“Global Black Coalition,” an Ottawa-led coalition, has been able to help hundreds of Black people and international students escape Ukraine since Russia invaded the neighboring country one month ago, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, there have been weeks of bombs, violence and death. Africans in Ukraine especially have faced racism and other obstacles trying to flee the warzone. Thousands of photos and videos have been shared under the hashtag #AfricansinUkraine detailing international Black students stranded in eastern Europe trying and facing unequal treatment on Ukraine’s border.
This all led to the founding of the “Global Black Coalition,” which focuses on crowdfunding to help with food, clothing and lodging. Since then, they have helped almost 1,300 people and raised more than $115,00 and lately they helped rescue students in Kherson, a port city in Russia, according to the CBC.
Hector Addison, co-founder of the African Canadian Association of Ottawa said they are now trying to help those in Kherson get to Odessa, Ukraine where they can take a train to Poland.
Some of the African students have successfully escaped to Paris, where members of the coalition welcomed them as their trains pulled in, said Gwen Madiba of Equal Chance, whose group is part of the coalition.
Others have already arrived in Poland, where Madiba is currently stationed, trying to offer any support she can.
“We’ve made them the promise that we will safely get them out of Kherson and that we will personally be here to hug them, to help them fill out their applications to sign up for the University of Ottawa,” Madiba told Radio-Canada last week…
Madiba said the coalition continues to hear stories of Black people in Ukraine facing discrimination as they try to escape, from being strip-searched to facing physical violence.
The biggest hurdle is now getting the Canadian government to allow students in Ukraine to continue their studies in their country, according to CBC.
In the United States, Hampton University has offered free room and board to Ukrainian students this summer to assist students trying to finish their education.