If you are struggling and feeling powerless viewing the horrific images and reports from the war in Ukraine, I’ve got a few ideas for small positive actions that will help people affected by the war. And the weird thing is, that it’s all come about through Instagram… Last year, through following the hashtag #plasticfree I saw some footage of an incredible river clean up and rubbish catching operation called Trash Killer. I started following Artyom Prihodko to see more of his work and learn about environmental campaigns in other parts of the world. At the time I didn’t even know that the river Udy was in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Artyom Prihodko is a 31 year old environmental activist and content creator. He has a large social media following on his YouTube channel and TikTok. Since the Russian invasion, he has switched from environmental activism to humanitarian aid work. With a small team, he has worked every single day delivering food and supplies to people in need across Kharkiv and the surrounding area.
His accounts are filled with images of this work, and I have 100% faith that any money that you donate to his PayPal will directly help peoplewho are suffering in Kharkiv. It is humbling to see his work – and offers a different perspective from the images that we see in the news. This is what a true war hero looks like. You can contribute directly to his PayPal on Prihodko.email@example.com or via monobank or find him on Patreon.
Closer to home, food writers Olia Hercules and Alissa Timoshkina have set up the #CookForUkraine campaign. I’ve followed Olia for a long time after reading her dumpling recipes in The Guardian. From the start of the invasion she has campaigned to raise funds, awareness and put pressure on the UK government to provide an adequate system for Ukrainian refugees. The #CookForUkraine campaign has already raised over £400,000 for Unicef. You can learn more about how to get involved on their JustGiving page. In my area, a small group of chefs and Instagram foodies has donated over £5000 to the campaign running a supper club and bake sale. I’ve been amazed by all the contributions from small businesses and the amazing level of support given by local people. Local cooks Beth The Free Range Chef and Marilyn Grovesnor have been instrumental in making it all happen, and I’ve discovered a love for Ukrainian folk art whilst making chalkboard designs for the events. These food shots by Matt Inwood captured some of the action.
So, instead of fretting and feeling helpless, do something positive!
- PayPal some funds to Artyom Prihodko at Prihodko.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bake some Ukrainian food and raise money for Unicef through #CookForUkraine
- Organise a clothes swap or jumble sale to raise money for Medicins Sans Frontieres
- Learn some basic Ukrainian with Duolingo to help welcome refugees in your area
- Contact your MP using the TheyWorkForYou website to ask for a fair system for refugees fleeing war
Even if it’s just finding a bake sale and trying some delicious Ukrainian cakes, you can help make a difference!