How to give support during the Ukraine conflict

The Chief Guide and International Commissioner share their thoughts on the war in Ukraine as well as resources

Chief Guide Amanda Medler and International Commissioner Emma Guthrie
04 March 2022

We are horrified by what we are seeing happen in Ukraine.

As members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), a global movement rooted in community and friendship, we are intrinsically connected with our sisters in guiding around the world. Our thoughts are with the Association of Ukrainian Guides and we send our love to them in this immensely difficult time. We are here for you, we are thinking of you, we are with you.  

We are inspired by our friends in Guide and Scout organisations across Europe on the frontline, providing support and resources to the people of Ukraine and those who have been displaced by the conflict. The Polish Scout and Guide Association has been supporting relief efforts and are aiming to connect Girl Guides that have fled Ukraine with Guide and Scout families in Poland who will host them in their homes. Volunteers from the Czech Scouts and the Latvian Scouts and Guides Association are also supporting refugees at border crossings, distributing essential supplies like food, water, clothes, blankets and menstrual supplies. Many more organisations in WAGGGS are lending a hand and we are in close contact with them, to understand where resources are most needed and how we can give support. 

We know many of our members will have connections, friends or family affected by the war. We know even more will be distressed or concerned by the conflict, and our thoughts are with you all. 

Girlguiding is dedicated to creating a better world for girls and young women. All new members make the same Promise when they join, which includes to do their best and to help their community.  In times like these our community comes together and we know our members will be looking for ways to help those affected. Thank you, to those of you who have already done so much to help people in Ukraine. 

If you would like to get involved, here are some ways you can take action, as well as resources to support girls in the UK to understand the conflict. 

How you can support people in Ukraine 

Seek and share information from reliable sources. It’s important to understand the conflict (and to help others understand it too). Make sure you’re learning about the war from news organisations you trust. BBC Newsround has created a hub of articles and videos to help children understand what’s happening in Ukraine. It has articles about key figures involved in the war, guidance on how to spot misleading stories online and mental health resources. 

We know that our members are already doing so much in their local communities to support those affected in Ukraine, from collecting supplies to making care packages We’ve been so moved to see how you’re coming together to give help. If you’d to get involved but aren’t sure where to start, take inspiration from Brownie leader Julie. She has helped children across Somerset take action to help refugees by making care bags.  

WAGGGS have launched an emergency appeal to support their member organisations who are involved in the conflict, and to provide other humanitarian support in response to this emergency.  Any donations will go towards helping with local relief efforts, including adapting Guiding/Scouting centres and offering heated rooms, food, bedding, and hygiene supplies to those who urgently need them. 

If you would like to donate money to help those affected, a number of aid organisations have launched campaigns to support humanitarian efforts to assist the people of Ukraine. 

How you can support girls at home and in your units  

Girlguiding activities 

As the news from Ukraine develops, young people may see and hear things they find upsetting or hard to deal with. The following activities can support you to talk about difficult situations, whether at home or with your unit. Each of the activities was made with a certain section in mind but they can all be used to support children of any age. 

Colour my mood 

This activity, which was made with Rainbows in mind, helps girls understand emotions and think about who they can talk to about their feelings. Download the resource for free.

Happy thoughts

This activity was made with Brownies and Guides in mind. It shows them how to create and use a mindfulness jar to help clear bad thoughts. It also includes some mindfulness techniques to practice.

Download the resource for free.

Take a moment

This activity was made with Guides in mind. It gives girls the chance to learn calming techniques and learn the signs of a panic or asthma attack. Download the resource for free.

Checking in

This activity, which was made with Guides in mind, gives girls the chance to carry out a guided body scan meditation. It also includes tips for how to transform their space into a place of tranquillity.

Keeping afloat

This activity was made with Rangers in mind. It gives girls the chance to think about why support networks are important and how they can create a support network of their own. Download the resource for free.

Think resilient

Our Think Resilient resources are designed to encourages girls to talk about their mental wellbeing and the pressures they experience. The activities were made with Brownies, Guides and Rangers in mind.

Guidance and toolkits

Our Mental health and guiding webpage has guidance on supporting members with their mental health. It includes signs that someone is struggling with their mental health, how to start a conversation about wellbeing and how to talk to parents and carers about any concerns. 

The National Youth Agency has created a hub of resources for adults working with young people in the UK, full of guides and toolkits to support conversations about the conflict. They have also built a message board, to give young people the chance to share messages with people in Ukraine.