How to Share Kindness To The Victims of War

One of our ILNI team members has been volunteering in a shelter welcoming families escaping the war raging in Ukraine. Here is her story.

This week I have been volunteering in a shelter welcoming families escaping the war raging in Ukraine. I started helping by distributing piles of donated clothing to the families and found my role soon expanded into much more. I met mothers, grandmothers and teenagers who wanted to talk about their experiences as they tried to process them also. Like the mother who tried to hide her terror from her young son by making the attacks into a ‘fun’ game of hide and seek in the basement and practising his numbers by counting the explosions. Or the grandmother who shuffled slowly along at a plodding pace but somehow managed to help her daughter-in-law and three infant children flee through the fighting to safety.

I soon found I was giving away as many hugs as piles of clothes while wiping away many tears (my own included). I cannot begin to comprehend the pain inflicted on these families, who have left parents, husbands and sons behind in a war zone. And I cannot fully know the trauma of travelling for days on buses and trains through a warzone to arrive in a new country with a new language. I can only hope never to feel the uncertainty they feel about what comes next—hoping one day to return to their country and wondering how to build a future in a new land. 

 

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. – Mother Teresa

 

These families seeking shelter from the war are not the first to flee to our safer nation. Many families from other countries have been welcomed over the years, all fleeing wars that have raged through their towns, lives and future plans. All were facing an uncertain future in a new land while missing home and loved ones. As the battles rage in their nations, home becomes a place they cannot return to, so we must make them feel welcome here.

We cannot physically fight the battles in their land or make any real difference to the direction of these wars, but we can help by welcoming each victim of war with kindness and compassion.

Therefore, I wanted to share some of the ways to help those fleeing conflict:

 

Donate

Below is a list some of the leading organizations helping refugees from conflicts across our globe. By donating to their efforts, you can be sure the help reaches the people in need.

 

·      Save the Children

·      RefugePoint

 

Add Your Voice

Standing in solidarity with nations experiencing war, is important. Many places are arranging peaceful protests and you can find them here.

Another way to share your voice is to join GlobalCitizen in their online protests via social media channels. 

 

Stay Informed

Follow the news via reliable news sources and learn more about the conflicts around the world. Don’t rely on social media for your information, and always check the information is accurate before sharing. A good place to start is FactCheck.

 

Help Locally

Contact your local government to connect with local initiatives to support refugee families. Many local agencies are looking for volunteers to help and for donations of essential items 

 

One of the main ways we can fight the horrors of war is to insist on loving and supporting those who flee to our shores. For, what the victims of war need most is kindness, and that is something we can all give, in endless supply. So, when youmeet someone who has sought refuge in our safer lands, please extend them a warm welcome and help them feel more at home, any way you can.  

 

~ By Fay Kortleven, author of the 30 New Days Books.

 

‘Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.’ – Princess Diana