Sheffield Youth club raises £700 from fundraiser for Ukraine

10 March 2022

A Sheffield Extinction Rebellion youth group club raised almost £700 for humanitarian aid in Ukraine last Sunday. 

The Youth group, set up a fundraiser at the Moor in the City Centre to help those affected by the war which is now entering its third week. 

Natalie Menik, a Ukrainian student the University of Sheffield, wanted to support the event in a bid to try and do something to help.

She said: “My people are torn apart and separated. My own family is displaced on the border looking for safety. I am a mother, and all the men in my family have gone to war, as a result, the women and children are on their own.” 

The organisers have set up several events to engage with the community, from selling baked goods to Ukrainian food tastings.

     

Mrs Menik said: “I feel a little bit better today knowing that I was able to help a good cause.

“I’ve only been sleeping for only 3 hours constantly worrying for my family back home.”

An organiser from Sheffield Extinction Rebellion (XR), said: “I am from Eastern Poland. My town is less than 100km from the border. I can’t believe and accept that people living close to where I grew up have to face this nightmare.

“Reading about the unfair suffering in Ukraine made me feel helpless. I wanted to support them but was worried I could not because I am too far from Ukraine. Organising this action meant a lot.

“As a group of young students we cannot stop the war or impose sanctions but seeing how many people engaged with us by asking questions, sharing their stories and donating money, gave me hope.”

Volunteers knitted scarves and hats for people on the ground in Ukraine, with some planting sunflower seeds, the national Ukrainian flower, in Sheffield. 

Members of the public were encouraged to participate in art work to try and spread anti-war messages and were asked to submit an anonymous donation in support for the cause.

     

Jenny Herman, another XR Youth organizer, said: “We are trying to raise awareness about the issues in Ukraine and aiming to raise funds for people in Ukraine, on the ground and fleeing. Whatever we can help them with, is why we are here today.”

Mrs Menik adds: “ I believe everyone one of us should stand up. The war has to stop, all of us have to come together to stop this madness.” 

XR Youth will be discussing the best way to continue supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine on their weekly Monday meetings at Union street.

To find out more regarding their events follow : https://www.instagram.com/xryouthsheffield/ 

Written by Ayesha Parwani

Trainee Journalist at the University of Sheffield Ted X speaker and writer for Gems Magazine,CIS newsletters (Dubai)

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