Aid for Ukraine? – Tech To The Rescue
More than 300,000 people have already fled Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion. It is estimated that 3-4 million people will follow in their footsteps. Once across the border, refugees need support in finding temporary housing, medical care, and transportation. In the longer term, needs are oriented towards the provision of legal support, translation services and job search assistance.
● Tech To The Rescue, a global platform connecting IT companies with nonprofit organizations, has engaged nearly 300 companies and more than 600 freelancers ready to support relief organizations.
● The first effects are already visible – this week an AirBnB-type platform dedicated to supporting refugees will be launched. The service is built jointly by several technology companies and NGOs.
Ukrainian NGOs operate in a state of war. Many have suspended operations. Non-profit organisations from Poland, Moldova, Romania or other countries in the region operate and support refugees. Everyone helps where they can. Technology is one of the key tools to help those on the battlefield or trying to escape the brutality of war – says Jacek Siadkowski, managing director and founder of Tech To The Rescue.
20 projects are currently in development, focusing on Ukraine and preventing an impending refugee crisis. The first of them is SOSUA.pl – AirBnB type platform, connecting those who search and offer help. Service launches this week.
The app displays the best “match” between hosts and refugees based on criteria such as number of people seeking accommodation, planned length of stay, arrival date, transportation options, etc. The platform is available in Polish, English and Ukrainian.
The platform was developed by a number of technology companies affiliated with Tech To The Rescue, including ID Advisory, BCG Platinion and Clevsoft, and several NGOs: Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH), Szlachetna Paczka, Polish Migration Forum Foundation, Stocznia Foundation, Association of Polish Cities, Union of Polish Metropolises, Our Choice Foundation, Auschwitz Pledge Foundation, Ukrainian Union in Poland and Ukrainian House Foundation.
– The platform was created by people of good will who decided to join forces and create a free digital solution to provide real help to those affected by war in Ukraine – say Jagoda Trela of ID Advisory and Alina Bieniek of Clevsoft, project coordinators.
Another project, which was launched on 28 February, is togetherzwami.pl, a website collecting information about various aid initiatives focused on Ukraine.
The response and willingness to help from people associated with the technology industry and residents of the region was moving. The key challenge at this point is to channel this incredible energy as effectively as possible – explains Siadkowski.
All solutions under #TechForUkraine aim to help 3-4 million people who are likely to flee Ukraine to neighboring countries (e.g. Poland, Moldova, Romania).
Other projects currently in development are:
● An internal database of humanitarian aid from various NGOs within the NGO Forum in Poland.
● Chatbot/Conversational UI in Ukrainian, collecting useful data for migrants from various sources.
● Ukrainian map of Poland (translated content) with API to connect and display on the map various assistance services (NGO activities, pharmacies, etc.).
● Aggregator of support initiatives
#TechForUkraine is not only focused on refugees. The project also works to protect NGOs helping Ukraine on the ground from cyber attacks.