Deaconess Foundation responds to plight of Ukraine’s most vulnerable


The Deaconess Foundation is donating €100 000 to help evacuate people in need in Ukraine and to help those trapped in the war zone. An emergency fundraising campaign will also be launched for humanitarian work in Ukraine and for those who have fled the country. The aid will target people who are already in the most vulnerable situations, such as the Roma population, who face discrimination, women and children with limited means, and internally displaced persons (IDPs).

A messy shelter.

A woman with a child in a shelter. Photo Emilio Morenatti, AP/Lehtikuva.


“The Deaconess Foundation, which was founded by noble woman Aurora Karamzin, is 155 years old this year. Since our foundation, we have taken action at home and abroad wherever human dignity is under threat. There is still a great need for our work,” said Deaconess Foundation CEO Olli Holmström.

“The emergency relief continues our long-standing work in Ukraine. We have been working in the region for many years and have reliable local partners in the country.”

The Deaconess Foundation’s partners have started their relief work in different parts of the country. The poorest people or those belonging to minorities in particular may not have the possibility to flee the conflict area. Evacuation transports are being organised for them, either to safer areas in Ukraine or beyond the country’s borders. Essential supplies, such as food, clothing and medicines are being delivered to refugees and those left behind.

Targeting discriminated minorities

“Local Roma minorities are also particularly vulnerable in the war, as poverty often prevents them from escaping,” said Anca Enache, Development Manager at the Deaconess Foundation.

“There are between 200 000 and 400 000 Roma in Ukraine, whose lives have been considerably impacted by discrimination since before the war. The conflict is exacerbating their difficult situation even further,” said Enache.

Many Roma lack identity documents and so are not being allowed to leave the country, even now amidst the war. The lack of identity papers also prevents them from officially registering as IDPs, which means that they cannot receive the assistance and services that refugee status entitles them to.

Emergency assistance is being provided not only to minorities but also to other highly vulnerable groups such as women, children and IDPs.

In crises, the Deaconess Foundation focuses on delivering emergency aid to people and providing assistance to organisations helping refugees in neighbouring countries. In post-conflict situations, support is given to the most vulnerable groups to help them recover from war and rebuild their lives.

The Deaconess Foundation's emergency aid collection for Ukraine (in Finnish)


Further information

Deaconess Foundation Donations: Olli Holmström, CEO,, 050 483 6313
Activities concerning minorities in Ukraine: Development Manager Anca Enache,, 044 027 0887
Emergency fundraising: fundraising specialist Pertti Keinänen,, 050 325 0183
Media contacts also: Communications Manager Jenni Sarolahti,, 050 372 0828

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