Sewa International helps evacuate 3,200 in Ukraine, reaches out to equally more

Houston, TX: As airstrikes cause extensive damage and people flee Ukraine in large numbers, Sewa International volunteers in Europe have helped more than 3,200 individuals in the past six days to cross the border to reach safety. Sewa volunteers are working with another 3,680 people who have registered for evacuation through the Sewa helpline.

Over 250 Sewa volunteers spread across many countries in Europe are coordinating relief efforts in eighteen Ukrainian cities. Working closely with Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) volunteers, Sewa units in Ukraine, Finland, Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Denmark are fielding calls from stranded students and others seeking help and directing them to a volunteer who lives close to them for further assistance.

“The situation on the ground is as challenging as it can get. Sewa and HSS volunteers are taking calls from people in distress and working 24 x 7 to help them evacuate. More than 35 Sewa volunteers are working on the ground in Ukraine. We are seeing an increased call volume as the war intensifies,” a Sewa volunteer from Ukraine, deeply involved in coordinating the relief work, explained over a WhatsApp call.   

Sewa is helping people to reach Ukraine’s western border by bus, train, or other modes of transport. They are distributing food packets, establishing temporary shelters, or working with local hotel owners to provide fleeing students a place to stay until they leave for their home country.

“After a student from India was killed in shelling in Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine and an epicenter of the current war, there has been a heightened fear among students. Due to the danger posed by the war to civilian lives in the city, helping people leave Kharkiv has been our top priority. In nearly 80 percent of the situations, we have been able to help the caller when they call the Sewa help number for the first time,” Heramb Kulkarni, a Sewa volunteer from Finland said.

Students stranded in Ukraine are facing multiple challenges, including threat to their lives, non-cooperation from local officials, not being allowed to cross the Ukrainian border, lack of food, and money.

To register for assistance, Sewa is asking people to complete an online form at — https://bit.ly/SewaUkraineHelpline.  More information related to Sewa’s Ukraine relief efforts can be accessed at https://linktr.ee/sewaeurope, https://www.facebook.com/SewaEuropeOfficial,  or https://www.instagram.com/sewaeurope/sites.

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