Emergency appeal supports Ukrainians in Finland

First published on: 22nd August 2022

When Russia's war against Ukraine began in February 2022, the number of Ukrainians in Finland rose from about 6,000 to over 26,000. Most of those who arrived in Finland have settled down in or near to Helsinki, where the Help Centre for Ukrainians is based.

Funds from USPG and the Diocese in Europe’s joint Ukraine appeal are helping the Ukrainian Association in Finland to employ a Humanitarian Aid Coordinator at this centre for at least six months. This individual will be responsible for organising food and hygiene packages at the centre, and for securing further contributions to the running of the centre.

The employment of the Humanitarian Aid Coordinator will help to support around 140 families a week with their material and emotional needs, and to help Ukrainians in Finland to start building their life and future in the country. The Ukrainian Association in Finland is hopeful that the employment of the coordinator will increase the number of families the centre can help, and increase the support the centre receives from local organisations.

The Diocese in Europe's Helsinki chaplaincy has been integral to the appointment of the Humanitarian Aid Coordinator. Rev'd Tuomas Mäkipää, Chaplain of St Nicholas, Helsinki says, 'We are pleased to have achieved an agreement to fund a full-time coordinator in the Help Centre for six months. We hope this helps the centre to prepare for more long-term operations in a situation where the war in Ukraine is likely to continue for months. We also hope that our cooperation will encourage other organisations and churches to think about how they might continue their support when the situation is prolonged, and 'crisis fatigue' starts to show both in donors and volunteers.'