LAWRENCE, Kan. — A fundraiser from the University of Kansas faculty and staff is seeking to raise $50,000 to help Ukrainian students at risk due to the ongoing war in the country.

The KU for Ukraine fundraiser will provide Ukrainian students at KU with support as well as help KU host Ukrainian students.

The fundraiser is an effort from multiple entities on campus, including the KU Department of Slavic and Eurasian Languages & Literatures.

Ani Kokobobo is the chair of that department. She says that the funds will also aid students who want to return to Ukraine.

“As we’re sort of trying to see can we help some people kind of relocate for a time to the west, I think we also have to think about the part where some of them don’t wish to leave. Some of them feel that, you know, Putin wins if they leave,” she said.

Kokobobo said she was inspired to help after conversations with Ukrainian colleagues.

“We met with this colleague in Kiev and he had to meet with us on Zoom from his bathroom because there was shelling going on and in the midst of that, when you’re tested like that, what do you do? How do you respond? And it’s incredible to see these individuals instead of, I don’t know, doing a number of things, fleeing, they are saying, ‘What can I do? How can I contribute?'”   

The group held a fundraiser April 18th featuring personal accounts of Ukrainian life from KU faculty, Ukrainian poetry, and Ukrainian music at Marceli’s Banquet Hall & Catering in Lawrence.

That effort brought in several thousand dollars, but the fundraiser is continuing online for another 70 days.

You can learn more and donate here.