One year of war in Ukraine: “We will support the Ukrainians for as long as necessary”.

24th February marks the anniversary of Russia's attack on Ukraine. 365 days of war, suffering and fear are behind us. An overview of our relief activities.

Friday marks the anniversary of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. 365 days of war, suffering and fear are behind us. 365 days of ruthlessness, senselessness and cruelty. “Even though there are many trouble spots in the world right now, we must not forget the people in Ukraine. Thousands of families are sitting in cellars or bunkers at this very moment. They seek protection from the Russian forces. They are freezing. They are scared. Parents are worried about the future of their children,” explains STELP founder and first board member Serkan Eren, who was most recently on site in Ukraine himself at the end of December.

The solidarity of the people in Germany was huge at first. Around half of the donations received by STELP for Ukraine were donated in the first four weeks after the war began. The willingness to donate to Ukraine has now decreased enormously. “We will support our Ukrainian friends for as long as necessary. No one can say how long the cruel war will go on. Ukrainians continue to need our full support. That is why we will continue to rely on donations for Ukraine,” Eren explains.

This is how STELP helps in Ukraine

So far, STELP has delivered 83 trucks full of relief supplies to Ukraine. The Stuttgart-based aid organization has meanwhile established a functioning supply chain and supply structure. In Kiev, STELP operates a transhipment warehouse with its partner organization Ukraine Alive. “These logistics centres are urgently needed, because what started as a joint collection campaign at the Stuttgart Kulturinsel at the beginning of the war is now strictly timed logistics work,” explains Serkan Eren. Not only food and medical products are transported, but also hospital beds or Christmas packages for orphans have already been loaded by STELP. Since Easter, the aid organization has also received a mandate from the federal government that allows it to deliver food from the federal government’s central food hub.

Currently, STELP is mainly focused on the procurement and provision of generators and mobile heaters. More than 150 generators and 60 mobile heaters have already been sent to Ukraine. They are now being used to heat schools in the region around Kiev and shelters for refugees in Lviv, and to run so-called “invincibility points”. In these warming places, which now exist in almost every Ukrainian city, in small communities, but also in villages, people can charge their mobile phones, warm up and have a hot meal.

“The local people are so incredibly strong. They have such a great will to continue defending their country. The cohesion does not diminish even after a year, on the contrary!” reports Serkan Eren.

The frontline is dynamic and constantly shifting. Some people simply do not want to leave their homes, they are afraid or often too weak due to age or illness to dare to escape. Together with partner organizations, STELP is searching for basements and shelters where residents have been holding out for months in order to find the people who want to leave the area. Since the beginning of the war, thousands of people have been evacuated and brought to a safe place.

STELP helps make everyday life in war more bearable

“As STELP, we try to support the people in Ukraine in making everyday life in the war as bearable as possible,” says Serkan Eren.

An important concern of STELP is to enable children in particular to lead as normal a life as possible despite the war. That is why STELP supports the Ukrainian aid organisationLeo States financially in building container villages for internal refugees and bunkers for schools, where the students can learn safely.

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