People around the world are scrambling to help Ukrainians affected by the Russian invasion, including the more than 3.5 million refugees who have fled to neighboring countries and elsewhere to escape the escalating bloodshed. Harvard students rallied to show their solidarity for Ukrainians in the days just after the attack began and have since found ways to provide aid and support. Here are the stories of three of them — GSAS student Anna Bisikalo and first-years Avi Schiffmann ’25 and Marco Burstein ’25.
Collecting humanitarian aid
Bisikalo, a Ukrainian American doctoral student, has family in the western part of the besieged nation who are in “relative safety” despite increasing missile attacks. Two of her cousins and an aunt escaped to Berlin, but her uncle had to stay behind after Ukraine banned men ages 18 to 60 from leaving the country.
Looking for ways to help Bisikalo, 27, decided to join her parents in sending humanitarian aid, such as food, clothing, baby goods, and pet supplies, and she launched a donation drive at Harvard, thinking there might be others who would like to lend a hand.
“The response has been very heartening,” said Bisikalo, who studies Ukrainian and Eastern European history. “I received a lot of donations on campus, as well as from some friends, acquaintances, even complete strangers, who saw the [Instagram post and department email] and dropped things off at my apartment in Cambridge.”