The Canadian Coalition helped hundreds of black students in Ukraine escape war

Nigerian students in Ukraine wait on the platform of Lviv train station, on February 27, 2022, in Lviv, western Ukraine.

Nigerian students in Ukraine wait on the platform of Lviv train station, on February 27, 2022, in Lviv, western Ukraine.
Photo: Bernard Armangue (PA)

The “Global Black Coalition,” an Ottawa-led coalition, has been able to help hundreds of black people and international students flee Ukraine since Russia invaded the neighboring country a month ago, according to the CBC. Canada.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, there were weeks of bombs, violence and death. Africans in Ukraine in particular have faced racism and other obstacles when trying to flee the war zone. Thousands of photos and videos have been shared under the hashtag #AfricansinUkraine detailing black international students stranded in Eastern Europe trying and facing unequal treatment at the Ukrainian border.

All of this led to the creation of the “Global Black Coalition”, which focuses on crowdfunding to help with food, clothing and housing. Since then they have helped nearly 1,300 people and raised more than $115,000 and most recently 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 were now trying to help residents of Kherson get to Odessa, Ukraine, where they could catch a train to Poland.

From Radio Canada:

Some of the African students managed to flee to Paris, where coalition members met them as their trains arrived, 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 all the support she can.

“We made them a promise that we will get them safely out of Kherson and that we will personally be there to give them a hug, to help them complete their application to uOttawa,” said Madiba at 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 strip searches to physical violence.

The biggest hurdle now is getting the Canadian government to allow Ukrainian students to continue their studies in their country, according to CBC.

In the USA, Hampton University offered free room and board to Ukrainian students this summer to help students trying to complete their studies.

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