'Please help our country', says Ukranian charity worker with Hope Now

Daily Echo: Hope Now charity worker Kseniya Gilova and chief exceutive Jon Budgell. Hope Now charity worker Kseniya Gilova and chief exceutive Jon Budgell.

“Please help our country”.

That is the impassioned plea from a Ukrainian woman working at a Southampton charity preparing emergency aid for vulnerable families caught up in the crisis with Russia.

Ksenya Gilova made her appeal last night as world leaders launched vital last-ditch talks to prevent Europe plunging into one of the worst catastrophes since the Second World War.

Ksenya serves for the Hope Now charity in Malvern Road, which has spent over two decades supporting orphans and impoverished pensioners living in the troubled country.

The group’s leaders say Ukranians face hunger and severe poverty as the country’s infrastructure teeters on the edge of collapse.

They are appealing for funds for emergency food parcels to send to the needy.

Ksenya, 34, is visiting Southampton for three weeks from Cherkassy, 100 miles south of capital Kiev, where the group does most of its work.

She works for one of the charity’s branch groups Kompas Park, offering summer camps to disadvantaged children.

She said: “What’s happening is so scary and shocking. I am calling my mother and friends every day to find out they are okay.

“I ask people to pray for our country and to do all they can to help.

“Our people don’t want to get into any more conflict because there has already been bloodshed.

“The centre of Kiev used to be a beautiful but now it is all in ruins and is covered in blood from the shootings.

“We hope and pray a resolution can be found.”

Hope Now leaders warn people have been suffering since previously peaceful protests in Kiev’s Independence Square erupted into violence last month, with 77 people killed and over 600 injured.

The country’s currency plummeted by 25 per cent and will lead to spiralling food prices.

Ksenya fears the crisis will disrupt their work there because British volunteers will be scared to serve.

Charity chief executive Jon Budgell returned from the country on February 19 amid the crisis.

He said: “It wrings our hearts to see what’s happening there.

“It is going to hit the poorest people hardest and we want to help anyone, whether Ukrainian or Russian.

“The Ukrainians are very loving, hospitable and kind and will help anyone.

“If anyone has the heart to help these people we would appreciate it.”

A ban prevents them for taking food into the country.

But they are appealing for money to buy rice, tinned meat and other essentials to prepare food parcels there.

Call 023 8078 0720, email jon@hopenow.org.uk or see hopenow.org.uk.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:49am Thu 6 Mar 14

sotonboy84 says...

It's a terrible situation and I'd like to help but I'm a little puzzled by the comment about there being a ban on taking food into the country, with no explanation as to why so they would like money to be donated. I know there's certain rules regarding trade and Russia are restricting their trade with them to make the Ukraine more vulnerable but I wasn't aware and can't find anything about charities being banned from taking food into the country? And, I can't see the logic in a country that's in such hardship banning food imports so their own people starve?
It's a terrible situation and I'd like to help but I'm a little puzzled by the comment about there being a ban on taking food into the country, with no explanation as to why so they would like money to be donated. I know there's certain rules regarding trade and Russia are restricting their trade with them to make the Ukraine more vulnerable but I wasn't aware and can't find anything about charities being banned from taking food into the country? And, I can't see the logic in a country that's in such hardship banning food imports so their own people starve? sotonboy84
  • Score: -2

3:36pm Thu 6 Mar 14

knac says...

I think it's awful what's happening over there but but charity should start at home and there's probably millions here that need help
I think it's awful what's happening over there but but charity should start at home and there's probably millions here that need help knac
  • Score: 5

3:41pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Dasal says...

knac wrote:
I think it's awful what's happening over there but but charity should start at home and there's probably millions here that need help
Very true.
Of course I have every sympathy, terrible situation, but.........
Haven't we just suffered horrendous flooding - THAT- imo, should be our priority.
[quote][p][bold]knac[/bold] wrote: I think it's awful what's happening over there but but charity should start at home and there's probably millions here that need help[/p][/quote]Very true. Of course I have every sympathy, terrible situation, but......... Haven't we just suffered horrendous flooding - THAT- imo, should be our priority. Dasal
  • Score: 4

5:44pm Thu 6 Mar 14

mickey01 says...

sorry but we seem to be having food banks popping up everywhere in this country feeding our own and that is my main concern and unfortunately not a country far away
sorry but we seem to be having food banks popping up everywhere in this country feeding our own and that is my main concern and unfortunately not a country far away mickey01
  • Score: 4

11:04am Fri 7 Mar 14

For pity sake says...

sotonboy84 wrote:
It's a terrible situation and I'd like to help but I'm a little puzzled by the comment about there being a ban on taking food into the country, with no explanation as to why so they would like money to be donated. I know there's certain rules regarding trade and Russia are restricting their trade with them to make the Ukraine more vulnerable but I wasn't aware and can't find anything about charities being banned from taking food into the country? And, I can't see the logic in a country that's in such hardship banning food imports so their own people starve?
You can't take food across international boundaries without a lot of checks and paperwork for bio-security. It would be too much extra burden on the charity - hence the request for money.
[quote][p][bold]sotonboy84[/bold] wrote: It's a terrible situation and I'd like to help but I'm a little puzzled by the comment about there being a ban on taking food into the country, with no explanation as to why so they would like money to be donated. I know there's certain rules regarding trade and Russia are restricting their trade with them to make the Ukraine more vulnerable but I wasn't aware and can't find anything about charities being banned from taking food into the country? And, I can't see the logic in a country that's in such hardship banning food imports so their own people starve?[/p][/quote]You can't take food across international boundaries without a lot of checks and paperwork for bio-security. It would be too much extra burden on the charity - hence the request for money. For pity sake
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree