Featured image: Lisa Silva
Students are being encouraged to join a new creative campaign to support those affected by war, raise awareness and humanitarian aid donations, and challenge misinformation
Manchester Metropolitan University’s arts and culture magazine aAh! is launching a new campaign to support people impacted by the war in Ukraine. #StudentsSupportUkraine will help students take action, coordinate fundraising events to support humanitarian aid, and raise awareness of misinformation and disinformation.
aAh! magazine’s student journalists, artists, graphic designers, photographers, filmmakers and content creators will join forces with student news website The Northern Quota to bring together students from across the university. All students are encouraged to bring their ideas and skills to the table and back the campaign.
aAh! Editorial Assistant, Robbie Drepaul, said: “We have the privilege to make a difference and a platform to make a change, it’s our choice what we do with them.”
News and Features editor Nathan Eckersley added: “The war in Ukraine is nothing short of a tragedy and, while we have seen the worst of humanity in this conflict, we have also seen the best of it on full display. This is a brilliant opportunity for students to show their solidarity with the Ukrainian people and to raise awareness of and support for the humanitarian effort currently underway.”
The team will host weekly planning meetings to coordinate the #StudentsSupportUkraine campaign activities and its associated multimedia coverage, projects, events and fundraising activities.
aAh! will be joining forces with its sister platform The Northern Quota to publish a series of online multimedia articles and print features to help give a greater insight into what is happening in Ukraine.
They will feature interviews from students in Ukraine, international exchange students in Manchester, as well as hearing from community charities and organisations, academic experts, activists and politicians.
The team will take part in fundraising activities including a #StudentsSupportUkraine 5K Challenge. Supporters will walk, run or cycle 5k each and make a £5 donation, with the aim of raising £2300 – the approximate distance in km from Manchester to Kyiv. Each participant will also encouraged to post their efforts on social media and nominate friends to also take part.
Journalism lecturer and student media coordinator, Natalie Carragher, said: “With this creative campaign, aAh! is bringing together students to have their voices heard and make a difference.
“The scale of suffering we are seeing has deeply affected our team and they are passionate about creating something positive to focus on for members of our student community personally affected, raise awareness, generate fundraising donations, and overall bring people together in this time of conflict.
“Our student journalists working on the upcoming print issue of aAh! have interviewed students in Ukraine for a series of powerful features, with the support from our international exchange students who have made these connections possible.”
The Northern Quota Broadcast Editor, Rebecca Redican, said: “The Northern Quota team really wanted to get involved with this project at such an important time. Raising awareness and creating journalistic content can inform and connect people from different communities and backgrounds. At this time of war that connectivity can be life changing.”
Students taking part in the campaign are also being supported to lead on their own charity fundraising event ideas such as creative workshops, exhibitions, bake sales and more.
Russian International exchange student, Kristina, is leading a zine-making workshop at the Student Union. She said: “I am involved in this campaign because it’s impossible to sit and do nothing. It’s a small contribution from my side but it is a very important movement. I want to do something to help.”
Speaking about her event, Kristina added: “I have chosen to make zines, because creativity can give some peace of mind in these difficult times and it is always a facilitator of new ideas. At the end of the event you can exchange zines with the others or take your own work home.”
aAh! wants to shine a spotlight on how Manchester is responding to this crisis and show others how they can help because together, we can make a real difference. We have a moral responsibility to help those in need, no matter where in the world they’re from. We must speak up because sitting by and saying nothing is not an option.
Join the team
All students are invited to join the #StudentsSupportUkraine team meetings which take place every Friday at 1:30 PM via the aAh! Magazine MS Teams group.
Accept aAh!’s 5K Challenge and start nominating your friends! We’re calling on all students (and friends) to walk, run or cycle 5K, donate £5 and nominate 5 friends to do the same.
We want to raise £2,300 – the distance from Manchester to Kyiv in km – in donations to support Ukraine humanitarian aid charities. 100% of the money raised will go directly to Care International to help humanitarian efforts in Ukraine – which is why we’re using our Student Union’s “ticket” option to collect donations.
Be sure to tag #StudentsSupportUkraine on social media – posting your efforts, your journey or your distance tracker as well as tagging your friends and challenging them to take part.
Share your story
If you are an international student who has been affected by the war in Ukraine and you’d like to share your experience, email aAh! at aAh.Editor@gmail.com. It’s important to show the world the reality of what is going on and amplify the voices of those who have lived this first-hand.
Ways to help
Ukraine needs our support and it’s imperative that we all take action. Here are some ways you can help and join our #StudentsSupportUkraine campaign.
Organisations and Charities
Our #StudentsSupportUkraine 5K Challenge is backing Care International – make a donation here.
Write to your MP
British citizens can write to their local MP. Find your MP’s contact details on Write to Them.
Share stories and information from trustworthy and viable sources on social media and join conversations to spread awareness. Read this thread from First Draft on how to spot and avoid spreading misinformation and disinformation about the Ukraine crisis on social media.