Raise a flag to raise funds for Ukraine

A flag flying at the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron.

Some Howick locals have been working on a global campaign to raise money for urgently-needed medical supplies and equipment in Ukraine, under siege by Russia for more than a month.

The campaign idea is that you can download and share your flag in the iconic blue and yellow colours of Ukraine and donate to the cause when you do.

The local connections include Ian Malcolmson who lives in London and works for Crown Agents, an international development organisation that works with leaders across the globe to accelerate self-sufficiency and prosperity. Malcolmson grew up in Howick and his family are still here.

The other is Maria Devereux who lives in Howick and has known Ian and his family for some time. Devereux, the chief innovation officer and executive creative director at New Zealand creative agency Colenso BBDO based in Freemans Bay.

“Ian contacted me to help create a campaign to raise money. He’s been at the [Polish/Ukrainian] border and is really making a difference over there,” said Devereux.

“So, it has been a local effort which is having a global impact. We have already raised 40 per cent of the £750,000 needed.”

“Since the morning of February 24, 2022 when Russia launched a large-scale invasion into Ukraine, more than 2000 people have been killed, 4.9 million people have been forcibly displaced including 3 million who have fled as refugees,” Malcolmson said.

As the crisis escalated, Ukraine’s Ministry of Health approached Crown Agents asking for urgent assistance.

Malcolmson said medical infrastructure has been severely damaged and constant power outages continue to threaten critical hospital services.

“The country’s vital medical supplies are running low. Numerous attacks on health facilities, workers and ambulances have been confirmed so far in Ukraine,” Malcolmson said.

“The Ministry’s request is for 200,000 individual first aid kits to help stop people bleeding out from shrapnel wounds, 50,000 armoured vests and helmets for doctors and nurses treating people on the streets, and search and rescue equipment to help locate civilians stuck under rubble following the Russian military airstrikes.”

Crown Agents have sourced the much needed first aid kits for the Ukraine Ministry of Health. But they urgently need the public’s help to secure the remaining supplies.

At www.flagsforukraine.com people can show your support by sharing the flag of their country rendered in the iconic blue and yellow of Ukraine, and in exchange make a vitally-needed donation.

Malcomson said, “Crown Agents is the not-for-profit international development organisation that has been supplying medicines and medical equipment to Ukraine for 25 years, directly embedded in the Ministry of Health for five years.

“Our team in Ukraine, whom we are working with to deliver those vital supplies, have simply been incredible. By raising your flag on social media, you can help raise funds that will directly aid millions of civilians in Ukraine who are fighting for their lives.”

Devereux added, “Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, if you stand with the people of Ukraine in their resistance against the invasion, then today, you are Ukrainian. We are grateful for any money you can donate to help the Ukrainian people.”