Burnaby woman handing welcome packages to Ukrainian women to mitigate financial burdens when settling
Posted May 8, 2022 8:13 pm.
Last Updated May 8, 2022 9:06 pm.
Single women fleeing the war in Ukraine to B.C. are not receiving enough support once they arrive, a Burnaby woman says. So to help, she is handing out care packages.
Elena Khvostova says it might not be much, but providing soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste and feminine hygiene products is greatly appreciated by the women she’s been able to provide care packages to.
“I don’t feel like there’s been a lot of focus primarily on women that are either single or single women that had to leave their husbands behind and come here with children. So my goal is to … just make them feel welcome,” she said.
With the ‘Pink Tax’ in mind, Khvostova found it especially important to provide pads and tampons to Ukrainian women considering the costly burden it can be on someone who may have landed in Canada with little money to spend.
“I don’t feel like it’s much, but people are very, very appreciative of it,” she said.
The ‘Pink Tax’ is a reference made when there is a price differential between genders.
The packages cost Khvostova around $25 each, and she is often paying out of her own pocket.
“Money spent so far, it’s been close to $500.”
Khvostova has put out a call for locals through a number of Facebook groups to help contribute and she’s successfully been able to raise funds and receive donations to help with her boxes.
However, she says she is noticing fatigue in the Ukrainian community as they have focused their efforts into helping people overseas for months now.
“People constantly donate to the army, they [provide funding to] medical supplies to Ukraine, they themselves are potentially…hosting people.”
So, Khvostova is urging British Columbians outside the Ukrainian community to help where they can.
“This is just the beginning of phase, because the applications [to arrive in Canada] have just started being approved, with a lot of people still waiting [to arrive]. So this is literally a drop in the ocean of what I would love to do for all of the arriving,” she told CityNews.
Khvostova’s goal is to provide every Ukrainian woman with a package along with informative resources needed to settle in B.C.