Niall and Bruce in Ukraine

by Emily Allan in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, United Kingdom

Niall and Bruce in Ukraine

Total raised £1,110

£20,000 target 30 days left
5% 12 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 23rd July 2024 at 9:50pm

We want to support a variety of extremely worthwhile projects in Poltava, Ukraine.

by Emily Allan in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, United Kingdom

In early April, Bruce and I (Niall) went on a road trip to the little city of Poltava to help a friend who runs some programs out there. We went along for the adventure and out of curiosity as much as anything. We returned a little wrung out after an emotional week amongst some very noble, inspiring and desperate people.We visited a dozen small projects for disadvantaged groups and institutions, all barely clinging on, with the war raging a couple of hours down the road. Poltava could have been Chichester: a lovely small city with a big cathedral, proud little parks, two unis, museums, cafes, regular shops ... but kids running between schools and bomb shelters, air raid sirens all day and night, and on our last day, a full-on missile attack on the city's grid that also wiped out a small block of flats.The Poltavans are all knackered and frightened; everyone is volunteering in some capacity. (There's s drop-in centre where Grannies have woven enough cam nets to cover an entire town). There weren't many men around, apart from some amputees and those back from the front suffering PTSD. We were shown around and treated with immense kindness by mothers with their kids and dogs in tow. The women are running the Home Front - and the projects we visited - with extraordinary resolve. It was unsettling and uplifting all at once. They were people at their best in the worst of situations. We were given so many gifts (mostly home-baked and homemade) we had to buy a massive suitcase to get them home. Bruce and I have become the trustees of Solidarity Ukraine, a spin-off charity from a larger concern, with the focus on Poltava. The paperwork is currently being registered and will be official very soon. No end to how much help the people there need so we thought we'd focus on a couple of specific ones. It will be great if, through this walk, we can raise the money for... 

1) An electric surgical saw for a pair of surgeons working behind the front. Alexei, who showed us around his hospital, has carried out 500 amputations with a handsaw

2) Some walkie-talkies for the medics so they can communicate in the hospital when the grid goes down in Poltava and when they are at the field station in the trenches 

3) Funds for a boarding school housing kids with mental and physical disabilities

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