As a tragedy envelops Europe with a war breaking out between Russia and Ukraine, the volunteers of Art of Living have stepped up the challenge to reach out to Indians who are crossing borders into various European countries, with shelter and basic amenities like food and water.
The global humanitarian organisation has accommodated 4122 refugees, including Indian students, across Europe. It’s helpline number has received 7668 calls for refugees and their families. Along with this, 6000 medical kits and 23,612 meals have been provided by the organisation and its volunteers.
Speaking about the initiative, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, “All the help is being made available and our volunteers from all across Europe are there by the side of the refugees and Indian students fleeing Ukraine. They are being provided food, water, accommodation and other essential items.”
The highlights of the ongoing work by Art of Living volunteers across Europe:
- Hundreds of students have been rescued from Ukraine into Poland and Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Bulgaria
- The Art of Living volunteers in Hungary Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Germany have moved into action to provide all the support to those who are fleeing Ukraine including thousands of Indian students.
- In Hungary, The Art of Living has arranged shelters for more than 150 people.
- More than 650 beds have been arranged in Poland.
- Teachers and volunteers from Kiev and Kharkov have evacuated 1200 Indian students and helped them to find transport and cross the border.
- In Ukraine, 27 Ukrainian Art of Living teachers and 72 volunteers are working. Additionally, about 40 Art of Living teachers from across Europe are involved in conducting online practices and helping refugees and victims handle trauma. The cities where the volunteers are working actively include Sloviansk (Slavyansk), Kramatorsk, Poltava, Odessa , Kiev, Bila Tserkva, Uzhhorod, Lviv, Enerhodar.
- The volunteers of the organisation at Poland border are providing assistance to refugees that are arriving. There are families with children who are as young as 2 months old. All essential supplies have been stocked up by their team.
- Till today, the organisation have helped 420 refugees in Poland and relief work is is still ongoing. Medical supplies have been delivered to Ukraine. Mattresses, blankets have been arranged for the refugees in Taraska centre. About 50 seva volunteers are involved in Poland. There is a 24 hour hotline. About 40 homes are ready to host refugees.
- Refugees centres operational in Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Western European countries like Germany.
- The helpline number of Art of Living centres across Europe, which are open for Ukrainian Refugees, is +31631975328.