Teacher books Airbnbs where he will never show up to help people in war-torn Ukraine

A Louth man is helping people in war-torn Ukraine in a unique way – by booking rooms in Kyiv through popular vacation rental site Airbnb.

The idea of ​​booking rental apartments in the Eastern European country as a way to send money to Ukrainians circulated online last week – and so far around 61,000 bookings have been made. made as people from all over came together to help.

Local teacher Mark Haggis – who is part-Ukrainian – said he first saw the idea of ​​booking an Airbnb room in Kyiv on Facebook – and now plans to book more rooms in other places. other parts of Ukraine to help the inhabitants.

For more information on the Russian-Ukrainian War, click here

Mark told Grimsby Live: “Like most people, I was horrified by what happened. Innocent people are being forced out of their homes through no fault of their own because of an evil man, and I just felt like I really wanted to do something and make a difference.

“My grandfather was from Ukraine and he came after World War II. He fought against Nazi Germany and he came to live in England to help rebuild the country. If he was able to give up his own country and help Britain in the fight, then we should do something similar and help them.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered Europe’s largest mass migration in decades, with more than 1.5 million people crossing from Ukraine to neighboring countries

“It’s quite personal for me, this war, and I have family who live there. Although I have never visited the country and have never been in contact with the family I I’m there, but I still feel like this is part of me. I did one of these DNA tests and 40% of my DNA is from that area, so it’s very personal to me, I just wanted to make a difference and try to help these people Even though I don’t know these people, what they are going through is not right, and something needs to be done.

“World leaders are at a standstill because they are worried about the implications if we were to start fighting alongside them, so we are in a no-win situation where we want to help, but we are limited because of what could happen, so it’s up to ordinary people like me to do what they can.

“I had seen on Facebook that people were doing something similar, so I thought, ‘I’ll do it,’ and I immediately went to Airbnb and looked for different properties in Kyiv, got some found one and reserved it. .

A secondary school building destroyed by a Russian military attack
A secondary school building destroyed by a Russian military attack

“I messaged the guy, Sergey, his name is, wishing him good luck and saying I hope he and his family are safe. He wrote back to say thank you and that he’s doing his best. his best, and that he hopes that one day we can actually meet and I can visit the city. I’d love to do that, but I just don’t know when that’s going to happen.

Mark said he plans to book more rooms through Airbnb to help residents from other parts of Ukraine.

He continued: “I have just booked this one at the moment but will be booking more as I have heard of the various areas that are suffering at the moment in the north and east of the country so I am going to seek those.

“I just think, because I’m part Ukrainian, I have a moral duty to do what I can to help, even though I’ve never met these people, I don’t know them, I just think if something similar were happening in this country, you would want people to help as much as possible.

“The money is going directly to the people there who need it, they have access to it immediately. Their jobs have all ended and they can’t work anymore, so they have no income, but they still need to buy food and they want their daily life to go on as much as possible – but it’s hard when they don’t have money.

“So it was a way to get the money to them faster. You can make these donations to charity, but you don’t know how long it takes for the money to get to them. That way they get it straight.”

You can book a room in Ukraine through Airbnb here.

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