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The Church in Vantaa opens a helpline for those affected by the Ukrainian war

Support for victims of the war in Ukraine is raised through collections and concerts.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the end of February 2022 has raised a lot of questions, fear, and anxiety among people living in Finland. The Church in Vantaa has opened a helpline for all who feel distressed by the situation and need someone to talk with. The line is open seven days a week from 1 to 6 p.m. The telephone number is 09 830 6699. Church staff and professionals in socio-psychological support are there to answer your call.

– The helpline offers an opportunity to share your feelings and thoughts about the situation and to process the things spinning around in your mind, your anxiety, and your fear. It often helps to simply put things into words to someone who is listening, says Vantaa Parish Union pastor Tarja Korpela, who coordinates the service.

Parishes provide assistance to Ukrainians and prepare to receive refugees

The crisis in Ukraine is bringing about a great desire to help. The best way to help the victims of the Ukrainian war now is by donating money to international aid organisations. Finn Church Aid, for example, has launched a fundraising campaign to help victims of the war in Ukraine.

The parishes have started box collections for Finn Church Aid in Vantaa and welcome volunteer collectors. You can register as a box collector with the parish in your area.

In the Sunday worship services, the congregations pray for peace and collect offerings for humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

The parishes in Vantaa are also preparing for the possible arrival of a large number of refugees to Finland. We are preparing to offer emergency accommodation in one camp centre as well as in church-owned housing, should the need arises later. 

- The closeness of war brings out a wide range of emotions and feelings. The threat of violence feels real. In the midst of all this, it is good to talk about what thoughts the situation raises and to share experiences with others, says Hannu Pöntinen, vicar of Vantaankoski Parish.

- We don’t build peace by closing our eyes but by acknowledging the reality and yet seeing the individual. Acts of support are the building blocks needed right now. Ukraine and the Ukrainians are in great distress and need all possible help now. At the same, it is good to remember that we should not direct our anger at Russians living in Finland but treat them as our neighbours, Pöntinen continues.

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