Scouts Emergency Response in Ukraine
Ukrainians are receiving in an influx of solidarity and support from Scouts around the world and in neighbouring countries as the ongoing humanitarian crisis unfolds in the country. Through acts of kindness and generous donations of all sizes to the ongoing funding appeal, the Scout Movement has united in a show of strength and compassion for those being impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.
Already more than
Scouts and NSOs in neighbouring countries are also now coordinating across borders and with partners to understand the needs in Ukraine and the region, as well as to offer necessary supplies and volunteers where they are needed most.
More than half a million refugees - mostly women and children - have fled Ukraine since last week, and the United Nations says “it is preparing for up to four million refugees from Ukraine in the coming days and weeks” (
These conditions have prompted a wave of resilience, compassion, and responsiveness from Scouts in the region, and offers for additional support by neighbouring NSOs. Here are just some of the inspiring stories and efforts we have seen from Scouts over the past week.
Since the conflict in Ukraine began last Thursday, volunteers from the National Organization of the Scouts of Ukraine (NOSU) have been supporting young people and their communities as a whole. Scout centres in Kyiv and Odessa are being used to collect and distribute clothes, shoes, sleeping bags, mats, food and more, including a field kitchen to cook and feed people in need. In some cases, Scout Leaders took shelter with Scouts, keeping them safe and entertained. Scouts of Odessa also organised an online meeting for children to help lift their spirits and entertain them with a special guest musician, Marat Mairovich.
In addition, with generous support from over 1,100 donors through the Scout Donation Platform, NOSU is purchasing and distributing medicines, food, water and shelter supplies, as well as providing access to psychological support for young people and communities being affected by the conflict.
WOSM is in close contact with the leadership of NOSU who are keeping us informed about the evolving situation so that Scouts can coordinate an appropriate needs-based response for Ukrainians.
As needed, Scouts in neighbouring countries will also use donations to provide support in Ukraine and bordering areas. You can
While not a bordering country, Scouts in nearby Czechia have been incredibly organised and responsive to the needs. Within four days of the crisis, Czech Scouts sent 55 vans, two busses and two small trucks of
“This is what being a Scout always meant, isn’t it? To help others, at least with small bits.”
- Benjamin, Scout volunteer in Czechia on
You can follow the Czech Scouts on
As of 28 February, more than 67,000 Ukrainians have crossed into neighbouring Romania (
From 26 February, Romanian Scouts,
For example, on 27 February, the Cercetaşii Dejeni Scout group setup a
Hungary, Estonia, Slovakia and Lithuania
Many other Scouts in the region and beyond are providing support too. In Hungary,
In Lithuania, Scouts of
World Scouting’s Regional Support Centres in Eurasia and Europe have also been instrumental in coordinating efforts across the region, ensuring Scouts are supporting each other and helping volunteers and staff stay safe as they respond to the humanitarian emergency emerging from the war in Ukraine.
On 27 February, more than 100 volunteers and staff from NSOs in Europe and Eurasia met online to coordinate efforts and support to Ukraine. The discussion focused on how NSOs in neighbouring countries could support those in Ukraine and others seeking refuge. The discussions also centred on how to support Scouting and Guiding activities, and how to talk with young people about war, conflict preparedness and psychological well-being.
Through the Scout Donation Platform, World Scouting’s crowdfunding site, more than $100,000 has been raised to support the emergency response by Scouts of Ukraine and future funding raised will support the efforts of neighbouring NSOs. In addition, World Scouting has also directed $10,000 emergency grants to support efforts in a number of NOSU’s neighbouring NSOs.
Want to help? Here’s how:
- Help Scouts do more - donate now at
bit.ly/scoutsukraine! Monetary contributions are the best way to provide support at this time.
- Please do not go to the border on your own. In many places, organisers have said they do not need more people. If you’re in a neighbouring country and want to help, reach out to your
National Scout Organizationor a reputable charity in your area to learn about coordinated efforts and ask how you can be of assistance. Border areas are tense and well-intended but uncoordinated volunteers can cause bottlenecks and logistical challenges for authorities and refugees alike. Stay coordinated, prepared and safe.
- Wherever you are, some of the best ways to help are to donate, help with translation and assist with collection and packing of supplies. Those in neighbouring countries may also be asked to host refugees or assist with temporary shelters. All of these efforts should be done with an NGO, like Scouts, to ensure you are helping meet the needs of those on-the-ground.
- Support your Scouts and young people who need to talk. Children and young people may need extra support from adults at this time. Access the guide “
How to talk with children about war” in English, French, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, and the original in Czech, for advice on how to have these challenging conversations.
- Continue your Scouting activities, if it’s safe to do so. Scouting provides a safe space for young people to learn skills and work together to create a better world. UK Scouts have shared some
activities you can try with your groupto help build empathy, recognise emotions, and have meaningful discussions surrounding news about the war in Ukraine.
- Download the
Dialogue for Peace facilitator’s toolkit. Gaining skills to help facilitate dialogue helps us create safe spaces for difficult conversations and promote more peace and understanding in all areas of life.
- Take breaks and seek support when you need it. We love the enthusiasm of Scouts to volunteer when they see a need. Helping others should feel good and not come at the expense of your own health, safety or well-being. Speak with a Scout Leader, friend or qualified professional if you need extra support.
WOSM issued a statement on the situation in Ukraine on 24 February. You can find it