Diocese of Chichester

Two year anniversary of the war in Ukraine

Continued assistance is vital to aid those impacted by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and the Diocese encourages church communities to extend their support through prayers for Ukraine or by commemorating the anniversary on February 24th.

On 22 feb 2024

In Diocese of Chichester

By comms

It’s been two years since Russia invaded Ukraine. 

Two years on, the need in Ukraine is still as acute as it was at the beginning, with the added element of mental health issues. The strain of living through a war – with constant shelling, having to leave your home, losing loved ones, friends and neighbours - is taking its toll on adults and children alike, and many projects are now about psychological support and counselling.

On a recent visit to Odesa, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said longer-term aid commitments are required to keep initiatives like these running.

Thanks to the generosity of people throughout the UK, work has been going on through Christian Aid’s local partners, to help communities. Christian Aid supporters have given more than £4.5 million and the charity also received more than £22 million from the Disasters Emergency Committee Appeal.

Initially, this funding helped pay for essentials such as shelter, food, and medical supplies, including mobile clinics which treated people and delivered essential drugs to communities in hard-to-reach places in the frontline areas of the East.

Cash support has also been given to individuals and community groups allowing them to take the lead in how they help affected communities with specific needs. Examples include setting up a communal construction workshop where people can borrow tools or materials to help repair damaged homes; building ramps for people with disabilities to access support centres; and preparing homes for winter.

Work has since moved on to initiatives such as safe spaces for families who lost their homes, where children especially can access support to help them cope with the trauma of war.

Alyona Puzanova is from the organisation Heritage Ukraine, one of Christian Aid’s partners, which has been working there since before the war, helping orphans and families in crisis.

Since the full-scale invasion in February 2022, the agency has expanded its efforts to provide shelter, food, cash and legal support to the elderly, children and people with disabilities.

Alyona said two years on, people’s need has not abated: “We can smile, we can give a hug but, in our circumstances, people need more than a hug. They need a home, they need medicine, they need so much more.”

Christian Aid is calling on international leaders to help find a just peace for Ukraine and keep up a humanitarian response which puts power and resources into the hands of the communities affected by the crisis.

But the agency also warns support for other crises around the world must not be reduced.

Pete Moorey, Head of Community and Church Fundraising and Engagement, said: “We’d like to say a massive thank you to our supporters who are enabling local partners to make a huge difference to so many people who lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones.

“Through local initiatives, we can support the hardest hit by helping them to rebuild their lives, their communities, and address the consequences of the war on their wellbeing.

“But there is more to do in Ukraine, and in other countries affected by this war on top of other crises. Every prayer, every gift, every action brings hope to people hit by disaster.”

To find out how to get involved in Christian Aid’s fundraising and campaigning visit: www.christianaid.org.uk

The Diocese of Europe invite churches and individuals to use and share the prayers Resources to support prayers for Ukraine | Diocese in Europe (anglican.org)as part of your own services, or to mark the anniversary on 24th February. These include prayers written by members of the congregation of Christ Church, Kyiv, and a prayer to mark the anniversary.

Help is still needed to support people affected by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Since its launch in 2022, the appeal by USPG and the Diocese in Europe has been instrumental in providing vital assistance to those in Ukraine and those who have left. Please share the short videos here: The conflict in Ukraine: “Death and ruination can be overcome only by compassion and love” | Diocese in Europe (anglican.org) which tell the stories of projects the appeal has supported.

Donations to the appeal can be made here: Donate (raisely.com)

Pictured: The Archbishop of Canterbury and representatives from Christian Aid met some of our local partners, in Odesa.