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How charities have communicated their responses to the Ukraine crisis

8 March 2022

The ongoing situation in Ukraine is worrying and scary for us all. But the importance of delivering clear communication that helps the public understand the scale and reality of what the people of Ukraine are facing has never been more crucial.

For charity communications professionals whose colleagues are on the ground providing humanitarian support communicating their response to the crisis has been vital. Here are just some of the ways charities are helping to shine a light on what is happening in Ukraine right now…

Communicating the scale of what is happening – Unicef and UNHCR

Both organisations created short but impactful social videos one week into the crisis, highlighting the sheer numbers of those already affected by what is happening. Using footage from the ground the videos allow the viewer to see the devastation the conflict is having on real people’s lives. In the case of Unicef’s post, they also offered some hard-hitting context in the form of these words: ‘the conflict could become one of Europe’s largest refugee crises’  

Demonstrating the impact of donations – Dec Appeal and British Red Cross

It has been great to see how charities are communicating the difference public donations can make. Both the Dec appeal and British Red Cross have been sharing the tangible impact of donations with the former contextualizing how much people have given per hour and the latter breaking down monetary donations in terms of what it can buy to help the people of Ukraine.

Continually refocusing attention on the people affected – Age International and International Rescue Committee

Ensuring that we don’t forget the human impact of this conflict has been hugely important for charity communications. Two charity examples of this are Age International who have been sharing individuals’ stories and the International Rescue Committee who put out the below reminder that ‘refugees are human beings’.

Acknowledging the psychological toll on everyone and offering wellbeing advice – Mind, NSPCC and Mental Health Foundation

We are living in uncertain times and certainly the news can be difficult to read right now. As we process such extreme world events it is normal to feel anxious but there are charities out there offering support to help you cope. Mind’s thread offers suggestions for things that might help you feel less stressed, the NSPCC are offering advice on how to talk about what is happening with young people, and Mental Health Foundation are providing tips to look after your mental health:

Practical actions to takeaway

A lot of you will already be working on your charity responses to the Ukraine crisis so here are some useful links that may help you. Hopefully they will help you to take some practical action to support both your own organisations during this difficult time but also those organisations working on the front line supporting people in Ukraine and refugees:

  • Ways to keep up with what is happening:

BBC News

The Kyiv Independent

Twitter List

New Voice Ukraine on Twitter

Our Twitter thread of resources and appeals

Campaigns our network want to highlight

We asked our network to send us any other examples of strong communication action, and projects they have been working on, around the Ukraine crisis and wanted to share their suggestions with you.

Social Impact Filmmaker Yoav Segal shared a powerful video he made with Freedom from Torture which reminds the viewer that “Every single person you see on the news stories about Ukraine is a human being”.

Banner Image: Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

CharityComms team

CharityComms team, CharityComms