Working Together for Ukraine

Updated 3rd May 2022

People fleeing Lviv in March. Photo by Gregor Fischer

Thank you for your generous and compassionate response to the hardships affecting our fellow human beings in Ukraine. We have created this page to keep you informed as new developments occur, to let you know what we have done with the money so far entrusted to us, and as a way for you to continue to support our work if you feel to do so.

So far you have helped Susila Dharma raise over $70,000 and the response team is continually exploring ways to maximize our support both within and outside Ukraine. Our network is agile and allows us to reach communities in need. With their help, we can be extremely effective, and can guarantee that your money is put to good use. SDIA takes no commission on your donations to the Ukraine emergency appeal, so you can also rest assured that 100% of your donations is being spent on the ground.

We understand the damage caused by this invasion could take many years to repair, and needs are likely to be long-term. Therefore, we are thinking about a longer-term plan and considering the most effective way we can support Ukraine and its people at this time.

Meanwhile, we are working with a strong and efficient team on the ground that has been monitoring the needs in its communities since the beginning of the Russian invasion.  Representatives from SDIA, our national Susila Dharma chapters and representatives of the World Subud Association are in frequent communication with people in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to identify and help them get needed materials and support.

For example, team members have contacts with doctors in a hospital in central Ukraine who have helped us to identify what is really needed to save lives and cannot be found in Ukraine, such as:

  • specialized medical equipment and devices to treat war injuries
  • generators for domestic use in damaged cities and villages of Ukraine
  • trauma counselling and support to caregivers to help children affected by the war, using trained facilitators and the International Child Development Programme (ICDP).

So far, SDIA and its support team around the work have carried out the following specific actions:

Sending Supplies

We have:

  • sourced and provided $15,000 USD worth of medical equipment and supplies to treat burns and other traumas that was no longer available in Europe
  • collected specialized medical equipment worth $8,000 USD from a hospital in Wuppertal with the chair of Subud Germany who is an anaesthetist there. This was shipped in partnership with the German NGO ‘Refugee Foundation’ and other supplies and equipment from a hospital in Scotland by a doctor from Subud Britain who delivered it in person to the Ukrainian border in her van. Both shipments were received at the hospital in early April.
  • purchased an ultrasound machine (to detect shrapnel fragments in injured bodies) worth $25,000 USD in partnership with Subud Germany and German NGO the ‘Refugee Foundation’.
  • financially supported Ukrainians who have initiated food and medicine relief distribution in their villages or towns
  • in partnership with Subud Eastern Europe, supplied 10 generators to families in several damaged towns and cities to enable them to have light, cook meals, heat their houses / shelters while the electricity network remains seriously damaged.

We are planning to deliver more generators – our network all over Europe is working hard on this as we speak. Our target is a total of 100.

Supporting needs of refugees leaving Ukraine

  • SDIA is providing funds to cover housing, transport and other expenses incurred by refugees fleeing Ukraine.
  • Around 37 refugees have been welcomed and accommodated at SDIA members’ homes and Subud Association venues in Poland, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
  • Further offers from Austria, Czech Republic, France, UK and Portugal are being followed up.

Supporting the needs of communities

SDIA has sent funds to support outreach activities organised by and based on needs identified by local people.  These include:

  • supporting 7 facilitators of ICDP, long valued partner of SDIA to accompany children who remain in Ukraine and their parents with counselling, discussion groups, trauma prevention and psychological support.
  • buying food, medicine and warm clothes to help elderly neighbours who cannot leave their homes.
  • finance art workshops organised by members of Subud Ukraine and deliveries of craft supplies and toys for children in a refugee camp (150+ people).

June 1st 2022 – update

In April, the need was assessed for generators in cities impacted by bombings with frequent or long-term power cuts: generators for families to cook, use washing machines, light their house in the evening etc. Since none of us in the team knew much about generators, we asked for help around us and found the support of an expert in Nice, South of France, in the person of Gérard, a retired teacher in electro-physics.

Not only did we get advice, but Gérard surveyed suppliers in Nice and got a good deal with a 20% discount from BricoDépôt for 19 generators: 16 were financed by SDIA, SD France and SD Spain (total 5000 euros), and Gérard paid for 3 of them with a personal crowdfunding campaign. And not only did Gérard help us purchase those 19 generators, but he also offered to drove them to Warsaw with his friend Claude, in Claude’s van. Thank you, Gérard!

The images show:

  • the 19 small generators of 3,5 kv for families in Ukraine. Thanks to BricoDépôt for the generous discount !
  • Gérard and Claude leaving Nice on the 24th of April in Claude’s van;
  • in the van, 19 generators and medical supplies sent to Gérard by Olga Ramirez from SD Spain.
  • 1800 km and 24 hours later, on April 25th, Gérard ( left) and Claude ( right) arriving at the warehouse of Warsaw where Kirill (center) and colleague (behind) helped them unload the van.
  • On May 14th, authorization to enter Ukraine was successfully completed, and the generators crossed the border to be distributed to families who need them in the region of Chernihiv – severely damaged after one month of Russian occupation from early March until April.  “The generators were left to the discretion of the Ministry of Health in the Chernihiv region. They asked for them to be delivered to the Chernihiv Blood Center, maybe because the building was still more or less intact, to be later distributed where most needed.”

Update from our main contact in Ukraine on April 10. These images show Dr Maria Armstrong and family in Scotland with medical supplies about to be sent to Ukraine, as well as their safe arrival at their destination.

“The images show the delivered goods as well as a retired military surgeon who used to work at the hospital and helps to keep the connection, and the chief military surgeon of the region.
I was shown how external fixation devices are used with pictures of real wounds – like arms totally devastated with shell fragments. Alongside he showed other pictures of the people whom they treat – it’s horrible, I’ve never seen such things in my life. Damaged arms, blown feet, torn out legs (both), sometimes it’s even hard to understand that it is a picture of a human being.
Most of the equipment will be transported by the military further east where many injured people are treated in one of the biggest cities of Ukraine, close to the war regions.
We all are very very grateful for all your work and help.  Warm thank you on behalf of all the people who will be treated with your equipment.”
April 4: 
For the last two days we financially supported two volunteering teams in occupied territory and in the devastated Kyiv region. I carefully verified that the people who are doing this are credible.
I’d like to say again, more and more, big thank you to all of you for helping Ukraine.
March 29
The generators have arrived – see the pictures attached. I passed them to the local volunteers who will bring them further on to the place of action.