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PHOTOS: Castlegar woman sends update from the front lines of Ukraine

April Huggett has been back in Ukraine for five weeks

Castlegar’s April Huggett has been back in Ukraine for about five weeks on her second trip to help people on the front lines of the war.

Huggett is the founder of Planet of People (PoP), a non-profit registered in both Canada and Ukraine. The 34-year-old mother of three started the agency last year after feeling a pressing need to do something to help those suffering from the war.

Huggett’s first trip to Ukraine spanned from Dec. 3, 2022 to Jan. 30, 2023. She left her Canadian home once again in mid-February.

Huggett has been spending her days delivering food to the hungry, care packages to soldiers and medical supplies to caregivers. That is, once she has purchased, sourced and gathered all of those supplies.

Huggett says things are going well, even though she is exhausted and eating instant noodles a little too often. And some days, the sweet chirping of spring birds is interrupted by air raid sirens.

One of the accomplishments Huggett is proud of is that Planet of People was successful in helping to raise $30,000 in order to purchase a tractor for farmers in Dnipro, Ukraine. The tractor will be used by a co-op group of farmers so they can continue to produce food for the war-torn country.

She is also continually touched by the difference she sees in the faces of beleaguered soldiers once they have been handed a package of necessities like toothpaste, ear plugs, hand warmers and socks with a few treats like Snickers bars and energy drinks thrown in.

“I love going to help people,” said Huggett in one of her many Twitter posts. “I want to keep doing it for as long as possible.”

Huggett is quick to acknowledge that she couldn’t do anything without all of PoP’s supporters and the donations that continue to pour in.

You can follow Huggett’s work on Twitter @DefactoHumanity. Information on Planet of People can be found at

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Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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