Woman raises funds for Ukraine

Kristina Oliinyk, 31, who was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, has been living in Vredehoek for the last seven years.

A Ukrainian woman, who has lived in Vredehoek for the last seven years is crowdfunding to help her family and friends in her home country.

Ukrainians have fled their homes to neighbouring countries such as Romania, Moldova, Poland and Hungary, since last week after Russian troops started moving across the border.

Kristina Oliinyk, 31, who was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, and has been living in Vredehoek, was woken up at 4am by a distressing phone call from her mother as Russian president Vladimir Putin announced the military operation.

She then turned on the TV and watched the news.

“I was heartbroken and felt so helpless,” says Kristina.

Olga, Kristina’s mom, and many of her friends who have been unable to flee Kyiv have been staying at home, or living in their cars. Tanya, Kristina’s sister, is currently looking after their grandmother in Lviv, who recently had a stroke. They are evacuating to bomb shelters throughout the day to stay safe.

A photo Kristina took on a recent trip back home. Kristina’s mom, far left, and her friends, are in the Ukraine.

Kristina is appealing to the world not to turn their backs on her beloved Ukraine.

“Every hour our soldiers are catching the rockets from Russia in the sky and it’s very intense. It’s only the beginning of this unforgivable war. People are staying in underground shelters with their little kids, pets, disabled parents. Some people don’t have anywhere to escape to,” says Kristina.

To assist humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and soften the impact of the crisis on the lives of ordinary people, Kristina has launched a crowdfunding campaign on, BackaBuddy, to benefit Nova Ukraine, a 501(c)3 registered non-profit organisation dedicated to strengthening civil society in Ukraine.

“Ukraine is not attacking anyone, and they never tried to expand their borders. My people are at home, protecting what belongs to them. We were born in Ukraine, and we are not going anywhere. Ukrainian people need all the support they can get at the moment,” says Kristina.

The fundraising target, which is expected to increase as more help is needed, has currently been set at R500 000, to help Ukrainian people and hospitals in need of essentials.

To make a donation visit www.backabuddy.co.za/Kristina-Oliinyk-supports-Ukraine