U-HELP (the Ukrainian Humanitarian Educational and Leadership Program) is announced by the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) as the endorsed way for Australians to support Ukraine’s sovereignty, democracy and path to peace and prosperity.
The objectives of U-HELP, an official initiative of the AFUO, are:
- To fund humanitarian and medical assistance for people injured in the self-defence of Ukraine, and;
- To support educational and leadership initiatives that promote Ukraine’s democratisation and prosperity through increased Ukraine-Australia social, political and economic ties.
Mr Stefan Romaniw OAM, President of the peak body for Ukrainian Australians, said:
AFUO has heard Ukraine’s request for help. And, we have heard that Ukrainian Australians, as well as members of the general Australian public, want the chance to individually help Ukraine in this period of both challenge and opportunity.
AFUO has undertaken wide consultation with the Ukrainian World Congress, including its Ukraine-based Humanitarian Director Dr Ulana Suprun, the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, the new democratic Government of Ukraine, including the Ministry for Defence, Ukrainian-based reform NGO leaders, and charitable workers.
U-HELP is therefore founded as the AFUO-approved, targeted and accountable way to practically and materially help Ukraine – both now and going forward. U-HELP is both about meeting urgent humanitarian needs in Ukraine, and building a better independent and democratic future for Ukraine.
U-HELP will address the consequences of violence being inflicted on Ukraine’s citizens. It will also give emerging leaders greater understanding of democratic and business institutions, such as the very successful ones we have here in Australia.
Despite the current foreign aggression, we are very optimistic about Ukraine’s future including on-going democratic reform, Euro-integration, and greater prosperity through economic liberalization and transparency. But, the past teaches us that we must work and invest to achieve those improved results for the people of Ukraine.
To that end, many in Ukraine look at Australia as an ideal example of what is possible in a successful society; many in Australia see the benefits that a democratic and prosperous Ukraine will bring, including to Australian business. Through U-HELP, we can act to harness all that good will.
U-HELP will be rolled out in successive phases over the next 12 months.
In Phase 1, whose implementation in Ukraine will be coordinated by Dr Suprun, the emphasis will be on humanitarian support for those harmed while defending Ukraine. This will primarily include:
- funding first aid training for Ukrainian service personnel and providing them with the appropriate medical and related equipment;
- training medical professionals to treat combat-related injuries, and;
- providing assistance to the families of those who perished during the Maidan movement, such as the Heavenly Hundred.
A tri-lingual video on such training is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_pl12HIejU
In Phase 2, U-HELP’s emphasis will be on building links through the AFUO between Ukraine and Australia to build up Ukraine’s democratic and business institutions, especially by working with the next generation of leaders. This will include:
- a high-level bilateral relations conference in both Kyiv and Australia;
- trade delegations;
- leadership development and training, and;
- information provision in coordination with the Government of Ukraine.
U-HELP will be fully administered by the Board of the AFUO and legally compliant with all auditing procedures. Regular reports will be publicly provided by the Board of the AFUO on all funds raised and their expenditure.