An essential pillar to defend and help Ukraine: civil society
Since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion on February 24, Ukraine has proven to be a country that, despite all odds, unambiguously demonstrates incredible societal resilience during an unprovoked war. Indeed, as a recent Wall Street Journal article In short, “civil society is Ukraine’s secret weapon against Russia”.
Ukrainian civilians, churches, non-governmental organizations, many in the private sector, and its allies bravely stood up against Russia and “refuted Putin’s assertion that Ukraine is not a real nation “, according to the Journal.
Like the Journal article underline,
[Ukraine] has a strong civil society. … Ukrainians have responded with voluntary efforts that have made important contributions to the defense of the country. … Ukrainians have spent the past eight years building their capacity to govern themselves, and a vibrant civil society is proving to be a significant advantage in the war against Russia.
But it is not only Ukrainian civil society that is essential in this fight; it is the help of civil societies from nations around the world that is crucial to defending Ukraine and helping its people survive and ultimately recover from this tragedy.
Like Russiathe war of aggression continues to cause a huge humanitarian catastrophe, the stakes are high in Ukraine and beyond, with freedom on the line. It is essential that America and its allies work with a network of members of civil society to provide the most practical and effective assistance to the Ukrainian people as quickly and efficiently as possible.
As it is widely reported, Polish citizens and other Ukrainian neighbors such as Moldova and Romania not only hosted refugee families, but also delivered food and other necessary items directly to Ukraine. This informal network was a true representation of civil society in action.
One of the countless such cases is the work of Poland Marcin Nowacki.
Nowacki, a prominent voice promoting market-oriented reforms as vice-president of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers of Poland, organized a small, but very quickly responded, humanitarian convoy, along with other non-profit organizations.
Nowacki was the recipient of the Heritage FoundationThe 2022 Steven M. Sass Award for Economic Freedom, which was established in 2020 to recognize and encourage individuals and organizations who help promote free market principles and policies. He described the convoy at his recent award presentation:
The purpose of the trip was to provide medicines, medical and hygienic material. Equipped with two full buses, we went to the place indicated by the Ukrainian side, which packs and distributes the products where the needs are greatest. …
Lviv is currently a transfer and logistics hub supporting central and eastern Ukraine. On the outskirts of the city, we meet our guide who takes us to the logistics center. A team of people were waiting there, and they immediately started unloading. All products were sorted immediately after unloading and correctly described. Process management is at the highest level. … It should be added that the residents of Lviv are staying at home and supporting the accommodation, catering and transportation of refugees from areas affected by an unauthorized Russian attack. … Returning from Ukraine, we had the honor of transporting people evacuated from Ukraine.
Sharing some of the key recommendations and needs he had observed, Nowacki further pointed out that with the current crisis and the need to help Ukraine being unprecedented in Europe’s modern history, “Here, it is necessary to involve ourselves – civil society” from many countries around the world. Nowacki now organizes additional convoys on an ongoing basis.
Indeed, countless notable private responses from civil society such as Nowacki’s have been crucial in helping Ukraine while the sudden exodus of millions of Ukrainians to neighboring countries and beyond has overwhelmed authorities. Europeans.
In this regard, it is worth highlighting an important observation from a recent Heritage Foundation policy paper: “[Ukraine’s] churches, nongovernmental organizations, and their American partners provide the United States with an opportunity to avoid the failed aid models of the past and ensure that American generosity reaches the people of Ukraine quickly and effectively.
It is certainly in the interests of the United States and his allies channel much-needed humanitarian aid to Ukraine through faith-based and other civil society networks, where possible.
And now is definitely the time to act.
This piece originally appeared in The daily signal