War in Ukraine: AGE members offer support


Photo by Tong Su on Unsplash (cropped)

Following the announcement of war in Ukraine on 24 February, several members shared AGE’s standing with the Ukrainian people. Many have also been involved in fundraisers, collections of primary goods, and generally raising awareness of the situation of the Ukrainian people and the large number of older persons who are affected.

Statements of Solidarity

Older people across Europe have been shocked by the Russian invasion in Ukraine. As today’s generations of older people have experienced the horrors of past wars and conflicts, many AGE members promptly called for peace.

  • In Austria, PVÖ released a statement condemning Putin’s actions and calling for peace.

  • In Italy, ANCESCAO shared an appeal for peace in which they noted the various initiatives, donations and collections their social centres are running to support Ukrainians. And ANP Penzionati called for ‘a mobilization of peace’.

With 30% of Ukrainians in need being older people, AGE member organisations also shed light on the specific challenges faced by older people in the conflict.

  • In Belgium, Vlaamse Ouderenraad highlighted the issues surrounding older persons situation in Ukraine during these times and shared the story of an older woman forced to leave her home due to the conflict.

  • In Germany, BAGSO also shared their support for the Ukrainian people drawing attention to the particular affect the war will and has already had on older people.

  • In Greece, People Behind echoed our call for older people to receive equal protection under International Human Rights Law.

  • In Spain, CEOMA expressed concerns about the distressing situation that older people in the conflict will be experiencing; the association called for attention to those invisible.

Fundraisers and Other Supports

AGE member organisations at the border with Ukraine contribute to the emergency response welcoming refugees that have fled the conflict.

  • In Romania, the National Federation Omenia is monitoring the situation with refugees arriving in the country. Their members, along with other citizens, are helping by offering accommodation, food, and other necessities as refugees cross the border.

  • In Poland, Bonum Vitae is cooperating with HelpAge in carrying out needs’ assessment among older regufees. The organisation also encourages donations via an independet online fundraiser initiative to aid organisations which are helping victims.

  • In Slovakia, Forum Pre Pomoc Starsim donated hundreds of hand sanitizers to help protect older persons protect from COVID-19. In Ukraine, only 30% of the older population is vaccinated.

Those geographically further away have been organising fundraisers and disseminated information to redirect donations to most suited organisations.

  • In Czechia, Elpida is hosting auction raffles selling bicycles and socks to raise funds for those in Ukraine.

  • In Estonia, Eesti Pensionäride ÜhendusteLiit have been posting regular updates about Ukraine and supporting the national Red Cross to collect donations.

  • In Germany, HelpAge Deutschland closely cooperating with HelpAge in Ukraine and Moldova to support older people affected by the conflict; the organisation is also raising funds to support firsthand support.

In Sweden, older people’s associations flagged the risk of scams and anxiety resulting from the conflict. SPF Seniorerna highlighted how one can make sure their financial donation will reach those in need. And PRO provided tips on how one can protect their mental health during this time of stress and anxiety for all.

For more information about Ukraine, read:

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