‘People to people’ initiative in Cambodia to support Ukraine

Published: May 10, 2022 Reading time: 5 minutes
‘People to people’ initiative in Cambodia to support Ukraine
© Photo: Ikigai Art Center

As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, massive fatalities have arisen, millions have fled, and more will continue to flee – thus escalating the number of refugees and the humanitarian crisis even further. In addition, local and international humanitarian workers are at high risk of injury or death due to the ongoing Russian assault. It is hard to comprehend the fact that all of the innocent people caught up in the fighting will remain with physical and emotional wounds for decades to come.

As of 12th April, 4.6 million people have already fled Ukraine to safety abroad, and there have been approximately 11.7 million people displaced within Ukraine. The result of this invasion is a widespread humanitarian crisis, underlined by a great human vulnerability with people struggling to meet their most basic and urgent needs.

Displaced citizens often flee their homes with very basic items or nothing at all. Access to electricity, water, shelter, clothes, food, and medical support is minimal in most areas. Redressing these shortfalls requires strong support from Ukrainian government and international communities.

Ongoing assistance from People in Need to Ukraine

People in Need (PIN) has been actively working on the ground in several capacities: aiding and funding of collections from domestic and international donors, and aid distribution to affected areas and fleeing Ukrainians.

The Czech people hold great solidarity with the people of Ukraine, for both Ukrainians who have fled to the Czech Republic and for those internally displaced within Ukraine. Through People in Need, more than 14 million EUR worth of aid has been delivered directly by PIN staff to both eastern and western Ukraine via truck and train, notably to the cities of Lviv, Kyiv, and Kharkiv, amongst others.

Within Ukraine, more than a hundred PIN colleagues have been working on the ground, in concert with our partner humanitarian organisations, to help operate assistance centres that provide refugees with basic equipment, food, cash, psychosocial support, and information. In western Ukraine, PIN has been stridently supportive of internal refugee centres through our provision of social support, kitchen appliances, bedding, and mattresses. While in eastern Ukraine, the support is more focused on food, water, and hygienic materials distribution. Cash distribution is also on our support list. At present and for the coming months, 981 of the most vulnerable people are being provided with cash assistance, mainly $75USD per month.

It is important to note that aid is not only sent to the big provinces or cities. It is also delivered through local organisations to farther, more remote areas by local volunteers. A total of €1,548,519 has been provided to nearly 150 local NGOs within Ukraine to distribute via their networks.

PIN has also launched a helpline for Ukrainians (+420 770 600 800). This has been operational for more than a month now. This helpline supports refugees seeking shelter, healthcare, understanding employment contracts, communication with schools, and translation.

Art initiative to support the people of Ukraine

As global citizens, we can support the people of Ukraine in many ways. Relying on I/NGOs like People in Need is one of the fastest, most efficient, and transparent forms of helping. Considering the urgent needs of the people of Ukraine, Ikigai Art Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, has devised a small but very creative approach to raising funds. Their ‘People to people’ support initiative is based on an art auction that involved a total of twenty-two artists

“We are proud of the artists for they voluntarily donated their works for this good cause. I couldn’t be prouder that People in Need was chosen as the organisation to channel the aid to Ukraine’s citizens,” Lukas Laube, PIN Cambodia’s Country Director.

About the art auction

Through the “Solidarity Art Auction for Ukraine”, twenty-six works of art were donated by twenty-two artists (both local and foreign). An open auction event was hosted on 22nd April at the art centre with seventy participants ranging from ambassadors, government ministers, key persons in development sectors, and the general public. The bidding for works of art was freely open to all attendees with a bidding increment of 5$. The twenty-two art pieces were auctioned, with the highest price being $600. In total, we were able to raise $2650.

“The art auction is a great platform to collectively show our solidarity for Ukraine, even from far away. At IKIGAI, we strongly believe that art is a powerful tool for change, for a better future. Buying a piece of art now is taking a political position and supporting an important cause”, Claire Taddei, Ikigai Arts Center Manager.

The auction indicates that a good deed can be done through any means, even art. There’s no such thing as little or less when it comes to offering help. Sometimes, a dollar that we donate can get someone a meal that can sustain them even for the day. This event provides extra energy and encouragement to our colleagues—despite the unrest they have experienced—throughout their vital mission to bring humanitarian relief to Ukrainians in both Ukraine and Czech Republic.

How will this money reach the people of Ukraine?

All proceeds from the auction will be sent to the SOS Ukraine emergency appeal launched by People in Need. We prioritise transparency and ensure that every cent will reach the people of Ukraine.

Read more about Ikigai Art Center and about our support to Ukraine. Read eight most frequently asked questions about aid to Ukraine.

For media inquiries please contact Ms. Johanna Legarta, PIN Cambodia’s Communications Manager, or Ms. Claire Taddei, Ikigai Arts Center Manager.

Autor: Sophika Kun, PIN Cambodia’s Communication Officer

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