The Side of People
501 Collective in Romania & Ukraine
One of the things we love the most about our partners in Romania and Ukraine is that it does not matter your religion, nationality, race, gender… it’s just that you’re a person. Someone who deserves love, care, safety, and a future.
Our partners in Romania told us that they have received concerns about how they operate due to their care for all people. And their response, ‘We don’t care if they are from Romania, Ukraine, Russia, or anywhere else… if they need help, we are there to help them. Our mission is simply to help others.’
Obviously, in war times, there are ‘sides’ and there are those labeled as ‘good’ and ‘bad.’ But despite the sides taken nationally, our desire is to support the people affected. The orphans, the homeless, the displaced, the traumatized, and so on.
From one of our friends in Russia:
For half a year I kept silent on social networks, I didn't write anything about the war or comment on anything for the same reason that hundreds of thousands of Russians were silent and are still silent. Since the war started in February Putin’s government has issued such laws, that for any criticism of the war you can get under criminal prosecution. Many people were charged with fines, many got put in jail, some have been sentenced to prison terms of seven years or more. Just for writing on Twitter or Facebook.
At the end of September, mobilization was announced in Russia. Now it is not only military personnel must go to war and kill innocent Ukrainians, but also ordinary men called up as part of mobilization.
I fit the criteria of mobilization by age, and therefore two weeks ago I was faced with a choice - to wait for the summons and then hide somewhere for the rest of my life, or go to Ukraine to kill and most likely be killed myself, or to flee. Hundreds of thousands of young and not-so-young men in Russia faced the same choice.
So, that’s my story. I am 41 years old and I fled my country with one suitcase, leaving my past life behind. My mother, my friends, everything I loved and got used to remained in Russia. My lovely wife and daughters will join me here or where ever will be the last point of our journey as soon as possible.
We share this just as another example that people are people, no matter where they are located. People are in need of love, care, and support no matter which ‘side’ they happen to be on.
We are happy to partner with organizations that are on the side of people.