Philadelphia Interfaith Peace Walk Statement in Support of Ukraine

The Philadelphia Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation expresses our heartfelt grief and solidarity with the Ukrainian people over the horrific Russian invasion of their sovereign country, leading to the ongoing suffering and deaths of its citizens. 

We express our deep support for:

  • The courageous unified efforts of Ukrainians to maintain their independence and national integrity

  • Ukrainian refugees (currently estimated at ½ million) fleeing to neighboring countries

  • The many Ukrainian ex-pats in the U.S. and many other parts of the world as they too suffer grief, anxiety, and losses of loved ones in Ukraine

  • The unified efforts of the European Union, U.S., Switzerland, Japan, and other countries to financially disable Russia’s war economy during this criminal invasion

  • The many people of the world who are re-traumatized as they experience similarities to Hitler’s occupation of neighboring countries of Germany in the twentieth century 

We invite our Peace Walk community and all people of goodwill to:

  • Actively join in vigils and peaceful demonstrations in support of Ukraine’s independence

  • Meet in our various affinity groups, including interfaith, churches, synagogues, mosques, gurdwaras, etc., to offer further prayers, wisdom, and ways to support peace and Ukrainian freedom

  • Reach out with expressions of personal support to Ukrainians whom we may know personally (or have contact with through other connections)

  • Encourage the U.S. government to accept Ukrainian refugees fleeing the invasion, as European countries are doing.

  • Monitor carefully social media’s misinformation and be discerning about the source of news reports on the invasion

  • Avoid Russian oil and petroleum sources in the US,  e.g. Lukoil, and to encourage a shift to renewable energy

  • Contribute to reliable charitable organizations that are seeking to sustain the physical and emotional welfare of Ukrainians within their country and/or who have fled to neighboring countries with meager or no resources.  

 

Note:  The following is a curated and vetted list for Ukrainian support from Valarie Kaur’s Revolutionary Love Project and partner organizations:

Medical support

  • RAZOM: Emergency Response – for tactical medical training. Help qualified war medics teach civilians first aid and provide them with medical supplies.

  • Sunflower of Peace – for medical assistance and other necessities. Each IFAK (medical backpack) can save up to 10 lives.

  • Lifeline Ukraine – for psychosocial support. Ukraine’s first suicide prevention hotline mobilized in response to alarming rates of veteran suicide.

 

Veterans and internally displaced persons – for provision of food and sanitation packages, emergency shelter, psychosocial support, and more in Donetsk and Luhansk, both in territory under the control of the Ukrainian government and in territory not currently under government control.

  • UN Crisis Relief: Ukrainian Humanitarian Fund – contributions are collected into a single, unearmarked fund and managed locally under UN leadership. As crises evolve, funds are made directly and immediately available to a wide range of partner organizations at the front lines of response. This way, funding reaches the people most in need when they need it.

  • Revived Soldiers Ukraine – for provision of medical aid and sustainable living standards to wounded soldiers and members of their families.  

  • Ukrainian People With Disabilities in Crisis – helps Ukrainians with disabilities – especially those who want but cannot evacuate – protect themselves in case of emergency. 

  • Caritas Ukraine – provision of humanitarian assistance to various social groups and those impacted by the conflict. More information here.

  • Ukrainian LGBT Military for Equal Rights Association – support LGBT military in their fight on the frontline and for equality of all citizens at home. 

  • CrimeaSOS – assistance to internally displaced persons from Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. With the support and partnership of UNHCR, it promotes community initiatives for these groups.

  • British-Ukraine Aid – assistance to vulnerable individuals who have been physically, mentally or socially disadvantaged, including the injured and wounded, orphaned children, the elderly, internally displaced persons and families who have lost their main earners. More information here.

 

Independent media

  • NEW: Keep Ukraine’s media going – Media across the country continue to operate under the most challenging circumstances. They have shown extraordinary courage, but the reality on the ground is that most operations cannot continue from Ukraine alone. This fundraiser is aimed at helping media relocate, set-up back offices and continue their operations from neighboring countries.

  • Kyiv Independent – repeat subscription/small donation here and one time donation here

  • Ukraine Crisis Media Center – international strategic communications hub with active outreach to audiences both in Ukraine and abroad. 

  • New Voice of Ukraine 

 

Children

  • Help Us Help – donations will be used to fund the following: evacuation and relocation of staff and beneficiaries (children, scholars and veteran families), humanitarian aid delivery, and medical assistance for victims.

  • Save the Children - Ukraine – distribute essential humanitarian aid to children and their families; deliver winter and hygiene kits; provide cash grants to families so they can meet basic needs like food, rent and medicines; provide access to safe, inclusive, quality education; work to help children overcome the mental and psychological impacts of conflict.

  • Voices of Children – psychological/psychosocial support for children affected by the war.

  • Saint Javelin – all proceeds of shirt and sticker sales go to a fund for the children of fallen and wounded Ukrainian soldiers.

  • Toy Drive for the Children of Fallen Heroes – provides assistance for displaced people, orphans, and families of Ukrainian military who died or were hurt in action. Volunteers in Ukraine learn about needs on the ground and pass information on to us.

 

Education

  • Ukrainian Leadership Academy – an educational program that aims to develop a generation of young leaders for Ukraine and the world. Over the course of a gap year, young adults learn to work in a team, set goals, develop projects, take responsibility for their lives and the country's fate, and choose their future profession more consciously.

  • Ukrainian Catholic University Foundation –  invest in the lives of young and talented future leaders of Ukraine and the diaspora.

  • Veteranius – help teach and employ veterans, volunteers and internally displaced persons in the IT sector and involve them in socially important projects. 

  • Bohdan Radchenko Stipend for Veterans – tuition for a Master’s at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (KMA), Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU).