Hands Up

Support for Black People in Ukraine

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Since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict NoirUnited International has been working to help Black students and families who are facing racism and discrimination while trying to evacuate Ukraine. Black people and other Third Country Nationals (TCNs) were pulled off of trains and buses and brutalized by state officials in Ukraine and neighboring countries. No one should have to experience racism period, but to have to deal with this on top of the trauma of fleeing war is inhumane.

We have worked with other volunteers throughout the diaspora to provide support to Black community members that have been overlooked and left behind by larger humanitarian efforts. Millions of dollars have been allocated to supporting Ukraine but there are disparities in the distribution of humanitarian aid and resources.

We believe that people should be united in rallying around issues concerning Black and other marginalized communities around the world and empower those affected by the crisis.

Resources For Students

NoirUnited Strategic Objectives for Refugees Fleeing Ukraine

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Our goal is to garner as much support for Black and other marginlized communities that are often overlooked, mistreated, and left behind in times of crisis. We plan to continue raising awareness of the issue of racism and discrimination that Black people have faced in Ukraine and neighboring countries. We are looking to collaborate with the global community to ensure that all people affected by this war receive equal access to humanitarian support.

 

Our priorities include:

  • Building strategic relationships with universities in the United States to establish similar education programs for displaced students and assist with securing student visas.

  • Advocating for equitable distribution of Humanitarian Aid to provide shelter, culturally relevant foods to Black families, and support for mothers with young children in need.

  • Securing mental health specialists and doctors as many Black refugees need proper mental and physical health support.

 

Our Programs

1. Mental Health and Trauma Care 

Racial discrimination combined with the trauma of war has negatively and disproportionately affected Black refugees fleeing Ukraine. Thus, it is crucial to provide Black refugees from Ukraine with trauma-informed and culturally affirming mental health support. NUI is sourcing mental health professionals for both online and in-person therapy sessions for those in need.

2. Direct Cash Assistance

NUI believes in the power of agency and ensuring that Black refugees are able to make individual choices based on personal needs. Using direct cash payments will allow refugees immediate access to monetary funds to select items and pay for things they need most.

3. Closing the Technology Gap

Black refugee students face a technology shortage that severely limits their ability to complete their education. Virtual schooling has become the alternative to in-person schooling in Ukraine. However, there are disparities in access to computer technology. NUI seeks to address this technology gap by partnering with organizations to provide students with new, used, or refurbished computers and laptops to adequately complete their education online. In addition to computers and laptops, many refugees are in need of items such as cell phones and tablets to remain connected to the broader community, access information that will be useful to their survival in neighboring countries, and communicate their needs with community members.

NoirUnited In Europe

Since we wanted to be directly involved in the humanitarian effort, NoirUnited decided to travel to Europe to document and highlight the experiences that the refugees have faced. We began our journey in Paris, France, where we met with a group of students from Kherson. We then went to Krakow, Poland, where we met with students at a local monastery. Next, we traveled to Budapest, Hungary, where we met with some refugee students from the Nigerians in the Diaspora Organization and families to document their stories. We then went to Berlin, Germany where we accompanied students to their embassy. Lastly, we traveled to Warsaw, Poland to visit refugee camps and met with NGOs to assess the capacity for assisting TCNs during the conflict. Since leaving Europe, we continue to advocate for the safe resettlement of families and students.

Paris, France

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Meeting with a group of students from Kherson, Ukraine in Paris, France. With the assistance of local and international partners, the coalition was able to help 41 students escape by coordinating taxis, providing language translators and monetary funds.    

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Later in Paris Macire and Nassim played with kids while working with the French Red Cross to provide housing assistance for their family. 

Krakow, Poland

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In Krakow, Poland the team met with 5 more students from Kherson, Ukraine, and other students who were staying at a monastery. During the day we were able to buy students clothes and talk to them about options for continuing their education. 

Berlin, Germany

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Macire and Nassim went to the Guinean Embassy in Berlin, Germany and was able to speak directly with the Minister-Counselor, Mr. Aboubacar Konate who commended them for NoirUnited’s work and the students for their courage during this difficult time.