Initiated by members of the university community, the Ukraine fundraising appeal and Crisis Fund were launched in March to help researchers and students fleeing Ukraine who wished to move to the University of Helsinki, as well as those already at the university.
Within 24 hours after launch, the university community, consisting of university staff, alumni, students and friends, raised an incredible 9000e, with the current total standing at 14,000e from over 100 donors.
One of those who donated to the Ukraine Appeal was alumnus and former Social Media Team Lead at the University of Helsinki, Tomas Sjöblom.
– Like probably so many others, I felt a need to help in some way. I had already previously donated to UNICEF's Ukraine campaign, but I wanted to do more. As an alumni, the university community has been a very important part of my life and I thought that if I can help a student or researcher in the community who is in serious trouble by making a small donation, then then why not do it!, Tomas, explained why he felt compelled to donate 10e to the Ukraine appeal.
– I can spare a few beers on a Friday and instead donate to someone who's in actual need of that money.
The money raised has already been used to help Ukrainian students
Thanks to the support of our university community, the money raised by the Ukraine Appeal has already been used to award grants worth 670e to support 19 Ukrainian students who moved to Finland following the invasion of Ukraine. These students are now undertaking free non-degree studies at the university’s Faculty of Social Sciences.
Kaarle Hämeri, Chancellor of the University of Helsinki, is very grateful for the support from the university community.
– War and other crises highlight the importance of knowledge and expertise. As a university, it is our moral duty to protect the truth and academic freedom, especially during times of crisis. With the power of science, we can find the knowledge and solutions for humanity to overcome crises and create a better future together.
– The university community is international and many people at the university feel that they belong to the wider international scientific community. It is extremely important that our university community takes care of those who are facing a crisis and I am grateful to those who have taken steps to support students and researchers impacted by the invasion of Ukraine.
Since awarding the grants, an additional five Ukrainian students have moved to the university to undertake non-degree studies, with more expected in the future. In addition, we are hoping to support more researchers who have left Ukraine to come to the university.
We are therefore calling on our university community to ask for your help once again.
By donating to the Ukraine Appeal you can help us to provide grants to students and researchers who have fled Ukraine and wish to continue with studies and research at the University of Helsinki.
As Tomas explained, the Ukraine Appeal and its subsequent success is a reflection of the power the university community when it works together.
– I think this Ukraine Appeal is a great example of how much impact the university community can have. If 100 people from the community have incredibly donated over €14,000, and we have tens of thousands of alumni and staff at the university, then there is a huge potential for the university community to have an even greater impact on people’s lives if more of us work together!
On behalf of the University of Helsinki we would like to take the opportunity to thank the university community for supporting the Ukraine Appeal, including Tomas. Donations of all sizes have directly impacted our new students and we were blown away by the response from the university community.
You can also use bank transfer:
Nordea: IBAN = FI15 1660 3001 0767 70
Recipient: University of Helsinki Funds
Message: "Ukraine appeal", name of the donor and contact information
Donors from the United States can donate to the University of Helsinki's Crisis Fund via the King Baudouin Foundation United States. When donating, please write "Ukraine Appeal" in the "Additional information about your Gift" section.
The University of Helsinki has a money collection permit (RA/2020/737), permitted by the National Police Board on 18 June 2020. The permit covers all of Finland, with the exception of Åland. The funds will support the tasks given in §2 in the Universities Act (558/2009). University of Helsinki is responsible for the fundraising. University of Helsinki is responsible for the fundraising.