The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing war have sent shock waves throughout the Netherlands and the rest of Europe.
The conflict continues and leaves many Ukrainians without a home, job, stable food supplies, and medical aid after a year.
The Netherlands might be pressed into the most Western corner of Europe, but there are still ways we can assist the Ukrainian people. Here’s how you can help Ukraine from the Netherlands. 💙💛 👇🏻
Disclaimer: The first version of this article was published in March 2022. The war is constantly changing and so are the ways we can provide aid to Ukraine.
We try to keep this article updated, but please tell us in the comments if you have new inputs, NGOs or campaigns you think we should include and support.
There is a widespread humanitarian crisis resulting from the conflict. While it’s not possible for most of us to travel to Ukraine and offer humanitarian assistance, you can donate to organisations that do.
Here is a list of ongoing campaigns that can use your donations to fund medical aid, emergency shelter, and food supplies for people directly affected by the war.
- Giro 555 is a collective effort of aid and humanitarian organisations in the Netherlands to collect money for the people in Ukraine. Over €160 million have been donated as of March 2023.
- Stichting Vluchteling 999 is a Dutch refugee aid organisation that has opened an account called Giro 999 to collect donations for displaced persons and refugees.
- The UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) has also opened channels to help refugees of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
- FreePressUnlimited has set up a donation campaign to support journalists and free press in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.
- Ukrainians in the Netherlands collect donations to buy medical supplies and protective equipment in bulk.
Donating just the smallest amount can help. There are also options to contribute on a monthly or yearly basis for long-term assistance.
Help Ukrainians in the Netherlands
By now, almost 90,000 Ukrainian refugees have been registered in the Netherlands, according to the Dutch government website. The conflict is no longer far away, but we have the opportunity to help those that have come all the way from Ukraine to the Netherlands.
Dutch aid organisations are looking for volunteers to help Ukrainians in the Netherlands on a rolling basis. Helping hands are especially needed in refugee shelters, administration or the organisation and distribution of donations.
These are the websites of some Dutch organisations that regularly update their openings for volunteers:
- Leger des Heils: the Dutch branch of The Salvation Army needs help especially in refugee shelters and in support of families hosting Ukrainian refugees. (Job openings posted in Dutch.)
- NLvoorelkaar: this organisation coordinates volunteer opportunities across the Netherlands and they have set up a forum for all volunteer and aid requests.
- VluchtelingenWerk Nederland: this aid organisation is present in every single Dutch refugee shelter and you can register as a volunteer in your area. (In Dutch.)
- Fast Lane Ukraine: this volunteer-run organisation based in Amsterdam organises and supports trips with urgently needed supplies to the Polish-Ukrainian border. See their vacancies for volunteer positions.
The Dutch government jointly with the various municipalities has prepared temporary and long-term housing to host refugees coming in from Ukraine. This is currently the main way Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands are provided with shelter.
However, if you want to open your home to Ukrainians there are ways to do so. The Netherlands Red Cross together with other Dutch charity organisations has set up RefugeeHomeNL, which seeks to place Ukrainians with Dutch families.
You can connect through Takecarebnb with registered refugees that are looking to stay in a family home as opposed to a refugee shelter. The agreement lasts for a maximum period of three months.
Note: Housing Ukrainian refugees is a big responsibility. There is a risk of Ukrainians falling through the cracks of the Dutch governmental care systems when living with Dutch host families, reports NU.nl.
This option should, therefore, only be considered if you have the means, time and capacity to help Ukrainians build up a life in the Netherlands.
Since April 1, Ukrainian refugees are allowed to work in the Netherlands without an official work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning;twv). The Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) estimated in May that 4,300 Ukrainians found work with Dutch employers.
A Ukrainian refugee wishing to work in the Netherlands will need:
- A Dutch citizen number (Burgerservicenummer; BSN),
- A proof of residency from a Dutch municipality.
Are you an employer who wants to offer work to eligible Ukrainians? The Dutch government website specifies that you will have to:
- Set up a valid work agreement or contract;
- Register the Ukrainian employee with the UWV, at least two days before the official start date of employment.
Drop-off points for clothes, medication and other goods
Another way you can help is by dropping off goods such as blankets, sanitary products or canned foods at collection points in the Netherlands. From there, volunteers and employees will make sure the collected donations will reach Ukrainians in need.
Important: Before buying loads of goods and heading to any of these drop-off points, inform yourself what exactly is needed! For example, at the moment, medication and medical equipment are urgently needed. It is no longer advised to drop off clothes or liquids.
Check here for updates on what is required or call your closest drop-off point in advance.
There are also small, non-profit organisations in the Netherlands that continue to use their social media presence to collect donations and raise awareness. Here are the Instagram accounts of some of them.
- @help_ukraine_nl continues to run a drop-off point and collect donations in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
- @zeilenvanvrijheid collects money to buy and drive ambulances as well as medical equipment to Ukraine. Thus far, 70 ambulances have been purchased in total.
- @u.aid.foundation provides targeted humanitarian aid to, for example, citizens of the Ukrainian city Bucha. Their newest project is looking to collect produce to support Ukrainian orphans.
- @uaid.nl collect donations and run a drop-off point in Castricum, Noord-Holland. Their website gives a good overview of what is needed most.
Did we miss any charities, campaigns or non-profits you would like us to mention? Tell us in the comments how you are planning to help Ukraine. 👇🏻