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War in Ukraine: Call for Donations to JLU Relief Fund

22. März 2022

Dear members of JLU,

 

The war in Ukraine started almost a month ago, and we are still stunned by the fact that another war of aggression is being waged in the middle of Europe. Horrific images reach us every day, and none of us knows where and when there might be a way out of this terrifying situation.

 

Many of us feel powerless facing the current news. Every day, however, members of JLU show in what ways we can try to help those affected. The Giessen University Society (Gießener Hochschulgesellschaft) very quickly agreed to support students from Ukraine. These days, we are also hearing about numerous support campaigns by individual JLU faculties and centres for the people from Ukraine. The fact that so many JLU students and employees have offered their help is a sign of hope for me.

 

Against this background, I would like to ask you today to support JLU's relief fund for students, researchers and lecturers from Ukraine with donations. In view of the great demand, we can already expect after only a couple of days that the base amount of 100,000 euros made available by the Executive Board of JLU from freely disposable funds will not last long. We currently receive requests for support on a daily basis – especially from students who have to leave their country due to the war and want to continue their studies in Germany.

 

It goes without saying that we want to enable the students of our Ukrainian partner universities National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA) and National Technical University of Ukraine (Kyiv Polytechnic Institute) to escape the horrifying situation in their home country. The news that our International Office continues to receive from Kiev is depressing. The staff of the two universities there are doing their utmost to bring their students to safety. At the same time, the situation on the ground is becoming increasingly difficult.

 

We would thus be extremely grateful if you could support us in helping as many students, lecturers and researchers as possible to stay at a safe university. You can donate online by using the form on our homepage: www.uni-giessen.de/ukraine/hilfsfonds-spende.

 

As Executive Board of JLU, we of course follow the recommendations of the German science organisations in this situation. We hence suspend our institutional cooperation with all scientific areas in Russia as well as mobility from Germany to Russia. In doing so, the following guiding principles are decisive for us (which we also follow, by the way, in dealing with Belarus): On the one hand, we support the overall strategy of the German government and the EU to isolate and sanction the Russian state. On the other hand, however, it is also important to keep open the channels of dialogue individually wherever it is justifiable and responsible. Against this background, I would also like to point out that we will not tolerate discrimination against Russian students and employees on JLU campus under any circumstances. We must show that we are better than those who spread hatred and violence.

 

In order to bring the diverse activities at JLU together, we have set up a task force consisting of the Office of the Director of Finance and Administration (Kanzlerbüro) and the International Office (AAA). You can get in touch with the task force at ukraine@uni-giessen.de. Further information in this regard can be found at www.uni-giessen.de/ukraine. You will find an overview of JLU research on the Ukraine war in addition to the above-mentioned offers of support and the link to the donation form. JLU experts, including those at Giessen Centre for East European Studies (GiZo), have been in great demand in the media in recent weeks, for example. Our researchers make an effort even though many of them are also personally affected because of their close ties to Ukraine. I would like to thank all those involved for their commitment.

 

Let us keep up hope in the face of the news from Ukraine and after two exhausting years of the pandemic. Despite everything, we can look forward to the warm season and the anticipated attendance spring semester. You will receive further information on this as usual at the end of the week in our next newsletter update.

 

With kind regards,

 

Prof Dr Joybrato Mukherjee

President