BEARR Newsletter: October 2022

Dear friends and colleagues,

We hope this finds you safe and well. In this edition of our newsletter, we bring you news of our Ukraine Emergency Winter Appeal.

We are also delighted to share with you two upcoming events: on Monday 7 NovemberBEARR’s Autumn Lecture will be given by internationally recognised expert on espionage, subversion, the use and abuse of history, energy security and information warfare, Edward Lucas; and on Friday 18 November, BEARR will host its Annual Conference on the theme ‘War in Ukraine: The Civil Society Response’.

Additionally, you will find a summary of a recent conference about the critical role of civil society in Ukraine’s recovery, a project report from a recipient of last year’s Small Grants Scheme, and the usual news from the region.

With warm wishes,
The BEARR Trust

Ukraine Emergency Winter Appeal

Winter is fast approaching in Ukraine, and with Russia now targeting the country’s heating infrastructure, our partners urgently need money to buy generators, heaters, solar batteries, sleeping bags, blankets and warm clothes.

As you may know, The BEARR Trust has been raising funds since February for humanitarian relief in Ukraine and Moldova. We have received amazing support, raising more than £350,000 thanks to the generosity of over 1,000 donors in the UK, Republic of Ireland and abroad. The majority of these donations have already been spent by small civil society organisations and voluntary groups who are supporting displaced families, adults and children with disabilities, and isolated elderly residents in rural villages.

We now need to raise funds to buy emergency winter supplies for people in Ukraine and Moldova. Every penny donated will be passed on to our partners – local, grassroots NGOs who have been working tirelessly over the last 8 months to provide food, shelter, clothing, medicine, transport and trauma support for hundreds of displaced and vulnerable people.

As of October 2022, three-quarters of our total funds raised have been sent to 50 local organisations in Ukraine and Moldova to purchase and distribute emergency aid. To enable our partners to continue their vital work this winter, please donate to our online campaign here.

We are incredibly grateful to all who have donated to our campaign since February. If you are able, please consider setting up a recurring donation. A regular income of funds will allow us to plan ahead for the coming months, and ensures we are in a position to support our partners throughout the winter.

100% of funds donated will be passed on to local organisations in Ukraine and Moldova. BEARR is covering any administrative costs and transfer fees from other funds. BEARR’s Ukraine Appeal is managed by a volunteer working group of five Trustees, including the Chairman and the Treasurer, supported by BEARR’s Information Officer.

Our focus on ‘small and local’ emergency funding throughout the war – rooted in BEARR’s long-standing approach to grant giving – has enabled us to send funds quickly and effectively to vulnerable people in places still not reached by international aid.

This was brought into sharp focus on the morning of 6 October, when two of our partners in Zaporozhiya reported on the bombs that fell on their city just before dawn. They immediately requested an emergency grant to provide victims with bedding, clothes and psychological support. Within two hours of the email reaching BEARR’s office, the Trustee working group had approved the request, and by 10am that morning the transfer had been processed. Read more about how BEARR is supporting its partners’ ongoing work in our latest website story here.

We would like to once again thank you for your overwhelming support of our original campaign. We and our partners are strengthened by the generosity of BEARR’s donors, and we ask that you please continue to support and share our campaign as we prepare for the coming winter. Thank you for any contribution you are able to make!

Image received from our partner in Zaporozhiya on the morning of 6 October

BEARR News and Events

2022 Autumn Lecture: Monday 7 November

We are delighted to announce that former senior editor at The Economist and author of The New Cold War, Edward Lucas, will give BEARR’s Autumn Lecture, “Putin’s War: What’s the Endgame?”. 

The lecture will take place via Zoom at 5pm UK time on Monday 7 November.

For more information, please visit our website here. You can register for the event via our Eventbrite page here

2022 Annual Conference: Friday 18 November

Through the experience of the BEARR Ukraine Appeal, we have witnessed the rapid development of small local civil society organisations and volunteer groups working in the areas of health and social welfare.

This is the basis for the BEARR Trust Annual Conference 2022 on “War in Ukraine: The Civil Society Response”, which will focus on lessons learned and civil society’s role in the near to medium future, both in Ukraine and in Moldova, which supports large numbers of Ukrainian refugees.

It will be an afternoon conference in hybrid format, with some participants gathered in London and others joining online to allow for broader participation, especially from partner countries.

Speakers have been invited from CSOs and volunteer organisations in Ukraine and Moldova, and from international organisations engaged in similar work. The full programme and further details on how to join the conference will be available shortly on our website.

“From Resilience to Recovery – the role of civil society”: a conference in Kyiv, Lviv and online

On 29-30 September 2022, a conference about the critical role of civil society in Ukraine’s recovery was organised by the Ukrainian International Renaissance Foundation. The conference took place in the context of preparations for the London follow-up conference in summer 2023 to the one held in Lugano, Switzerland in July 2022, to present the Ukrainian roadmap for the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.

Find BEARR Trustee Janet Gunn’s full report on the panel discussion over on our website here.

Project Report

Gender-Vector, Kyrgyzstan

Gender-Vector received a grant last year for their project “Social Isolation: The Route to Overcome”, an initiative to support the LGBT community in Kyrgyzstan overcome the socio-economic vulnerabilities that had emerged as a result of COVID-19

Beneficiaries of the project met with local employment agencies and housing advisors, received expert psychological support, and attended twice-monthly panel talks to discuss the current issues facing the community. As a result of Gender-Vector’s work, 80 beneficiaries received jobs, 37 took part in vocational training, and 68 people were assisted in finding a new home. Read the full  project report here.

News from the region

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