We republish below information on an initiative in the National Education Union to build solidarity with Ukrianian teachers. This NEU members initiative is focused here on support for the affiliated union of the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine it is important to recognise the need to extend solidarity to all teachers unions including the Free Trade Union of Education and Science of Ukraine part of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine.

At 4.30 am, 24th January 2022, Ukrainian teachers and educators woke up to the sounds of air raid sirens, explosions and their phones ringing with messages from family, friends, colleague and the authorities as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started.

By 5.00 am contingency plans, which many had never quite believed would have to be

implemented, were underway with the first priorities being safety for families and children.

Schools were dealing with the triple impact of children suddenly moving away to safer areas and countries, internally displaced people (IDP) and their children arriving and the core of remaining local families for whom the safety, care and education of their children were core priorities.

Now Ukrainian schools are places where the incredible has become the normal and where

children and students learn and are cared for under the relentless pressure of a country at war for its survival. Here, in the UK many NEU members, their colleagues, schools and communities have come together to support the continuing education of Ukrainian pupils and students and now we would like to bring together acts of solidarity and

kindness, to increase our levels of support, expand their impact and make a material difference to Ukrainian pupils, students and educators.

We think it is time to up our game and work together as NEU Districts and members

to (a) share ideas and opportunities to raise money, (b) work with the Ukrainian Educator’s Union to send the money to the most needy schools, (c) build relationships  with schools and educators in Ukraine for solidarity and other long lasting support including twinning with schools and educators and (d) investigate the possibility of NEU Districts working together to bring Ukrainian Union reps and educators to tour Districts in the UK in the Autumn term

If you would like to link your solidarity actions with other NEU Districts, share ideas, connect with speakers from the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine and are also interested in the possibility of sponsoring a visit by Ukrainian educators and Trades Unionists later this year please do get in touch.

We will organise a Zoom call for interested colleagues early in May to share ideas and our

current experiences and ideas and how to move this group forward.

Unfortunately, the NEU nationally has not been as proactive in showing solidarity to our Ukrainian colleagues as we think it should. But local Districts are going further. This is our chance to move things forward.

For further information about Education in Ukraine this link is useful:

The Trade Union of Education and Science Workers https://pon.org.ua/info-english/

If you are interested, please forward your name, email and District to dencharman@gmail.com .

You can join our new WhatsApp group here https://chat.whatsapp.com/EZbOHQ6LXRL1RP5xUbg6yo

Some things you can do to help this group grow, support Ukrainian schools and educators and raise theprofile of Solidarity with Ukraine within the NEU.

Raise this issue with your District ISO

1. (International Solidarity Officer) and ask for your District to link with this group. (No affiliation fees or subscriptions required).

2. If you do not have an ISO contact us about how you can become one.

3. If you are already involved in Ukrainian support or solidarity work let us know, via WhatsApp.

4. We would like to collect short, or long, case studies of support or solidarity work carried out by your NEU District and local communities.

We can share these examples more widely to encourage and inspire other NEU members to

take action.

5. Raise the issue of Ukrainian Solidarity work in your District and agree to link with us.

6. Share the details of this group with supportive colleagues in your District and neighbouring ones.

7. Look out for the details of our national Zoom call later in May to discuss ways forward for

this group and how to enhance the work we are doing.

8. Finally, to show we are serious about practical support please help us put together another tranche of money to be used by a school in Kyiv. We aim to raise £2500 as quickly as possible to follow up on the donation H&F NEU sent at the end of last term. If the

Districts we are already in touch with can raise an average of £125 each formally or informally we can dothis during May.

You can make donations via our H&F NEU Treasurer using

these details:

NEU Hammersmith & Fulham District

Acc 20405193

Sort 60-83-01