When Russia launched its attack on Ukraine a month ago, maritime board game company “Vesuvius Media” knew it had to help – and exactly who it would help.
Before the war started, the company hired a Ukrainian entrepreneur to distribute one of its most popular board games, “Catapult Feud”, in his own country.
Once the bombings started in the Ukrainian capital, the couple behind “Vesuvius Media”, Konstantinos Manos and Stephani Angelopolous, decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to help Andrii Pertsov.
Pertsov owns “Fun Games Shop” in Kyiv, Ukraine – a business he had to give up when he fled with his partner and dog the day after the war started.
He is now near Lviv with a relative of a friend.
During a Skype call with CTV News, Pertsov recalls the night of February 23, when he heard that Russia might invade his country.
“We decided to pack our things, just in case,” he says. He then recalls being woken up by a friend around 4 a.m. the next morning and hearing the news that the attack had begun.
“When you’re half asleep and you hear those words, you’re not just scared, but it’s also terrifying, I can tell,” Pertsov says.
Pertsov’s warehouse in kyiv was damaged by shelling but is still standing. Its basement is now used by the Ukrainians as a bomb shelter.
“The repercussions of this incident will be felt around the world,” says Manos, CEO of “Vesuvius Media”.
“There are so many different ways, and everyone has a different outlet. Everyone can do something,” adds Manos.
“We are so lucky to be in Canada, and that’s why we want to help in any way we can,” says Angelopoulos.
Campaign supporters can purchase the Ukrainian edition of the game for themselves or donate it to a conflict-affected child or refugee.
So far, the initiative has raised nearly $19,000.
“The board game community is a tight-knit community,” says Angelopoulos. “And now we’re also working with them to try and find the best charity to donate the games to, maybe to the refugee camps in Poland. So we’re working on all those details now.
“Almost all the work was done by them, and we are very grateful for that,” says Pertsov.
The initiative is one of many undertaken across the Maritimes over the past month to try to help Ukrainians caught up in the conflict.
From perogy sales to concerts, these efforts have raised a lot of funds for humanitarian aid.
The Canadian Red Cross campaign, for example, reached $119 million in donations as of March 21.
Robert Huish, an associate professor at Dalhousie University who studies international development and global conflict, says getting help to those in need is key to helping the country cope with the crisis. to come up.
“We now have a global humanitarian crisis, with now some five million Ukrainians who are now refugees,” says Huish.
“And next month will not be the last month of this conflict. This is now going to be a deeply rooted global challenge.
It’s a challenge that won’t stop when the fights happen – no matter when.
“We don’t know when this hell will end, but the money from this campaign we will use to rebuild our business,” Pertsov says. “I think we will definitely have tough times in the future.”