On 8 November, the European Parliament awarded the European Citizen’s Prize 2022.
The annual Prize rewards initiatives that contribute to European cooperation and the promotion of common values.
This year, 30 winners were selected, including 10 people and projects supporting refugees from Ukraine.
The Coordination Centre of Promote Ukraine (Belgium) manages a range of fundraising, humanitarian aid, and refugee support schemes, conducting a matchmaking process between various assistance opportunities provided by European civil society actors. As of 23 March 2022, the centre had provided aid of up to €50,285. Among its achievements is the establishment of a Cultural Centre, providing linguistic training and psychological support to Ukrainian refugees.
Charita Znojmo’s humanitarian assistance to Ukraine (Czech Republic), which has been providing assistance to Ukraine for over 20 years, now covers imports of medical supplies, sleeping bags and blankets, durable foods, baby and infant food, medicines and toiletries. In the other direction, mothers with children from Ukraine are brought to the Czech Republic – 54 people have already been supported in this way, including four children with disabilities. The organisation has also set up a humanitarian warehouse and helps Ukrainians with accommodation in suitable premises.
Assisting Ukraine and ‘Ukraina heaks!’ (For Ukraine) initiative, implemented by the Estonian organisation ‘Pagulasabi’, has organised fundraising to support Ukrainians arriving in Estonia. Pagulasabi has also organised evacuation buses from the Ukrainian border to Estonia and offered comprehensive support to refugees.
Doctors of the World (MdM), a Greek independent humanitarian organisation, has assisted Ukrainian citizens fleeing Ukraine to neighbouring countries and to Greece from the beginning of the Russian aggression. So far, the organisation has provided over 35 tonnes of humanitarian aid and has been operating a mobile medical unit at the Romanian border for over 40 days, providing first aid and basic health services. MdM help desks are operating every day in Athens and Thessaloniki, providing psychosocial support, material assistance and information to new arrivals. At the same time, its open polyclinics are providing healthcare and treatment for children, women and the chronically ill.
Miklós Both, folk song collector from Hungary, has created a unique collection of Ukrainian folk songs on the website and on YouTube – the Polyphony Project. The project aims to explore, preserve and present the living musical folklore of Ukrainian villages. The song lyrics are presented in the original language, but translations are already under way into Hungarian and English. In addition, the project has organised concerts with Ukrainian singers in Hungary, France and Ukraine.
‘Young people remember the Shoah – SOS UKRAINE’ (Italy) has produced a multimedia project on the Holocaust. It has been accompanied by a charity collection of all the basic commodities needed by Ukrainians, so that those who are fleeing war do not feel they have been abandoned to destitution and pain.
The Lithuanian initiative ‘Blue/Yellow’, founded by Swedish-born filmmaker Jonas Ohman, has been supporting Ukraine’s armed resistance since 2014. As from 24 February 2022, in less than a month ‘Blue/Yellow’ collected over €20 million in donations from Lithuanian people. Aid is directly provided to the soldiers, volunteers and territorial defence forces fighting for Ukraine’s freedom. The money raised is used to buy helmets, bulletproof vests, medicine, clothing, etc.
Slava Ukrayini Luxembourg, created in February 2022, supports all migrants from Ukraine, helps them find housing and jobs, organises the schooling of Ukrainian children, and provides them necessary administrative support.
Spanish chef José Andrés travelled to the border between Ukraine and Poland within hours of the start of the Russian invasion to serve hot meals to the population fleeing the conflict. Since then, the cook has not only remained in the area to prepare and coordinate the massive preparation of food for refugees arriving daily at Poland’s borders, but has also mobilised and supported local restaurants so that they can supply those affected. José Andrés has coordinated the supply of meals at eight border crossings in Poland and has moved through Ukrainian territory – from Lviv to Kyiv and Irpin – to personally distribute food to the Ukrainians in need.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, ‘Save the Children’ (Romania) has been providing Ukrainian refugees – women with children – with basic food, hygiene products, clothing, footwear, baby products, blankets and other basic necessities, free SIM cards, psychological support, translation and information counselling. The project also supported groups of children from the child protection system in Ukraine.
The Prize was also awarded to Volunteers Without Borders’ – refugees from Ukraine.
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