The MAforUA information resource, based on our Welcome to Massachusetts digest, is a guide that we produce, which can be used by every refugee who, by the will of fate, ended up in Massachusetts, or anyone else who was forced to flee the war in Ukraine.
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America has always been a landmark of hope and a beacon of a better future. In 400 years, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts transformed itself from a remote overseas colony to a locomotive of scientific, technological, and economic development of the New World. Not to mention the American statehood, which was born and constitutionally took shape in Massachusetts.
Throughout four centuries of its history, Massachusetts has always been a haven of freedom for ever new generations of people from different countries, people forced to seek security and justice on foreign shores. Today, saving their lives and the lives of their children, millions of citizens of Ukraine, a sovereign country that fell victim to Putin’s aggression, are embarking on this path. Ukrainian refugees need a wide variety of assistance, and we appeal to all and everyone who can help them with anything, whether it is volunteer work, money, other donations, informational and spiritual support, etc.
America is a country of immigrants, a country of unlimited possibilities, and a bulwark of worldwide freedom. In the hour of trials, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the Ukrainian people. In the United States, the movement to help Ukraine is expanding – join it! After all, today Ukrainians are defending not only their own but also our freedom. In these trying times, we must stand close to them.
Representatives of Massachusetts visited Ukraine in person and saw with their own eyes the scale of the humanitarian catastrophe that is the result of Russian aggression. US Senator Ed Markey and Congressman Jim McGovern visited Ukraine. Meanwhile, the US government initiated the United for Ukraine program, to which public organizations are involved.
The MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy) agency announced its readiness in a press release. Another agency, New American Association, which has extensive experience in Massachusetts with immigrants from Eastern Europe, is also preparing to provide support to Ukrainian refugees.
The work of the authorities and NGOs undeniably is of paramount importance, but each of us can do even more: together we are a great force.
The MAforUA civil initiative unites the personal efforts of each of us who wants to help refugees from Ukraine. MAforUA is an information resource of personalized assistance to the people of Massachusetts to the people of Ukraine, which brings together public organizations and personal initiatives.
Select one of the types of assistance you can provide
The first problem refugees have to deal with is putting together paperwork needed to come to America. The “temporary protected status” (TPS) initiated by US authorities is already in the works, while the United for Ukraine program has just started, but it is gradually gaining momentum. The program needs the support of immigration specialists, lawyers who specialize in this particular area of law. For most refugees, such assistance is, of course, required on a pro bono basis.
The war also caught in limbo some specialists from Ukraine who were in the process of obtaining visas of E-1, O-1, H1B, and other types. These people, as a rule, do not count on free assistance, but they expect some kind of preferential processing of their applications or a special status adjustment. Everyone’s situation is different, and each one of them needs customized professional advice and/or legal assistance.
If you are a lawyer or an immigration specialist, please offer your assistance.
Schoolchildren and college students are a special, particularly vulnerable category of refugees. In addition to the municipal school systems that refugee families rely on, we also recommend the services of Ukraine Global Scholars (UGS), an initiative for exceptionally gifted children and youth. But help is needed not only for students with outstanding abilities but also for ordinary Ukrainian children who were forced to leave school because of the war.
We are Massachusetts, America’s alma mater, a unique conglomerate of educational institutions, which includes 117 universities and colleges and over 200 private and denominational schools. Even regular, public schools in our state are America’s gold standard. We can give a chance to study in them to the children of Ukraine – both academically outstanding personalities and ordinary students.
If you are a representative of an educational institution, please offer your help.
According to statistics, 52% of immigrants from Ukraine living in the United States have a higher education (compare with the national average of 32%). This means that there are many highly qualified personnel among Ukrainians. Those specialists who were forced to leave for European countries, upon arrival there, are thankful for the warm welcome and help they receive, but very soon they are likely to say that what they need is not benefits but decent work that is consistent with their profession. In America, many of them – especially those who know English well – will be able to fulfill this desire. And then – they will live and see what to do next. Some of them will continue their careers in America, others will return to Ukraine to rebuild their home country. But today, they need help in finding a job, upgrading their skills, or acquiring a new profession.
If you are an employer representative or HR specialist, please offer your assistance.
A number of refugees have suffered from rocket attacks and bombings. Some, including children and the elderly, urgently need surgeries that cannot be done in Ukraine or Europe. In such cases, US consular offices process entry documents in a matter of days, and we ask hospitals in Boston and Massachusetts that are ready to accept patients who have been injured or dangerously ill as a result of the war, to respond.
Our state is known for the high quality of practical healthcare, the outstanding qualifications of doctors and other medical professionals, and the revolutionary discoveries of scientists in the field of medicine. It is in our power to provide refugees with such assistance.
If you are a medical professional or work in the healthcare system, please offer your help.
This is what is relevant today. But there are many other aspects and options for help. We will publish updates in MAforUA in addition to those initiatives that are already included in the MAforUA.com website – so far in its pilot version, but soon we will make a fully functional portal for communication between newcomers from Ukraine and you, Massachusetts residents who want to help refugees in word and deed.
Please share this post with your loved ones, friends and colleagues. Together we are a great force, and our help can have a real impact on the lives of many people.
If you are ready to join the MAforUA civil initiative and offer your own ideas, please fill out the attached form.
Upon receipt, we will definitely call you back and discuss the publication of a press release about your initiative in English, Ukrainian, and Russian, which we will further distribute through media channels.