By Christiane Leitner | ERIC President 2021/22
On this incisive morning, the messengers were filled with Rotaractors asking two questions immediately:
1) “Are you and your family okay?”
2) “How can we help you? What do you need?”
And this hands-on mentality increased hour by hour. Rotaractors organized medical and relief supplies transportation to Ukraine, Rotarians all across the world established an incredible disaster help network and other Rotaractors supported the accommodation initiative of the DRR 2232 Iryna Bushmina. Iryna and her team has found accommodation for more than 2,000 Ukrainian refugees up until now.
Furthermore, Rotaract Europe decided to establish a fundraiser and to support a non-Rotary association to help quickly and efficiently.
Luckily, due to certain work acquaintances, we came across Andrey Krasnov, who is one of 1.200 members of the citizens’ initiative “GoodWill”. Thanks to his hands-on participation at GoodWill, he received a lot of information from medical staff about what was needed concerning medicine or equipment. Therefore, he informed us that defibrillators were urgently required in certain areas in Ukraine – so we stepped in and did something. We generated the first fundraising in Rotaract Europe’s history. With the help of Rotary/Rotaract Clubs and private donors, we reached our goal of EUR 15.000 within the first month. Yet, money and contacts in Ukraine were not enough: we needed support in terms of purchasing this special medical equipment. Thanks to Dr. Peter Neuner (D1920), a dedicated Rotarian who managed to negotiate on our behalf, we could obtain 15 Defibrillators for our fundraised money.
And yet again, it was not enough. We needed to deliver the goods to their final destination in Kyiv. So, again we made use of our Rotarian network, and with the support of Rotary Club Leoben (D1910), we transported our precious defibrillators to Lviv. From there on, our dear Rotaract friend Yuliya Bitner from Rotaract Club Lviv International took over and ensured that they were handed over to the members of GoodWill.
As of now, five of them are on the five main evacuation railway stations – for refugees’ needs; the rest was brought to parts of Ukraine where they are most required.
The gist of this tragic story is that whenever someone needs help, it does not matter under which circumstances; you can always find a way to support them because there are a lot of – maybe until now, unknown – friends out there who will support you.
If you want to make a donation and help us continue supporting Ukraine, here are the details:
Beneficiary: Rotaract Europe ASBL – Help account
IBAN: LU30 0019 7055 1338 2000
BIC / SWIFT: BCEELULL Bank: Spuerkeess
Subject: Donation Ukraine
On behalf of Rotaract Europe: A big THANK YOU to anybody who participates and helps during those times – and works for a better tomorrow and a brighter future.