Hampstead carer's fundraiser to help African students in Ukraine

Oluwasegun Ojebiyi at a gala supporting Ukraine in Trafalgar Square on March 5

Oluwasegun Ojebiyi at a gala supporting Ukraine in Trafalgar Square on March 6 - Credit: Linda Grove

A Hampstead carer has set up a fundraiser and Whatsapp group to support international students stuck in Ukraine.

Oluwasegun Ojebiyi, a qualified solicitor from Nigeria, works part-time as a carer for a Hampstead family while doing freelance legal jobs.

The 31-year-old's campaign for Ukraine arises from an organisation he previously set up to raise awareness of climate change in Nigeria.

Ukraine has been under siege since Vladimir Putin's Russia invaded on February 23, with more than 1.5 million people reported to have fled the country.

There has been widespread reporting of people of colour being turned away at the borders.

Olu has connected with students trapped in the north-eastern Ukrainian city of Sumy.

"We all know what's happening to Black international students in Ukraine, but the fact is that most of the attention is not focussed on them," he said.

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"Most of them are now stranded and they are not able to access basic needs, like food or clothes, because of the harsh weather.

"I set up a fundraising campaign to gather funds and send it directly to the students in Ukraine.

"I've been able to get in contact with one of them, but to be honest, the news is not really encouraging, it's really sad, so disheartening. 

Oluwasegun Ojebiyi with other anti war activists in Trafalgar Square 

Oluwasegun Ojebiyi with other anti war activists in Trafalgar Square - Credit: Linda Grove

Olu added: "I follow the news and saw Black students facing discrimination at the back of the line.

"Imagine you are coming from a war zone and you're trying to get to safety and while you are there you are not safe. 

"International students are walking to a safe place and could die in the process.

"They have no family and they are stranded, and I just feel it's truly urgent to reach out to people who are willing to help who have good hearts to support this campaign."

He said he is pushing his campaign to fellow students studying in the UK and contacts in his home country.

"In my own capacity I'm linking up with my team back home, we are trying to create awareness on Facebook," he said.

He has created a Whatsapp group and is sending the link to international students "so we have a common group and we can easily relate to them more". 

"It's so disheartening. The governments of African countries are not being proactive enough.

"They are stranded, going forward they need as much help as they can get."

To donate visit: https://fundly.com/financial-support-for-international-students-in-ukraine