A yoga instructor is on a mission to raise money for special needs children in war-torn Ukraine, with the support of the Rockingham community. Ukrainian-born Rita McCabe has lived in Safety Bay for the past 12 years with her husband and two children. She would often travel back home to visit family and friends in Ukraine to see her mother, father and other relatives who still live there. Since Russia’s war against Ukraine began, Ms McCabe’s mother Renata has been volunteering at a refugee centre in the port city of Odesa, which was on Friday subject to a deadly Russian missile strike at a train station in the city’s east. Ms McCabe said her mum was very hands-on in Odesa and had been overseeing what the centre’s main needs are, with the help of other volunteers. She said many in Ukraine have been going without to donate to others. “When mum told (me) how people bring their last flour and oats for the week for other children to eat, I knew this is where we could help,” Ms McCabe said. “As a mum of two young children I could feel their despair and understood their needs, so I started an Instagram page dedicated to the war in Ukraine and shared my fundraising cause with my friends first, there was a lot of support.” At the Safety Bay Yoga Centre, Ms McCabe and fellow instructors Anandi Heal and Kim White are holding charity yoga classes every Friday at 5pm for $23 per head, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the Ukraine fund. “We have raised over $5,500 so far and word is getting out on the ground in Odesa, more families in Ukraine are approaching the centre for assistance,” she said. “Children with disability are struggling in Ukraine. There (are) few carers left, their needs are not (being) met, they need extra nappies and supplies, when transported they’ll need special transport.” Ms McCabe said all money raised went directly towards buying essential supplies for children coming from heavily affected areas in Ukraine. “I post photos of the families and the supplies we purchase weekly on our Instagram and Facebook page,” she said. “The situation is scary, desperate and sad, but everyone is helping, they’re very resilient people. “They check on their disabled, their sick and elderly neighbours too. Ukrainian people have been here before in history, they value their freedom more than ever and want to rebuild, and return to their homes, their spirit and courage is inspiring.” To find out more or make a donation, visit @ritaonlineyoga on Instagram.