Foyle Friends of Ukraine helping local residents and businesses connect with Ukrainian families
13 May 2022
Foyle Friends of Ukraine is a new initiative intended to make it easier for local residents and businesses to match with Ukrainian families as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which provides host families £350 a month in order to sponsor displaced Ukrainians with somewhere to stay in the UK.
Today they are launching an online sign-up form and warmly invite prospective hosts and supporters to register their interest at www.FoyleFriendsOfUkraine.org or via the Foyle Friends of Ukraine Facebook page.
Foyle Friends of Ukraine is a collaboration between The COUP, a Donemana-based women's nonprofit, and Derry~Londonderry-based international development charity Children in Crossfire.
Derry~Londonderry-based video game developer Hypixel Studios is supporting the project with £10,000 of funding and office facilities, with an additional $20,000 provided by video game publisher Riot Games' Social Impact Fund.
Hypixel Studios CEO Aaron Donaghey has made a personal contribution of £10,000.
Local resident Susan is now hosting a Ukrainian family that she met via the Foyle Friends of Ukraine initiative. Susan said: "I didn't know how to find a family to support after signing up to 'Homes for Ukraine', then I met Foyle Friends of Ukraine and now the family are here and safe - it's amazing."
In addition to The COUP and Children in Crossfire, the initiative is being coordinated by Dr Dina Diurba and Dr Marina Sukhorukova, a university professor and surgeon respectively, they have relocated to the Derry~Londonderry area from Kharkiv via the Homes for Ukraine scheme and are now working full time as part of Foyle Friends of Ukraine.
Dr Dina Diurba said: "We're thankful to the people of Derry~Londonderry for their warm hospitality. "Together we hope to make the Homes for Ukraine programme more accessible and easier to use."
The initiative is intended to run for three months and is fully funded for that duration, having raised over £30,000.
Further financial aid is not being sought at this time, but local residents and businesses that are interested in providing housing or support to families from Ukraine are invited to register their interest online.
The sign-up form can be found at www.FoyleFriendsOfUkraine.org or via the Foyle Friends of Ukraine Facebook page.
In particular, Foyle Friends of Ukraine is looking to hear from people who have temporary housing available in Donegal. This is in order to support Ukrainians in urgent need while their UK visa applications are processed.
Aaron Donaghey, CEO of Hypixel Studios said: "The ultimate goal of Foyle Friends of Ukraine is to make the entire process easier and more accessible for all parties. If all of us can do a little good, together we can do a lot of good."
Jeffrey Burrell, Senior Director of Riot Games' Karma Initiative said: "Some of the most innovative solutions come from grassroots efforts, and Riot Games is proud to support this initiative with Children in Crossfire, The COUP, and Hypixel Studios.
Collectively they've been able to identify need and adapt quickly within their community to help displaced Ukrainians find shelter and safety among the kind people of Derry~Londonderry."
Children in Crossfire, the Derry~Londonderry-based international development charity that delivers education and healthcare programmes for impoverished children in Tanzania and Ethiopia, will be providing professional administrative support to the initiative.
Richard Moore, Executive Director of Children in Crossfire said: "Like so many, I have been deeply touched by the horrific war in Ukraine, so when Aaron approached me to seek Children in Crossfire's involvement in the Foyle Friends initiative we were keen to sign up and play our part.
"While we will not be raising funds for this project as it is currently well resourced, we are delighted to be part of this excellent collaboration and are looking forward to ensuring it succeeds in all its goals."
Mayor Graham Warke said: "I am delighted that this consortium of local groups have pooled their resources to offer specialist and targeted support to those affected by the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine.
"The time and funds donated to date is quite remarkable and I would like to thank the local groups involved for their contributions."
About Foyle Friends of Ukraine
Foyle Friends of Ukraine is a new initiative intended to make it easier for local residents and businesses to match with Ukrainian families as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme. It is a collaboration between The COUP, a Donemana-based women's nonprofit, and Derry~Londonderry-based international development charity Children in Crossfire.
Additional support has been provided by Hypixel Studios, the Riot Games Social Impact Fund, and Hypixel Studios CEO Aaron Donaghey.
About The COUP
The COUP - 'where all the chicks hang out' - is a women's creative hub in Donemana.
It is equipped with a craft and sewing space, library and reading area, contemporary up-cycled kitchen, DIY multi-use studio plus outside patio-style garden.
The COUP offers support and boundless opportunities for women to use the facilities to gain new ideas or insights into their own capabilities, or simply find a haven of calm to escape to. Our role within Foyle Friends of Ukraine is to act as a vehicle to help deliver their aim to match homes with families - to support them in this process and offer practical guidance.
About Children in Crossfire
The story of Children in Crossfire, has its roots in what began as a tragedy and ended as a triumph of the human spirit to overcome adversity.
Founded in 1996 by Richard Moore who was blinded as a 10 year old boy in 1972 during the Northern Ireland conflict, Children in Crossfire supports projects helping some of the most vulnerable children on the planet that suffer from the injustice of poverty.
We work in partnership with local organisations in Tanzania and Ethiopia to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged young children, with a particular focus on Early Childhood Education (ECE). In Ireland, we work in schools and with the general public to raise awareness of global justice issues, and advocate for increased investment in ECE.
About Hypixel Studios
Established in 2018, Hypixel Studios is a Derry~Londonderry-based video game developer. The company has financially supported a number of local causes to date including Aware NI, Autism NI, Foyle Search and Rescue, NI Children's Hospice, Foyle Foodbank, and Foyle Women's Aid.
About the Riot Games Social Impact Fund
The Riot Games Social Impact Fund, which was created in 2019, is Riot's nonprofit engine for Riot's collective efforts for global social impact. In partnership with ImpactAssets, the Social Impact Fund help us make direct investments to organizations around the globe that are working to solve some of the world's most pressing problems, distribute funding to almost any country, and allows us to move quickly when opportunities arise.
Since inception, the Social Impact Fund has allowed Riot to distribute over $23M in grants to nonprofits worldwide and supported 400 organizations across 25 regions. For more information on Riot's social impact programs, please visit Riotgames.com.
Sign-up Form: foylefriendsofukraine.org
Facebook: Foyle Friends of Ukraine
Foyle Friends of Ukraine Team
Tel / Whatsapp: 07706820085 / +447706820085