Latvian residents' donations to Ukraine continue dwindling

The association “Tavi draugi” (Your friends) has been actively accepting the public's donations to Ukrainians since the beginning of the war. Although donor activity has declined, the organization has its hands full. On August 23, Latvian Radio went to find out how work was going at Ventspils Street 50, the association's warehouse.

“The most important part for the Ukrainians is that they enter our hangar and there is a 'free shop' here,” said Liene Āķīte, a volunteer of the association, who coordinates the work of the donation warehouse on Ventspils Street 50. Dishes, clothing, and footwear are available. If needed, hygiene products, diapers, baby food are handed out, along with other household objects.

“We have a furniture sector. There is a very active movement of furniture. It is being brought in and out, imported and exported,” Liene said.

However, the public is no longer as active as it was at the beginning of the war.

"It's even hard for me to compare how it was at the beginning and how it is now. There are people who have clearly decided to donate a tenth of their income to Ukraine. These are really people who understand the real situation, who don't live in a fantasy world. They understand it's not so simple - it's not just Ukraine's war, it's also our war. You can also donate your time as a volunteer. It's just as valuable a donation as a financial donation. In March, April, every day, we had about 30 volunteers here, maybe even more. It is right now that there are days when there are some 10, maybe 15 [volunteers], but there is job is for everyone," Liene said.

Current donations are school bags, sports clothing, stationary – all necessary for Ukrainian children starting school in Latvia.

Aid is not only provided to Ukrainians in Latvia, but delivered to Ukraine. There is currently an active demand from one part of the Ukrainian army. Liene said: “At the moment we are assembling clothes – underwear, dry food, footwear. Basically everything they need in the army every day.”

Large donations from companies also come to the association. They are not brought in as often as they were at the beginning of the war, but there are companies that donate regularly.

Since Russia's war against Ukraine began, more than 36 thousand Ukrainian people have been registered in Latvia. Among refugees, 46% are women, 22% are men, while 32% are children, mostly between two and 17 years old.

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