New Series: Volunteering for Ukraine

August 1, 2022
TCUP logo and text Volunteering for Ukraine on a background of refugees boarding a bus

Volunteering for Ukraine poster with background photo of refugees boarding busThe Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program at HURI has launched a new series of TCUP Commentary to highlight the work of volunteers and humanitarian organizations assisting those affected by the war in Ukraine.

 "Volunteering for Ukraine" articles are written by individuals connected to HURI and the wider Harvard community who have been volunteering with effective programs to provide physical or monetary aid to refugees, displaced persons, and those remaining in Ukraine who are at risk because of the war. 

Our first post is written by Daria Savchenko, a PhD student in Harvard's Department of Anthropology. As Daria shares, she was inspired by a social media post that highlighted the work of Helping to Leave. She wondered if volunteers from hundreds or thousands of miles away from the warzone could truly make a difference to those trying to escape the violence.

Joining the network of hundreds of volunteers working to fact check information, convey key details to refugees, and coordinate safe passage, she experienced first hand how vital such programs could be for people seeking safety.

"With the collective on-the-ground expertise of its members, Helping to Leave is able to tailor its assistance to the specific needs of those escaping the war – needs that big nonprofits like the Red Cross struggle to identify and meet," Daria writes. 

Read more about Daria's work with Helping to Leave in our TCUP Commentary section.

Future contributions to this series include:

  • Kimberly St. Julian Varnon (HUSI 2021) on using social media to collate key information, mobilize networks to get people to safety, and fight disinformation about Ukraine and the war
  • John Vsetecka and Britta Ellwanger on the work of their organization forPEACE and the impact of direct people-to-people aid
  • Liza Menshikova (HUSI 2022) on working with Best Education Choice and relaying her friends' experiences on the frontline in Ukraine
See also: TCUP