Diaspora voices of Sewa from the ground in Ukraine

Diaspora voices of Sewa from the ground in Ukraine

Sewa International Europe has been on the ground in the Ukrainian border regions to assist with the humanitarian crisis unfolding as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Nilesh Solanki, a tech professional at PwC — one of many such Sewa volunteers joined by fellow UK-based team members Jayanti Varsani and Shyam Mavani as well as Antony Joseph from Poland — has sent iGlobal updates on the inspiring Indian diaspora efforts from the war zone. Besides efforts to bolster the Indian government’s Operation Ganga initiative to evacuate thousands of students stranded in Ukraine, Sewa in Ukraine has now expanded its activities to reach out to Indian families looking to leave the conflict zone as well as the wider communities in need.

Here is Solanki’s report from the ground on the next steps planned in the ongoing Sewa in Ukraine mission:

The team is here to assess what’s needed.

Sewa Workstream 1 – Border Sewa Base

  • Liaising with local stalls to distribute from our marquee

  • Handing out bags for refugees to carry their goods and possessions

  • Handing out essentials for children, like food pouches and snack bars

  • Sewa volunteers have been over the border on the Ukraine side to distribute food and help carry refugee bags into the border control building in Poland.

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Sewa Workstream 2

  • Refugee Reception Centre, 20 minutes from border, has the capacity to sleep and cater for 2,000 refugees

  • The Centre has a well-managed process of registering volunteers and we get allocated tasks. Sewa volunteers are supporting the management team on key gaps and requirements.

  • Sewa International is donating toys and specific items for children to keep them occupied as some are at the centre for days. Also, Sewa bags with activity packs will be handed out to children for their onwards journey.

  • Sewa is also donating much-needed items to the essential items store at the Centre, with necessary goods purchased weekly for donations.

Since day one, Sewa have had volunteers in Ukraine on the ground helping students and families with transportation to borders and food. Our volunteers are present at four borders – Poland, Hungary, Romania and Moldova – to assist embassies and agencies.

We now have an established based at the Poland border Medyka. Over 35 volunteers from the UK and Europe will be coming to serve Ukrainian families for the next few months.

Together we server better! Vasudhaiva kutumbhakam – the whole world is one family.

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