Posted by Judy Bain
Hear his message to NZ Rotarians here.
On 27/05/2022, at 9:42 PM, Eila Parviainen <> wrote:

Dear Judy,
First, I would like to thank you for your support. This situation has been unexpected for all of us but so many people want to help. Even you from New Zealand! It’s amazing how great our Rotary network is!
We appreciate all the help we can get. Yesterday we had a meeting with a local supporting organization and city representatives reported approximately 1300 refugees in the Lahti area who need our urgent help. We Rotarians are committed to give the best help we can.
You asked about our budget.
Let me answer you by comparing the past to the future as we expect it to be.
So far, we have spent 20% of our money for hygiene products and 80% for food. There are other local organizations offering linen, furniture etc. The school is free for Ukrainian refugees.
We are counting that we need 10.000 euros each week. (If the situation does not get worse.) Right now, we have resources for four weeks.
We have organized fundraising – I hope it brings us still some additional resources.
The following weeks. Nobody knows how many people are coming here. We do our best to adapt to the situation. When we make a budget, we must remember that the needs may change.
Now we see the need for over-the-counter medicine, for instance some skin care cream. I have counted this in toiletry. Occasionally there may be some need for special baby care supplies. But the most important thing is food.
Budget for one month
Food                                   31000 euros
Toiletry                               8500 euros
Washing powder,
washing-up liquid,
cleaning supplies                500 euros
We have been discussing this situation actively with the city and the city is discussing with migration officers. According to these discussions we expect that Ukrainian refugees need our help until the end of August. After that the official migration organization should work and that organization should support refugees in all their needs. Therefore, I must highlight that the urgent need here is during the next three months. I’m confident that after that our migration services are functioning. It means that we can then focus on helping people live and rebuild their lives in Ukraine.
If you can help, we are very grateful for all the help you can give for refugees in Lahti. Our need as expected in the budget is 40000-80000 euros (July-August), but I also trust our fundraising and hope we can cover a great part of this by our own means. Each euro is counted. I also hope this situation in Ukraine settles down quickly. If major changes happen during the next three months and refugees start going back home, we will support them in it.
I’m so proud to be a Rotarian when I see all the efforts Rotarians in different countries are doing to help the Ukrainian people. In the future, I hope to meet all these people who offered their help also for us in Lahti – including you!
Kindest Regards,
Eila Parviainen
DG D1390 Finland
+358 (0)40 536 5166