At the end of February, members of staff at Paderborn University launched a fundraising campaign to support people affected by the war in Ukraine. Local residents proved very eager to help: 19,000 euros in donations have been received thus far. Of this, university staff have used 15,000 euros to arrange for medicine to be purchased and shipped to a Ukrainian children’s hospital near to Kyiv.
“Volunteers, some of whom are on the ground in Ukraine, gave us a list of medicines urgently needed by a local hospital. The medicines were procured extremely quickly with the help of Hanna Holdberth, a volunteer from Dortmund, Nadja Kaufmann, who runs the Sonnen-Apotheke pharmacy in Menden, and Frederik Tasche from Paderborn’s Department of Materials Science, meaning that they could be loaded onto a truck in early April to be taken to Irpon”, explained Dr. Anatolii Andreiev, who is coordinating the university’s aid efforts in conjunction with Dr. Olexandr Grydin. Both are from Ukraine and work at Paderborn’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.
Huge willingness to help in Paderborn
“We have been overwhelmed by numerous donations of items and money, as well as by the offers of assistance that we have received and are continuing to receive”, Andreiev stated. In recent weeks, several trucks loaded with material donations have left Paderborn for Ukraine: “Our small truck has now travelled to the Ukrainian St Volodymyr church association’s collection point in Hanover seven times. We have transported around twenty tonnes of donations”, the Paderborn researcher emphasised.
University president Professor Birgitt Riegraf is supporting the campaign and has expressed her solidarity: “Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is appalling. We stand in solidarity with the victims and all affected by this unjustifiable attack. Many Ukrainians are having to leave their homeland, whilst others want to stay despite the perilous living conditions. The need to take responsibility for social challenges and commit to overcoming them both within and outside of the academic system is one of Paderborn University’s fundamental principles. We are therefore expressly supporting the Mechanical Engineering campaign.”
Various ways to offer support
Whether accommodation for refugees, transport services, donations of goods or money, or interpreting, anyone interested in supporting Paderborn University’s aid campaign can see the various options and services available at the website of Dr.-Ing. Anatolii Andreiev of Paderborn University. Urgently needed material donations, such as food and baby food for people in Ukraine or bicycles for refugees arriving in Germany, can be brought to Mersinweg 7 in the foyer of building Y Monday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
University staff members have also developed the website ‘Paderborn hilft’ (‘Paderborn Helps’). This provides information about ways to donate, as well as helpful information for refugees, available in German and Ukrainian.
Andreiev is also particularly keen to highlight the citizens’ initiative ‘Private Ukraine-Hilfe’ (‘Private Ukrainian Aid’). “The initiative collects up material donations for displaced persons who are already here. Clothing, furniture and everyday items that people urgently need are accepted at Rathenaustraße 16 a, 33102 Paderborn on Wednesdays between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.”
In addition, Paderborn University is supporting refugee academics and students.
Contacts, services and aid programmes for refugee academics and students
Grants and aid programmes:
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) recently set up the ‘National Academic Contact Point Ukraine’ website. The platform offers a wide range of information about the various academic funding options available specifically for Ukrainian refugees.
Contacts at Paderborn University:
The International Office (IO) at Paderborn University has put together a website offering information specifically for Ukrainian students. The central point of contact is the IO’s Central Refugee Coordinator Frederike Kallmeyer (ukraine(at)zv.uni-paderborn(dot)de, tel. 05251-60-2381), who can offer advice about opportunities for courses of study at Paderborn University.
For advice regarding options for Ukrainian students with a bachelor’s degree who are interested in beginning an English-language master’s programme, contact Matthias Funayama-Thordsen (ukraine(at)zv.uni-paderborn(dot)de, tel. 05251-60-3636).
Questions from Ukrainian academics interested in coming to Paderborn University can be directed to the Welcome Services for International Researchers (welcome(at)upb(dot)de).
Donations of money and goods, voluntary work
Information about ways of donating money or goods can be found on the website of Dr. Anatolii Andreiev at Paderborn University as well as on the city of Paderborn website. This also offers information about topics such as local initiatives, accommodation, subsistence and legal questions for foreigners.
People wishing to provide accommodation for refugees or seeking accommodation for refugees can find further information on the aforementioned websites for the city of Paderborn and Dr. Anatolii Andreiev at Paderborn University.