A major grant received in April from a generous Sydney based private family foundation enabled Sydney Community Foundation to co-design with our community partners a dedicated program to help welcome and settle the almost 2,000 Ukrainians (mostly women and children) displaced to Sydney by the conflict in Ukraine. Two recently arrived Ukrainian women have been employed full-time with the grant funds to run the Ukrainian Helping Hand Project delivered in partnership by the Ukrainian Council of NSW and STARTTS. Marta and Natalia are working to support the efforts of the many volunteers across Sydney who have so kindly opened their homes and hearts to the displaced families. The project is helping the displaced community navigate and access critical services such as visa support, accommodation, employment and education pathways – as well as participate in organised social activities to help reduce feelings of isolation and the effects of trauma.
By sharing the impact of this project widely in the media, the Sydney Community Foundation team raised a further $50,000 in emergency cash assistance for those families most in need, and an additional $40,000 to expand the project team to include a highly sought after youth worker. Through our corporate partnerships, and outreach we secured generous in-kind support including free groceries donated by Harris Farm Markets weekly for more than 6 months, clothes from Uniqlo, personal hygiene products from The Body Shop and Who Gives a Crap.
We look forward to continuing to support the newly arrived Ukrainian community in this protracted situation next year with the remainder of the grant funds.