TEXT: LAURA SÁNCHEZ
Booking accommodation in Ukraine as a way to help
It all started on social networks as a spontaneous gesture of moral and financial support for Ukrainian citizens whose homes were part of the Airbnb network. “Are you still in Kyiv? Can you get the money if I make a booking?” a female traveler from the UK asked a web host. “I am still in Kyiv. I can collect through Western Union or directly from a bank.”
Evidently, none of the people booking intended to travel to Ukraine. The idea was to find alternative and quick ways to send money to citizens who are currently not receiving any wages and who need secure access to the most basic goods in order to survive. “At the moment we have no source of income. We can’t ask our country because all it’s resources are earmarked for war”, explained Ekaterina Martiusheva, one of the hosts in Kyiv, who has received help from the general public through Airbnb.
In the first days of the war, and in just 48 hours, nearly 70,000 nights were booked in Ukraine, representing nearly two million euros for the hosts. Bookings continue to go up. Through the Airbnb.org foundation, the company is offering temporary accommodation, free of charge, to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine to neighboring countries such as Poland or Romania. Browsing Airbnb, it is possible to book a room or an apartment in Kyiv, for example, for 30, 40, 50 or 60 euros a night.
Convoy of Hope
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, solidarity initiatives to support its citizens have been constantly emerging. One of these is “Convoy Esperanza”, or Convoy of Hope, a solidarity caravan organized by fifty anonymous people who have come together to help the Ukrainian people. The convoy, consisting of seven vans, is transporting basic necessities to the Polish border. The return trip will be used as an opportunity for 48 Ukrainian citizens with ties to Spain to travel to our country.
The charitable campaign has exceeded expectations in the three days since its launch, according to one of its promoters, Santiago Marugán, who is a member of one of the seven teams that have been formed from among the more than fifty participants coordinated by Fundación Ángel Niego and Hambre Cero (Zero Hunger).
The initiative has had a tremendous impact as well as support on social networks. The well-known faces collaborating in this initiative range from pilots to decorators, television producers, and businessmen from all over Spain. In addition, Instagram personalities including the influencers Tomás Páramo and María Pombo have mentioned Convoy Esperanza on their respective profiles, to try to lend a hand and raise more money so that this first trip can be repeated. https://www.instagram.com/convoyesperanza/
Art for peace
“Hello. My name is Oleg Sentsov. I am a film director in Ukraine. Now I am a territorial defense fighter in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. I am very grateful for the support of the international community, which is doing everything possible to support Ukraine. The whole world has realized who Putin is and that he is a threat to everyone. Thank you so much for your support. We will win because we are fighting for the survival of Ukraine, our people, and the whole world. Thank you. Glory to Ukraine.” This is one of many video messages that artists from around the world, including Ukrainian artists now in military uniforms, are posting on the ARTE platform.
«El ataque de Rusia a Ucrania está sacudiendo a Europa. Artistas de Ucrania y de todo el mundo no quieren quedarse callados ante la guerra, y piden la paz. ARTE recoge sus mensajes para mostrarlos al
“Russia’s attack on Ukraine is shaking Europe. Artists from Ukraine and around the world will not remain silent in the face of war, and are calling for peace. ARTE is collecting their messages to show them to the Ukrainian people and the rest of the world”, they explain on this channel created in 1990 through a treaty signed by the French and German governments. The channel is subject only to the supervision and control of its members, “excluding any intervention by the public authorities, as well as the independent authorities responsible for regulating broadcasting in the country in which it is located”. All the videos have English subtitles. The initiative “Ukraine: artists for peace” can be seen at https://www.arte.tv/es/videos/RC-022239/ucrania-artistas-por-la-paz/