To top our last two years inside a Global Pandemic, now we are watching a war arising between Russia and Ukraine. This has shaken our feelings and surely tears come up when reading or watching what has been going on. The question is: what is REALLY going on and how do the effects of this war affect us directly? In the middle of helpless feelings, can we really do something to actually help? We also have a lot of questions (and some answers) and that is why we organized some topics to help guide you through this moment in History.
Here are some ways you can be informed and also know what to expect and what to do, regarding the war. Hope we help you with these topics, but if you still have anything you'd like to share with us, please do! We are happy to respond in our comments or through our channels!
1. Get The Right News Information From Safe Sources
Wars and conflicts haven't started today, in fact, parallel to what is going on between Russia and Ukraine, we have conflicts and attacks all over the Globe happening simultaneously and sometimes in places where humanitarian help is lacking. Also, fake news or no news coverage at all get through, creating even more doubts and leaving us blind about what sources we can really trust, believe in, and follow. Make sure to note these points when looking for accurate information.
Look for local news where the attacks are happening. There are many reporters and news professionals who are posting 24/7 about the conflicts, bombings, and what has really been going on on the grounds, and the best way to look for these sources is on Instagram, Twitter, and other social media networks, amazingly as it might sound. Elle UK made an excellent article three days ago about some reliable sources to follow, check them out here.
Watch videos or read articles from war specialists and historians. Trust us, they know what is going on beyond what we can see and can teach us how we can look at this war (or any other conflict) through less passionate lenses, so we can get the social and political, economical, and humanitarian aspects just right. Without critical thinking and information, we are just media puppets. Remember that.
2. Read Books and Watch Documentaries to Open Your Point of View
Watching documentaries can be an excellent way to broaden your knowledge about this war and our tip is to watch Winter On Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom (on Netflix). You may watch the video trailer directly from YouTube, due to age restrictions.
We have an excellent book to indicate called "The Engineers of Chaos" by Giuliano Da Empoli", but unfortunately there is no English translation yet! To understand more about why the world is standing where it is standing right now and what really happens behind the curtains on matters such as fake news behind elections and all that we are offered to as naive spectators watching the quest for power from before insignificant or relevant names we see now leading countries. It focuses on the rise of extreme-right populist characters even before Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Matteo Salvini, and Jair Bolsonaro started gaining attention politically. It really is a wake-up call for people to start paying attention and reading in between the lines on what technology and manipulation of sources and news might lead to. You may get it on Amazon in Portuguese, French, and other languages. If you'd like to read a great review about the book in English, access this link.
3. Help Non-profit and Non-Governmental Organizations
If you've read the news and still feel like there is more you can do, look for reliable NPOs and NGOs to really know what steps to take. Some institutions may help, for instance, the cities which are bordering the affected areas to reach out to those people fleeing war zones. Get information from reliable sources and sleeves up!
Voices of Children - NGO to help children in Ukraine
"The Voices of Children Foundation has been helping children affected by the war since 2015. They provide psychological and psychosocial support to children. It helps them overcome the consequences of armed conflict and develop. Today, during the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, they are providing non-stop assistance to affected children and families from all over the country, providing emergency psychological assistance, and assisting in the evacuation process."
You can reach them through this link.
"The ICRC has been working in Ukraine since 2014. Their operations in the country are among the ten largest ICRC operations worldwide with a team of over 600 staff members. Working closely with the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, they are increasing their response to the humanitarian needs in Ukraine. The support to people includes emergency assistance such as food, water, and other essential items. They also support hospitals and primary healthcare facilities with medical equipment and emergency preparedness. They repair water stations and support households to rehabilitate their damaged homes. They also help families separated by the conflict reconnect."
If you'd like to donate to the Red Cross, follow this link.
Four Paws - Help animals in Ukraine
The organization notes on its main page that as soon as their volunteers may reach zones in which they are not able due to conflicts, they will reach out to animals and their well-being. Meanwhile, they give a step-by-step notion of how to cross the borders with pets. Now, they are receiving donations through the website and you can keep up with what they do worldwide through their Instagram account on this link. Their official site is this one, and if you'd like to help, they have a donation link.
If you want an extensive list of NGOs to help animals and their owners in Ukraine, please access this link.
4. How Meditation and Balancing Your Spiritual Side May Help
Whatever belief you have in a religion or spiritual side, or even, if you haven't, one thing we must agree: silencing chaos is a great way to deal with it. Sometimes we need to take a few steps back in order to renew our faith in life, in our surroundings, and even in ourselves. We are a big part of everything that is going on in this world and it is a really important thing to connect our spirits (or energy, call it what you prefer), with an invisible sense of balance and light.
Meditation is a great way to reach this and has been proven that its practice helps us through our biggest challenges in life. There are great guided meditations and mantras to listen to or even podcasts with holistic therapists who can help you through sour times. Choose your favorite one and breathe. We chose one if you feel like starting to tune into another frequency right now. Press play if your heart feels like it.
5. Help Local Economy
Have you heard the phrase "Buy Locally", but never gave it a second thought? Well, it may be the right time to do so. A war not only affects where it is actually happening but might echo in our lives even if you "have nothing to do with it", APPARENTLY. What a war brings to our Global Economy is always a big concern, that is why stock markets have been going crazy (on the pandemic we have watched this a lot) and we should start acting out where we live.
When you buy locally, you make your neighborhood or city's economy turn around on itself. It is that simple. What you buy, you give back to whom you bought it from, and when they have money to LIVE and produce locally, they begin to expand and raise job opportunities and other benefits on whatever place on this Planet you are at. Of course, it also helps if it is a small business and besides that, look for green and sustainable enterprises.
In this way, in spite of whatever is going on outside your comfort zone, might not affect you as badly as it does when you depend on what is coming from them, be it food produce, clothing, or other goods. Look around and see what you can start spending your money at, where you are at.
6. Participate Socially
If you have been informed and want to spread the word about what you've learned (for example, who to help and what to do), do it! Posting helpful information may help other people understand what is going on and bring awareness to whatever it is that is important. The Internet can be a great thing if used to do what is right. Make your part. Remember to cite your sources and make sure they are reliable.
7. Take Care of Yourself Before Reaching Out to Help
Have you ever paid attention to what flight attendants say about the oxygen mask? Put it on yourself first, before helping the person next to you. This commonly used metaphor relates to every aspect of life in which we are open to helping others. First of all, how can you actually help if you are a mess? We know it hasn't been easy, with the pandemic and chaos all around and also our personal issues. But there are good techniques and paths to reach a balance. Try one (or a few) and THEN reach out. We are not robots and we all have feelings, it is part of being human, after all. Embrace your own limits and respect them in the process.
PS: We deeply hope this article helps you to bring thoughts and feelings in order. While we try to make the world a more creative and loving place, we also think we cannot shut our eyes to what has been happening. We all want to believe in the best outcome and will try doing what we can little by little in our own community. We make the World, we built it, and we can also rebuild it. Stay safe, be strong and have faith.