Our commitment to Ukraine

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Dr. Matthias Straub

Project coordinator Ukraine


Largest humanitarian project in the history of the association (since the end of February 2022)

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine we have been committed to helping the people in need. Within a few days, a call for donations via our social media became the largest aid project in the history of Menschenfreude e.V. Countless helpers from our team were involved – including Bettina Flachmeier, Ulrike Curtius, Yvonne Schaale, Manfred Staat, Janine and Oliver Drathen and many many more from our circle of friends and family.

At the Swisttal warehouse: Around 40 tons of food, 12 transporters, 24 drivers (March 2, 2022)

About 100 volunteers came together to sort the donations. Clubs and companies presented us Vehicles available. 

A truck with food was packed and left for Ukraine the same day. Our first aid convoy set off at the beginning of the week: 12 vans with trailers, 24 drivers.

First aid transport to the Polish-Ukrainian border (March 8 - 15, 2022).

The first aid convoy went first to Warsaw and Chelm in Poland. In specially converted churches, volunteers offered refuge and protection to hundreds of refugees night after night. Mostly mothers with small children. Our team delivered sleeping bags, blankets as well as hygiene items and bought what was needed on site. We also distributed donations at train stations and at the Dorohusk border crossing.

On the way back to Germany, we were able to take 37 people who were on the run with us to safety.

For all of them we had organized a place to stay at short notice – within 24 hours. Partly in refugee accommodations in our region. In some cases we have taken them into our families.

Book "Abandoned Land" documents the relief action (May 2022) - reading & discussion evenings

The cover photo was taken at the Dorohusk border crossing: a couple who made it across the border take one last look back at home.

Engagement of families, kindergartens, schools and clubs for Ukraine (2022 ongoing)

Over the months, more and more helpers have joined our Ukraine engagement . There were initiatives by companies, associations and many many actions by children and young people who wanted to express their sympathy and help. Some donated their pocket money, painted, made things to do something for their peers affected by the war. The colorful pictures speak for themselves !!!

Every single act has touched us incredibly and made us feel like we were doing the right thing. It was and is a wave that we as the Menschenfreude team had started and that should roll until the cruel war comes to an end.

16 relief transports & further donation campaigns until December 2022 (ongoing)

By the end of 2022, there have been a total of 16 shipments of relief supplies to Ukraine as well as Poland. The alternating driver teams included Vitaly Krusch, Tanja Wiesner, Henriette Wiesner and Matthias Straub. Changing groups of volunteers, whom we thank sincerely and who we can hardly list in detail here.

In addition to food and everyday goods, power generators and medical equipment such as incubators for newborns and ultrasound equipment were increasingly brought into the country. Relief supplies were tirelessly transported there and people back with them.

By the end of 2022, there were around 100 refugees, mainly mothers and grandparents with children, whom we were able to bring with us to Germany.

Refugee families became friends

And we were able to provide for all of them: partly they help to shape our Menschenfreude association life, partly they live in our families or in the immediate vicinity.

Many of them have succeeded in building up a small existence in Germany with our help. To find work, attend school, and at least get some rest. And yet always accompanied by concern for loved ones at home and the question of how life should continue in a foreign country.

Transports in winter - emergency generators for hospitals (since December 2022)

With the beginning of the cold season, we had once againseparately called for donations. We knew about the living conditions in the homeland not only through the media, but also very concretely from our Ukrainian families.

We heard about broken windows and room temperatures near freezing. From underground office workstations in parking garages and hospitals without electricity.

Unserem Aufruf in den sozialenMedien folgten abermals viele Spender – herzlichen Dank dafür!

Pictures from Kiev in December

Wir konnten zunächst 22 Strom-Generatoren unterschiedlicher Größe anschaffen. MatthiasStraub, der die Aktion initiiert hatte, fuhr selbst mit Transporter und Sprinter in die Ukraine, um die Geräte kurzfristig zu übergeben.

His thoughts and experiences can be read in our media. We were also very pleased with the warm feedback from the recipients in the hospitals, retirement homes and public institutions. It shows that we are doing the right thing and gives us strength and motivation to continue!

Further transports and relief actions are planned. We will keep you up to date. Feel free to follow us on our social media and share our message.

Please continue to support our commitment to Ukraine. Every single Euro arrives – through us, through the people you may get to know here. If you have any questions or special donation requests, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Donation account:

Recipient: Menschenfreude e.V.

IBAN: DE41 6609 0800 0006 6116 99

Or use the PayPal donation function. Thank you very much!

(Last updated: February 2023)