The war between Ukraine and Russia has led to some of the largest devastation and destruction seen in the past year. Over 12 million Ukrainians are currently displaced from their homes, as more than 300,000 private residences and more than 40,000 multi-story residential and commercial buildings have been destroyed. The Ukraine Reconstruction Fund is an organization working directly with individuals on the frontlines to provide as much relief as possible to the innocent Ukrainian people impacted by this war, and ultimately, are ready to rebuild all that’s been lost once the war is over.
The war between Ukraine and Russia has led to an immense amount of devastation, destruction, and displacement among innocent Ukrainian citizens, who just want to feel safe in their homes again. It’s hard to fathom what it’s like to go to bed every night not knowing if you’ll make it to the morning, which is why organizations like the Ukraine Reconstruction Fund are so integral for citizens in America, and beyond, to do as much as they can to help this nation rebuild to what it once was.
The Ukraine Reconstruction Fund has two major goals: help protect and support the displaced citizens who have been uprooted from their homes as a direct result of this war and its devastation, and plan to mediate projects that will lead to the reconstruction of all the infrastructure that has been damaged, or completely destroyed, throughout this war.
The main goal is to rebuild Ukraine once the war stops. There’s been so much already damaged and lost throughout this war, schools, homes, businesses, and other integral parts of a thriving community are no longer standing. There are kids who are not only scared to leave their house, but to be in their house due to the unpredictability of the attacks. The fund is currently in the beginning stages of the process of reconstruction.
Pavlo Mykolayovych Kostyuk is the head of the Ukraine Reconstruction Fund, and like most of the supervisory board for the fund, he is Ukrainian, so this call to action is not only necessary for him and the people working for the Fund, it’s personal. Pavlo and his team have been collaborating with the Ukrainian government with their plans, taking donations, and working with investors, but because the war is ongoing, they can’t truly begin the work they want to do without the risk of further damage and destruction.
“As you can imagine, for all of us who grew up in Ukraine and love our country, this issue immediately became a major issue in our lives that we needed to do something about. As a Ukrainian, in this difficult time, my first question was what can I do to help? I knew I had to utilize all the resources and supplies I could to send over and help rebuild and maintain as much peace as possible, even when it seems impossible.”
With Pavlo’s Ukrainian background and everything currently happening with the war between Russia and Ukraine, it was natural for him to want to help in any way possible. By creating the Ukraine Reconstruction Fund, and working directly with individuals in the Ukraine, Pavlo is able to help his home country protect its citizens while beginning the process of rebuilding all that has been lost.
When the war began, Pavlo immediately connected with the people he knew living in Ukraine to work with individuals on the front lines from the US in order to collaborate with relief efforts. This made creating and running the Reconstruction Fund smoother in terms of having a direct link to what was needed and how we, here in the US, could help.
“We want to rebuild everything that’s been lost and build it up even larger than it was before. We have the roadblock of the ongoing war preventing us from being able to actually go in now and help, but when we can, we’ll be there right away. In the meantime we’re doing everything we can to provide assistance for all the citizens living among the devastation.”
Pavlo explained how they want to implement green technology and new advancements in communications and construction in Ukraine as they reconstruct what’s been lost. In the meantime, they’re focused on gathering as many donations and supplies as possible to polish their plans, and assist the citizens as they’ve been.
“We’re very grateful for the American government and people for how much support and allyship they’ve shown within the past year. As we move into the second year of this war, it’s integral that we keep that same pace. We must continue to show our support through any means necessary until there’s an end to this war. When we reach the end, that will be the biggest step in the work we can do and help we can provide. We will rebuild what’s been taken,” Pavlo explained.
The protection and support of temporarily displaced women, children and elderly in such dire and extraordinary circumstances and the scale of humanitarian needs have become key priorities of the Ukraine Reconstruction Fund – Charitable Foundation. This includes opening social HUBs to provide targeted humanitarian assistance, opening of centers for psychological assistance and organization and implementation of educational measures and activities.
“More than 300,000 private residences and more than 40,000 multi-story residential and commercial buildings have been destroyed throughout the past year. Over 7 million Ukrainians are currently displaced from their homes with no clear answer as to what tomorrow will bring. This is unacceptable. We must continue to fight through any means possible to help these innocent people feel safe again.
We need to start planning for the people who have found refuge when they return home, so they can return to a place where they feel comfortable, and ready to restart their lives.
We will restore this country from the destruction it’s endured. All of our work and planning will be able to come to fruition when we’re able to give Ukrainians their lives back. In the meantime, we’re helping as many citizens as we can through psychological help, and further assistance,” Pavlo stated.
Erica Koyfman works within the media department of the Fund, focusing on humanitarian efforts of the overall mission as well. Erica explained that the media outreach aspect of their campaign, and making more Americans aware of the actual severity of the situation in Ukraine and what it’s going to take to rebuild, is harder than one would expect.
There’s so many organizations doing phenomenal work on their own, however, because there’s such a multitude of efforts, the Ukraine Reconstruction Fund is often viewed like most others, skeptically. This is due to the fact that because the war is still ongoing, it’s hard to provide a clear cut image of how the Fund is working to rebuild. However, the efforts that URF are currently making have made substantial progress and changes to the lives of Ukrainians.
“We want people to really see what we’re doing. We have door-to-door delivery services to deliver emergency supplies to Ukrainian residents from our team on the front lines. We just have to hope that people put enough trust in us to work hard and reach our goal of helping the people of Ukraine and rebuilding what’s been lost.”
“People are going to sleep every night not knowing if they’re going to wake up in the morning. No one deserves to live like that.”
Erica explained that being able to work with the Ukraine Reconstruction Fund has given her the chance to do as much as she can to help Ukrainians, as well as spread the word further on this now global issue.
In America, we as citizens have a tendency to fall into doom-scrolling habits and overwhelm ourselves with various stories and statistics about the devastation that’s occurring in Ukraine, and beyond. However, the media can only report on so much to truly show us how emotional this war actually is.
Beyond just the physical rebuilding and reconstruction needed in Ukraine, there’s also the emotional rebuilding, for a nation of people who are being traumatized daily. Mental health resources and programs are another aspect of the Fund that they’ve begun working on. Everyone deserves to feel safe, and when you’re living for months at a time in an unsafe environment, it takes a toll on one’s emotions and mentality.
“We need time, support, and trust so we can truly do the work we want to do. While it’s difficult to execute a lot of our visions presently due to the ongoing destruction of the nation, we work every day to get closer to our goal of being able to go in, and fully help to our largest capacity once this war is over.
In the meantime, we’re providing every tool and resource we have to the people of Ukraine to give them as much peace of mind as possible.”
“This war goes beyond just bombing neighborhoods and destroying a nation. How many parents have lost their children? How many children have lost their parents or been kidnapped and claimed as Russian citizens? This war goes much deeper than any of us could, or would like to, fathom. It’s impacting real innocent people and for what? What did these people do to feel the devastation of a political conflict?”
The URF also helps families who have come to the US for refuge, helping families find a comfortable place to sleep together and find some simple peace and quiet. The first thing the fund tries to do for refugee’s is get them psychological help to process what they’ve endured and ideally find some semblance of calmness while they wait for their home country to be safe and livable again.
This kind of call to action can be hard to fathom for the average individual in America. However, when we see a nation struggling in a war that has nothing to do with them, we realize that this conflict is bigger than politics, and is impacting families every single day.
The URF accepts donations of all kinds, from monetary donations, to medical supplies, to toys for kids, they’re dedicated to giving as much as possible to the people living in the midst of this brutal war.
To learn more about the amazing work the Ukrainian Reconstruction Fund has done, and is continuing to do every day, and find out ways you can help yourself, check out their website by clicking here!
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.