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Ukraine Appeal ReliefAid

  • Healing hearts and homes: Emergency Response, Medical Care, and Kids' Mental Health in Ukraine

      28 August 2023
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    In light of recent developments in Ukraine, we're excited to share the impactful strides we've made in crucial areas, thanks to your generous contributions: medical assistance and emotional healing for children.

    In the realm of medical support, we've aided 28 incredible children in their battle against cancer across 11 regions in Ukraine through the Таблеточки Foundation. These brave families, facing both conflict-related stress and the challenges of cancer, inspire us with their resilience. Our assistance extends to a medical centre in Eastern Ukraine, undeterred by missile strikes, providing free consultations and vital care to residents of 17 fire-stricken villages.

    The toll of conflict on Ukraine's children is profound, with nearly two-thirds displaced and war's trauma ever-present. To offer respite, we sponsored a transformative 10-day kids' camp nestled within Ukraine's serene Carpathian Mountains. With over 100 activities, this volunteer-run camp equips children with tools to navigate trauma, fostering resilience and solace amidst adversity.

    Amidst challenges, our community's unwavering support continues to yield profound change in the lives of conflict-affected individuals. The stories emerging from Ukraine speak of resilience, compassion, and hope, underlining the lasting impact of your commitment. Thank you!

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  • Emergency aid delivered to Ukrainian families after Kakhovka dam rupture, thank you for your help.

      15 June 2023
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    We called out for help, and we have been inspired by the immediacy and compassion of your rapid response. Last week, thousands of Ukrainians faced the fallout of mass flooding from the Kakhovka dam rupture. Within 48 hours, our teams were on the ground, providing emergency drinking water.

    With your support, we were able to deliver 20,415 litres of drinking water to families, as well as water pumps. The pumps will allow families to drain floodwater from their homes so they can return and begin rebuilding. Families still have a long way to go in their restoration process, but with your help, we have provided the first steps– along with a reminder of hope.

    This further tragedy has been beyond anything we have ever seen. Your humanity is a gift to families who are experiencing the unimaginable. Thank you.

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  • Rapid Response to Recent Missile Strikes, Thanks for your help

      8 June 2023

    "I would have run away... but how and where?"

    - A survivor of the recent Kramatorsk attack

    This video shows the outcome of a recent attack on a Ukraine city which destroyed over 700 houses and 350 multi-story buildings. Within 72 hours we were on the ground distributing emergency aid to the families who survived the attack.

    With your help, we were able to respond immediately. The provision of emergency aid is not merely a material gesture. Your support reassures these families that they are not alone in navigating the unimaginable challenges that lie before them.

    ReliefAid Founder and Executive Director, Mike Seawright, has been back in Ukraine. He shared, “Each day our team, starting at 6 in the morning, drives 4 hours to the communities that we are supporting. The drive isn’t easy, with roads pot holed with shells and shrapnel. At the distribution site the team has to move quickly as attacks can come anytime. Often we have to move from one neighbourhood or village to another as incoming attacks are expected. The sounds of explosions, artillery and rockets are ever present.”

    The conflict in Ukraine still rages on, but thanks to your ongoing support we can and will continue to deliver #AidThatCannotWait. Thank you.

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  • Thank You for Your Humanity

      22 December 2022
    Posted by: ReliefAid
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    A Youtube message from Mike, thanking you for the support you have given to ReliefAid as we continue to help the people of Ukraine.

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  • Winter in Ukraine

      3 November 2022
    Posted by: ReliefAid
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    With temperatures already dropping below freezing in Ukraine and recent missile strikes damaging 40 percent of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, we are especially grateful for your support. Power outages are leaving families, many of whom are living in damaged or makeshift buildings, without heating, lighting or water.

    We are supporting families with winter aid, including wood burning heaters, warm clothing and blankets, which are arriving in our Kyiv warehouse daily and will be distributed soon. We continue to distribute water containers giving people a means of storing water to cope with water outages. The solar lamps we deliver are invaluable, with no light at night they provide a means to navigate the darkness. Crucially the lamps also have cell phone charging capacity, enabling people to reach out to loved ones and to receive emergency updates as they come through.

    We continue to deliver food, medical supplies and medicines, as well as tool kits and materials to help people repair and weatherproof homes impacted by missile damage. We have also recently completed a roofing project, delivering insulation materials to protect damaged homes from winter storms.

    We are motivated and inspired by the strength, hope and solidarity of the people we support. As part of our process to ensure the aid we deliver is fit for purpose, we revisit some of the people who received aid. Leonid, whose home had been uninhabitable after a missile strike, had made good use of the aid and made a few rooms habitable he told us, “We are hard-working people, we will roll up our sleeves and do what is necessary, we will rebuild little by little, the main thing is that there should be peace.”

    Thank you for making our work possible. In difficult and desperate circumstances your support not only provides practical help, it reminds people there is still humanity in this world.

    All the best,

    Mike Seawright ReliefAid Founder and Executive Director

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  • Newsletter - September 2022. Seasons change, our commitment stays the same.

      13 September 2022
    Posted by: ReliefAid
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    Hi there,

    I hope you and your families are safe and well.

    Summer and its heat present many challenges for families affected by war, especially when homes are damaged or destroyed and fighting continues around them. But these challenges are amplified ten-fold when winter arrives.

    No electricity, gas or heating, windows sealed with flimsy plastic sheeting, roofs open to the elements from bombing makes life exceptionally difficult for families faced with sub-zero temperatures. With winter fast approaching in Ukraine, Syria and Afghanistan, families are wondering how they will survive, let alone thrive.

    The problems families face when confronted by war are big, there is no denying this. But we see time and time again communities helping each other, neighbours sharing what little they have, families doing their utmost to help themselves. They are not helpless but like many of us who have experienced challenges in our lives they need a hand to fill gaps they cannot bridge.

    This winter ReliefAid will help bridge this gap. In Ukraine and Syria we will be distributing shelter aid and winter clothing. Syria will see a scaling up of our programme building tent bases, protecting families from flooding. In Ukraine we are starting a new project distributing heaters to keep people warm through the long winter months. It doesn’t stop there as our education, health, food and cooking stove programmes continue.

    Our aid deliveries in Ukraine have reached 30,000 people to date. We recently revisited Ruslan, one of the many people I met in Ukraine, whose home was badly damaged and who received aid from us. He told us “I don’t know what we would have done without ReliefAid. It helped knowing there was someone there, even though I couldn’t see them, they were looking out for us. We got help we needed when we needed it. They weren’t just empty words.”

    You are the people families affected by conflict can’t see. Alongside the aid you help us deliver your support is a powerful reminder that, amidst the horror of war, there is still humanity in this world. Thank you.

    All the best,

    Mike Seawright ReliefAid Founder and Executive Director


    "I am grateful to you for your help, for opening up your hearts and helping people" Tatyana Ukraine

    Tatyana and her friend Oksana live in the Chernhiv region. We first met them at one of our shelter aid distributions and recently revisited them to find out if the aid helped. This is Tatyana's story.

    "Before everything started I lived normally, I didn’t think about anything like that, although there were conversations between neighbours and on the news. Even on the 24th, when my friend woke me up and told me not to go to work or take my child to school, the war started, I didn’t even believe it.

    My husband said the war had begun and I still thought that this was a “game”, I couldn’t believe it, we lived together all the time, this couldn’t happen, until the last I thought that we were still brothers.

    On March 6th there was shooting nearby and I was told that it is better to leave. We have two son's and a daughter, but one son did not fit in the car, so he left the next morning. That evening my neighbours called me and said my barn was on fire. In the shed we had building materials, all kinds of electronics, and all my husband’s tools, everything burned down".

    "The next day the house burnt down. We had lived all the last nights in the cellar of the house, if we had stayed, everything that burned would have fallen in on us. We would not have been able to get out and would simply have suffocated there. Only one cat survived, the other two cats and dogs did not.

    Just before the war I fulfilled all my childhood dreams. Everything that the children wanted, I bought everything. Now my life fits in two trailers".

    Tatyana has lost much but not her sense of humour, looking at the rubble which was once her home she shrugs her shoulders and jokes "They decided that we need to build new housing."

    She is determined to rebuild her life and they have starting building a small house on their land. For now, needing somewhere to live, they have salvaged bits of building material and pieced together a small shack big enough to sleep in. The materials we distributed helped. Tarpaulins cover the roof, pieces of rope lash structures together, hammer, nails and tools are used to shape pieces of timber into walls. Blankets keep them warm at night and the solar lamp provides light.

    Tatyana faces a tough future, but she has turned a crisis into an adventure for eight year old Anastasia. An adventure made possible thanks to your support.

    "Thanks to the people who help, you try not to lose heart. You believe that everything will be fine, that you can handle it. I am grateful to these people for their help, for opening their hearts to people and helping."

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  • Expect the unexpected!

      12 June 2022
    Posted by: ReliefAid
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    I think those of us working in the volunteer sector will be familiar with this statement. So it has been for me. My role with ReliefAid is based in Syria running an education programme called BounceBack4Syria from my laptop in Auckland. Then one day a request came through asking if I would look after the Givealittle Page. I would never have imagined what this would really involve and after the 6 March this year, it meant that in a small way I met everyone who has donated to raising funds of over $181,000 for the work of ReliefAid in Ukraine.

    Kiwis are a kind and generous lot! Whether you have links to Ukraine all of you have felt connected to those in need in a world we struggle to understand. I considered that it was the least I could do to reply to every donation to this fundraiser – all 978 of them so far and will continue to do so. I have tried to make my thank you personal as I admire every person who has donated to this cause, no matter the size of the donation, no matter if it is your first donation or your third, no matter if you have signed up to donate weekly or monthly or it was a one off. Each donation is appreciated. Thank you trice over. For those who have donated time and energy to running fundraisers from feijoa sales to gingernuts and gin. You are amazing! To all of you who have written your messages of support for the team in Ukraine these have been read and sent these on to them to boost their spirits.

    Your kindness has allowed ReliefAid to deliver: food supplies to families living in areas that have become accessible since front lines have been pushed back; medical supplies to hospitals in Kyiv and Dnipro that are dealing with trauma cases; shelter kits including tools and materials for undertaking first line repairs to missile damaged homes; hygiene kits, mattresses and blankets to people living in collective centres.

    Thanks to you we have been able to help people in towns and villages that have seen some of the worst of the fighting including Lubny, Bucha, Svyatopetrovsky, Irpin, Chernivsti, Horenka, Gorenka, Brovary, Kalinov, Borshchahiv, Mykolaiv, Myla.

    Please follow us on Social Media to keep updated with the assistance we are rolling out and to see how your donations are helping as we aim for $200,000.

    Bernadette Stockman

    Education Manager


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  • Have you seen our newsletter?

      15 May 2022
    Posted by: ReliefAid
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    Check out this link to our most recent newsletter.

    If you’re into numbers, the newsletter contains data on a range of items including how many people we have helped. If you’re wanting to see the support we are giving, there are many photos showing the team working on the ground. And if you into keeping this vital support heading to the people of Ukraine, share this link with those who may not know about ReliefAid a home-grown Kiwi organisation helping those in a war zone. We still need your support and are thankful you are on board. Kia kaha.

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  • Video from Thiago, ReliefAid speaking about the distribution of aid heading to Kyiv.

      12 April 2022
    Posted by: ReliefAid
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    Firstly, a huge thank you for your continued support of our efforts in Ukraine. As you listen to Thiago you can know that your contributions are making a real difference right now.

    A shout out to the many groups who have organised events to raise funds for Ukraine. These include Rangi Ruru College and Paisley Stage in Napier. We know that kiwis are a generous lot, and we are seeing evidence of this every day.

    You can follow our efforts and the efforts of our supporters on Facebook and Instagram and if there is one more thing we can ask of you, that is to send your contacts a message about our work.

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  • Media spots with Mike in Ukraine about ReliefAids work in Ukraine tomorrow Sunday 10th

      9 April 2022
    Posted by: ReliefAid
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    Thanks to our many supporters. You are an awesome bunch of people.

    There are 2 upcoming opportunities to hear how your donations are helping those in Ukraine. Check out the Sunday Star Times this Sunday 10 April.

    Tune in to Jim Mora tomorrow on RNZ to listen to an interview with Mike about the work ReliefAid are doing on the ground.

    Check out our updated gallery on Give a Little. and please continue to help by sharing our work with your networks.

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  • Update from Mike Seawright in Lviv, Ukraine

      23 March 2022
    Posted by: ReliefAid
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    Mike is in Lviv where he is setting up our aid operation to deliver emergency aid to people in hard to reach places, including medical supplies, food and shelter materials. He's given a few media updates over the last few days, if you have missed them you can find them on our website Thank you for the incredible support. Please continue to share our information, your support will help us reach more people directly impacted by the conflict.

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  • Founder of ReliefAid Mike Seawright is in Lviv, Ukaraine, setting up assistance. Listen this interview from yesterday.

      12 March 2022
    Posted by: ReliefAid from RNZ.

    From RNZ: Inside Ukraine the fighting that is causing the exodus of so many people is continuing on multiple fronts. The Mayor of Kyiv, former boxing champion Vitali Klitschcko, says the capital has been turned into a fortress as Russian forces close in. Other Ukrainian cities are also under siege and for those who either don't want to leave or can't, aid workers are doing what they can to help. One of them is New Zealander, Mike Seawright, who founded ReliefAid. He entered Ukraine alone two days ago.

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