Over 11,000 Ukrainians live in Tuscany and 2,300 in the province of Florence, according to statistics website tuttitalia.it.
Florence is standing in solidarity with the Ukrainian community by setting up an email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) to help residents, organizing protests against the war, making former “Covid hotels” available for refugees and observing a minute of silence at the recent Mediterranean Forum held at the Palazzo Vecchio.
“They are wiping out our cities and children are dying,” Oxana Polattaitchouk, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Consulate in Florence, was reported as saying to local newspaper Corriere Fiorentino at the protest in piazza della Signoria on Sunday, February 27. “Thank you for your support. You’re an extraordinary people, an example of civility and democracy. We are collecting food, medicines and money to send to Ukraine. We’ve received messages of support from our Russian friends too. They too need to live in a civil country and we ask for their freedom as well.”
Ways to help the Ukrainian community
Urgent collection points:
The collection points in Florence are changing all the time. See the updated list here. If you are organizing a collection or want to find out about collection points in your area, write to email@example.com.
The Fondazione Kennedy (via Ghibellina, 12) is collecting food (canned food, rice, pasta, condensed milk and freeze-dried food) and warm clothing.
Croce Rossa Italiana Comitato Firenze (lungarno Soderini 11) is collecting medicines. For more info, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Intercultural centre Anelli Mancanti is working with the LILEA Ukrainian association to collect medical supplies (via Palazzuolo 8, Monday to Thursday 4.30-8pm). For more information on what is needed, call +39 334 9850793
Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic (via Umberto Maddalena 32 / Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10am-1pm
Misericordia del Galluzzo (via de Giandonati 10 / Monday to Sunday 7am-7pm)
Misericordia di Badia a Ripoli (via Chiantigiana 26 / Monday to Sunday 4-11pm)
Negozio Gran Bazar (via XXVII Aprile 47-79R / Monday to Sunday 9am-8pm)
For further information, see this FB group.
LILEA Ukrainian Association in Florence: Pledge a donation to this local association, which will support war refugees on arriving in Italy and provide humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
Croce Rossa Italia – Comitato di Firenze: make a donation to help the people of Kyiv.
A student-led initiative at the International School of Florence is raising funds through the non-profit organization Save the Children, who is working to provide children and families with immediate aid such as food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and cash assistance.
Please help us reach our goal and change a life. Donate now.
Check out the Foreigners in Florence FB group for local initiatives, including delivery of essential items to Poland and countries bordering Ukraine.
Voices of Children: this Ukraine-based aid organization provides psychological support to children and offers financial support to families who have suffered as a result of war.
Vostok SOS: another Ukraine-based organization that has partnered with German-Swiss NGO Libereco to provide immediate evacuation and psychological support to Ukrainians.
Polish Humanitarian Action: As thousands of Ukrainians cross the border into Poland, this Warsaw-based international non-governmental organization is purchasing food and hygiene items through donations made to its fund.
The UN Refugee Agency: The UNHCR has stepped up its operations and capacity in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to provide shelter and safety.
UNICEF: providing health, nutrition, safe drinking water, sanitation and protection for children and families caught in the Ukraine conflict.
International Committee of the Red Cross: security situation permitting, ICRC teams in Ukraine continue their work to repair vital infrastructure, support health facilities with medicines and equipment, and support families with food and hygiene items.
The International Rescue Committee: as civilians seek safety, the IRC is preparing to rush critical aid to displaced families.