Members of the Stirling Students’ Union have organised Action for Ukraine Week to raise awareness and funds for those affected by the conflict in Ukraine.
Action for Ukraine Stirling will host several fundraising events from March 14 to March 20 with proceeds going to two charities: Razom for Ukraine and United Help Ukraine.
Sustainability Officer Caitlin Turner said: “This week aims to show solidarity for all those impacted by the horrific invasion of Ukraine by Putin and his government, as well as gathering both monetary donations and donations of supplies to assist those who have been displaced, and provide medical support to the front line.
“We have already had brilliant discussions involving different university societies, Students’ Union and university staff, team members of an MP and MSP, Ukrainian students and more.
“This week is going to shape up to be something incredible.”
The Action for Ukraine Stirling team welcomes you to join them on Monday March 14 for a Craftivism Session on campus and a presentation on ‘Introducing the Situation: Historical and Political Background to the War’ in Cottrell LTA4.
On Tuesday March 15, there will be a second Craftivism Session on campus, a ‘Nationality and Borders’ bill presentation by the Student Action for Refugees and Amnesty societies (Cottrell LTA5), and a debate on the motion ‘This House believes NATO should declare war on Russia’ by the Debating Society (Cottrell C.2A13).
The Corn Exchange are hosting a ‘Boozy Bingo’ night on Tuesday evening. Bingo cards can be bought on entry for £2, with proceedings going towards fundraising efforts in support of Razom for Ukraine and United Help Ukraine.
On Wednesday March 16, the Live Music Society are putting on an Open Mic Night in Studio at 9p.m. If a pub quiz is more your speed, there will be a Pub Quiz and Raffle night at The Barton Pub at 7p.m.
Raffle tickets cost £1.50 each or ten for £10. Tickets will be sold on the Wednesday night, before the draw on Thursday March 17. Prizes include; an overnight stay for two at The Golden Lion Hotel in Stirling, tickets to Shapes at the Jail, tickets to sold-out Jax Jones at Fubar, a voucher for Santa Cruz Kustom Club tattoo parlour, and more.
Thursday March 17 will entail a screening of ‘Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom’ in Cottrell LTA4 and a Ukrainian Rock Night at Settle Inn Pub, hosted by the Rock and Metal Society.
The University of Stirling Chaplaincy are hosting a Drop-in Café on Thursday March 16 and a ‘Craftivism and Chappy Knitters’ session on Friday March 17. Also on Friday March 18, the Psychology society welcome you along to their ‘Coping with Anxiety and Uncertainty During Conflict’ presentation in Cottrell LTB3.
There will be a Vigil of Remembrance held on Friday March 18 from 5.45p.m to 6.30p.m at the main entrance of campus central.
The Action from Ukraine Stirling team said: “This will be a time for all to come together in a period of silent solidarity and reflection while remembering and honouring the lives lost to Putin’s violent invasion of Ukraine.”
Action for Ukraine Week will end on Sunday March 20 with a ‘Stirling Stands with Ukraine’ demonstration of solidarity in Stirling town centre from 11am to 4pm.
The ‘Stirling Stands with Ukraine’ demonstration will include a short and silent parade from the Roundel at Port Street through the Thistles Shopping Centre and back.
The Action for Ukraine Stirling team said: “Our demonstration will be a display of support for Ukraine.
“We’ll be donning our Ukrainian flags, selling home baking, doing some face painting, playing Ukrainian music, creating chalk drawings on the street, and hearing from a few speakers. Our demonstration not only aims to show solidarity and assist in fundraising, but also be a celebration of community.”
Ukrainian students at the University of Stirling have welcomed and helped shape Action for Ukraine Week. Brig caught up with fourth-year student Diana Oliinyk from central Ukraine.
Diana praises Action for Ukraine Week saying: “This week is really important and I appreciate it a lot – I will be joining all the activities that I can. I’m interested to see how the conflict will be portrayed here. I’ve also never met anyone from Ukraine at the university, unfortunately, so I hope to make some connections during Action for Ukraine Week.”
The Ukrainian student said she is coping well but is grateful for the mental health and financial support that the university has offered her.
She said: “I have managed to cope with this by myself for the time being but at least I know my options now! If I ever need support, I now know where to get it and who to speak to.”
Diana hopes to return home to Ukraine in the future.
She said: “Pretty much my whole family is in Ukraine and I’m super lucky that they are safe and our region is not occupied. Although I am grateful to be safe here [in Stirling], I still want to go back home and I hope it is possible soon.
“I have my hopes up that, by the end of summer, the conflict will be resolved – at least to the point where I can travel back home. I want to return to Ukraine and help in the best way possible to rebuild everything that was destroyed.”
Diana stresses the importance of supporting your Ukrainian friends and peers during this worrying time: “the best support you can give Ukrainians is just to listen – just be there for them and be understanding.
“At the start, my coping mechanism was unfortunately to isolate myself and check on the news constantly. It gives you the feeling of control in the sense that if something happens, you will know about it straight away and you won’t be as shocked.
“Be understanding if your Ukrainian friends don’t want to hang out as much. My friends do their best – they check on me and invite me out – but it’s difficult during this time. If it’s hard for me here, I can’t imagine how hard it is for my friends and family in Ukraine.
Diana said people from Ukraine have been united by the conflict: “Even people who I wasn’t that close to or I had minor disagreements with in the past, we are now united to the core just by the fact that we are Ukrainian.
“I have never been so proud to be from Ukraine.”
Fundraising for Razom for Ukraine and United Help Ukraine will be live from March 14 to March 25 – you can donate here.
Featured Image Credit: Action for Ukraine Stirling