Over the last two weeks, we have watched the brutal advance of Russia into Ukraine. The news has filled our thoughts and conversations, and while we carry on with our lives, it has brought a new uncertainty and heaviness to our routines. It's hard to think about traveling when there is an unprovoked war in Ukraine and it has added a heightened responsibility to our decisions.
At its best though, travel is a force for good. It connects and unites us in a way that makes us better, more engaged citizens of the world. It gives perspective, and when we travel, particularly with a woman-owned and operated company like AGC, we are making a difference to empower and employ women and to support small and local businesses that are just now getting back on their feet after the pandemic.
While many women have lost their jobs or left the workforce altogether during the pandemic, AGC continues to provide employment and leadership opportunities for women in the industry and to call out gender-based assumptions about what we, as women, can do. More importantly, we create a safe and inclusive space for women to experience joy and adventure, at a time when connection and community is needed most.
Our hope is that as we travel, we will return home with a renewed spirit and resolve to make the world a better place through greater understanding and empathy. We all desire to live in a peaceful world and today, on this International Women’s Day we want to acknowledge and support the brave women of Ukraine, who in the worst of circumstances are showing courage, strength, and resilience. We are committed to a world where women and girls live free and equal, and in sisterhood and solidarity, we offer these small ways you can help provide support on this IWD:
1. CARE is a global organization with a focus on women and girls, and the mission to defeat poverty and achieve social justice. Their Ukraine Crisis Fund hopes to reach 4 million with immediate aid, psychosocial support, and cash assistance — prioritizing women and girls, families, and the elderly. Donate to the Ukraine Emergency Fund.
2. Doctors Without Borders is partnering with volunteers in Ukraine to help people travel to healthcare facilities and working to ensure that people have access to care and medicine. Support Doctors Without Borders’ Ukraine work.
3. Airbnb is providing short-term housing for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees through donations to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund and utilizing the site's hosts. Visit their site dedicated to the effort to donate to Airbnb's refugee fund.
4. World Central Kitchen is offering hot meals at border crossings in Poland and in surrounding countries where Ukrainian refugees have fled, as well as supporting local restaurants in the Ukrainian cities of Odessa and Lviv. Donate to help provide fresh meals to communities in need.
5. The Ukrainian Red Cross has carried out widespread relief efforts, including supporting the State Emergency Service of Ukraine as well as providing water, food, hygiene items, and first aid to people in need. Donate to support their comprehensive, on-the-ground- efforts.
6. UNICEF is setting up 26 'Blue Dot hubs' in six countries neighboring Ukraine to provide assistance for fleeing families, including psychosocial support and facilitating family reunification efforts for children who may have become separated from their families. Donate to support families fleeing Ukraine.