St. Lawrence College (SLC) has partnered with a number of colleges across Ontario to make a joint donation of $210,000 to UNICEF’s Ukraine emergency fund.
According to a release from SLC, donations to the Ukraine emergency fund will support the organization’s ongoing programs and response to the escalating need in Ukraine by providing communities with safe water, urgent medical aid and health care services, child protection and education. UNICEF has been working in Ukraine since 1997.
“At SLC we are part of the global community, and our hearts go out to all those whose lives are being torn apart by this conflict,” said Glenn Vollebregt, SLC President and CEO. “In addition to the ways we are helping our current students, we feel for their family members and the citizens of Ukraine, and we want to help families get the necessities they need including urgent medical care and supplies.”
In addition to other support, 18 colleges contributed to the joint donation, according to the release, along with contributions from Colleges Ontario (the sector’s advocacy organization) and the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS).
Locally, SLC has been supporting its students affected by the war for several weeks. Initial work was focused on emotional support and creating connections between students and services, with each other, and with community organizations.
According to the release, the College is now focusing on meeting food and housing needs, ensuring support is in place for successful academic progression, and working with community organizations to make students aware of support available to them. As well, the College said that its recent annual alumni appeal highlighted the need for increased support for its emergency student bursary fund, which all students can access for urgent needs.
In Kingston, SLC is also working with representatives from the Ukrainian Canadian Club of Kingston, Queen’s University, St. Mary’s Cathedral, and Beth Israel Synagogue, with the support of Mayor Bryan Patterson, on the Mayor’s Fund for Students from Ukraine to assist displaced Ukrainian students studying at SLC with accommodation, food, and more. Funds will also be used to support students on the Cornwall campus.
Some colleges have opted to make significant contributions solely as individual institutions, according to the release. These include supports such as tuition relief programs, new scholarships, counselling programs, community partnerships and more.
“So many Ukrainian men, women and children are either displaced or living through the terrible situation in Ukraine,” said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. “This tragedy has affected everyone on our campuses and created a strong desire to help.”