Dear UCU Foundation Supporters,

With the support of University donors and partners worldwide, UCU has leveraged $1.18 million in donations towards direct relief efforts in Ukraine.

Below please find the updated report which Ukrainian Catholic University has prepared about its extensive activities to date.

From the very beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the community at Ukrainian Catholic University has organized as a single headquarters. Workers, students, teachers and clergy have all collected aid for the Armed Forces, supported the displaced, participated in the information war against Russian propaganda, and provided spiritual and psychological support to help those in need. Through joint efforts during the first month of the war, UCU managed to raise significant financial resources and provide $ 1.18 million to help Ukraine. Below we will tell you more about the university’s initiatives that are currently working as a coordinated effort.

Thus, during the war, the university ceased to be just an educational institution. Currently, the Volunteer Center (more than 100 people, most of them students) is actively working on campus to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need.

Weaving camouflage nets at UCU

During the month of war, volunteers received aid transported by 3 trucks, 32 minibuses and more than 50 cars. The Student Volunteer Center processed 265 requests from the military, volunteers, civilians in need, as well as hospitals.

More than 25 tons of various aid were sent to 27 cities of Ukraine, including the cities in the line of fire: Kyiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Zaporizhia, Severodonetsk, Vinnytsia, Cherkasy, Dnipro, Gostomel, Zhytomyr, Yuzhnoukrainsk, Popasna, Bakhmut, Kropyvnytskyi and others.

Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, famous singer and civic activist, leader of the group Okean Elzy, met with students of the Ukrainian Catholic University

The following student initiatives have become another important component of the UCU Humanitarian Front:

  • weaving camouflage nets (60 nets were woven, more than 200 volunteers were involved)
  • workshops for writing letters to the military (more than 1000 letters sent)
  • baking workshops for the military (more than 200 kg of pastry sent)
  • children’s room for children of migrants (about 30 children are involved, with 22 volunteers)
Postcards for the military from UCU students. Photo: Fiora Garenzi

Among other things, Ukrainian Catholic University provides financial support for the logistical processes for the public initiative Save Ukraine UA. This initiative provides humanitarian assistance to residents of Kyiv and Kharkiv, and in partnership with the Ukrainian Educational Platform, provides personal protective equipment to combatants.

On the UCU medical front, staff and students help to provide medications and medical supplies to military and civilian hospitals in Ukrainian cities, as well as to some of the displaced persons affected by the war. Thanks to the support of philanthropists, the university has provided over UAH 23 million for medicine. ($785,072 USD).

In addition, two international teams of medical professionals from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom came to help Ukrainians affected by the war. They were housed on the University premises.

In the media sphere, we made a special website to collect and store information about the work of the University during the war, which covers daily information on all projects initiated and implemented by our community, as well as current information about the war in Ukraine in English. Thus, during the first month of the war, UCU issued and published 15 official statements to the world community regarding the Russian invasion. We actively involved international media in the coverage of events in Ukraine and UCU’s activities during the war. Their materials can be viewed in the section UCU in the media.

UCU students study and volunteer in a shelter during an air raid

At the same time, we continue distance learning in academic endeavors, which also allows for volunteering. Taking care of students from other Ukrainian universities located in the war zone, UCU has initiated the UCU Open University project, which creates free educational opportunities for internally displaced students. UCU, together with DePaul University (USA), is also launching online training courses.

In response to the challenges of the time, the team at Ukrainian Catholic University promptly arranged and provided shelter on its own premises in order to accommodate migrants, guests, and partners of the University.

Shelter for migrants in one of the UCU buildings

During the first 30 days of the war, UCU shelters welcomed 502 migrants from various regions in Ukraine, including 36 children under the age of 6 and 103 young people from 6 to 18 years old. Also, 32 Caritas employees and their families from Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk regions found shelter at the university. The guests were offered medical support, legal, psychological support, workshops, assistance in child care, and social counseling.

Making gingerbread at the UCU volunteer headquarters

Meanwhile, UCU has not stopped working in the spiritual field for a day. Under the auspices of the Deanery of Pastoral Affairs, we have been holding liturgical practices and memorial services for those who died during the war. We continue to provide spiritual care and conversations with the refugees, who are currently living in the Student Collegium and in the academic building on John Paul II Avenue.

Volumes of work and research will be written about each of past days of 30 days of struggle in the near future. We believe that one of them will be about the incredible community of friends and leaders at UCU, which made it possible to fulfill the mission of the University in our struggle for the right of Ukraine to be free.

Master class on icon painting on glass for people fleeing the war

You can read more about UCU’s initiatives, our partners, projects and expert advice, support from representatives of various organizations from abroad and from other regions of Ukraine in our wider report at the following link.

To support Ukrainian Catholic University’s humanitarian relief efforts, donate now.