July 12th, 2024

Rotary Club of Lethbridge assisting Ukraine

By Lethbridge Herald on May 17, 2022.

Al Beeber
Lethbridge Herald

The Rotary Club of Lethbridge is taking a two-pronged approach to helping Ukrainians impacted by war in their country.

The club is co-ordinating with an English-speaking Rotary Club in Prague, Czech Republic and Rotary-based charity Disaster Aid Europe to take supplies such as water filters to the city of Uzhhorod, Ukraine near the border of Slovakia where the population has soared as refugees from elsewhere in the country try to escape the war.

Locally, the Rotary Club is working with Lethbridge Family Services to provide support services to Ukrainian families who will be settling in southern Alberta while war rages at home.

The local club is working through Stuart Amesbury, their Prague Rotary contact who has driven two shipments of supplies for Ukraine and will be making a third this month.

The mission of Disaster Aid Europe “is to deliver aid to Ukraine by raising funds, providing medical supplies, producing and distributing clean drinking water technologies and training the local Rotary communities in these technologies,” says the organization.

It is providing ongoing support, which is based in Prague, and working with Slovakian Rotary members and a co-ordination team from a logistics hub in Kosice, Slovakia to provide emergency aid to a Ukrainian Rotary team in Uzhhorod.

Important components of assistance are water filtration systems so refugees have access to clean drinking water. SkyHydrant MAX systems are capable of producing more than 10,000 litres of clean water daily at an operating cost of $1 per person for the year. The Rotarians are also supplying smaller Sawyer water filters to help smaller groups such as family units.

At a recent Lethbridge Rotary Club meeting, 16 members donated a total of $6,000 to help local fund-raising efforts. This is on top of another $10,000 the Rotarians have committed to Ukrainian relief efforts.

Rotarian Mary Milroy is spearheading the fund-raising efforts. Anyone wanting to help the Rotarians and their humanitarian efforts overseas and locally can contact Milroy by email at mmilroy@hometimecanada.com

“It was an amazing meeting,” Milroy said Friday about the support from fellow club members.

Rotarian Todd Brown is focusing on helping Lethbridge Family Services deliver any support services Ukrainian refugees will need in southern Alberta.

About 18 are presently in the area and Brown says they will need various types of assistance as they become familiar with a new country. Help finding schools for children, transportation to seek jobs, get medical assistance and get to work, and childcare are going to be some of the needs of displaced Ukrainian families coming here.

They will also need SIM cards and access to WiFi so they can communicate with husbands, fathers and other family members still in the country, Brown said.

Children’s items such as diapers, formula, feeding bottles, summer clothes and comforters are among the items displaced Ukrainians will need, LFS said in a letter to the Rotary Club.

Food hampers will also be needed as well as volunteers to help people access services, guide them with employment applications and offer peer support.

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