Flanders Refugee Action) for training for interpreters;
· “Antwerp International School” to organise education for children from Ukraine;
· “Orbit VZW”, which is providing appropriate information for host families and making the “Reporting Temporary Housing” tool more permanent;
· “Goods To Give”, for emergency packages.
Would you like to help too?
Our Centre for Philanthropy can provide advice and help you to work out the right approach.
Contact Stéphanie Smets: firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 2 549 61 53.
Donations of 40 euros or more are eligible for a tax certificate.
Thank you so much for getting involved!