The 21st day of Russia’s attack on Ukraine has passed. Russian rockets continue to fall on the cities of our friends and neighbours, and babies are being born in underground and other bunkers – without nappies, water or heating. As the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) informed on Sunday, nearly 2.7 million people have already fled the terror of war. Poland has received 1.8 million Ukrainian refugees.
Since the outbreak of the war, almost all the Foundation’s activities have been focused on helping Ukraine. We provide our support by sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine and helping Ukrainian refugees. We have already collected over PLN 2.3 million for these purposes as part of our public collection on the zrzutka.pl portal – which makes it the biggest individual collection on the portal in terms of the amount of collected funds (for comparison, only a joint collection of several dozen Polish NGOs has collected more than PLN 3.4 million). We estimate that – including other channels, platforms and services offering payment services, such as PayPal, bank accounts or Stripe – the total aid received from you amounts to approximately PLN 4 million.
The funds were used to buy, among other things: 2033 vests and 690 additional ballistic pads and 1420 helmets (as of 12 March 2022). We send life-saving equipment mainly to units of Civil Defence and Territorial Defence Forces. It protects the lives of civilians who became soldiers overnight. Our aid has already reached, among others, the unit of Territorial Defence Forces of Lviv, Kyiv and Horokhiv. We also provide bulletproof vests and helmets to journalists covering the war in Ukraine. For example, we supported reporters from the oko.press portal. Our humanitarian aid also includes other military equipment such as drones, night vision devices, thermal imaging devices or military accessories (clothing, tactical waistcoats, rucksacks, etc.). Finally, we have sent specialised medical equipment (e.g. two ventilators) and medical supplies (e.g. tactical tourniquets, sterile compresses, plasters, syringes, compresses, disinfectant fluids, bandages, tourniquets, surgical suture, etc.) to Ukraine. Transports with medical equipment and materials were sent, among others, to the hospital in Vasylkiv (near Kyiv) and military hospitals in Lviv and Dnipro.
By 12 March, we had delivered a total of 16 transports, including two with medical equipment. This assistance included goods purchased with funds received from donors as well as gifts in kind, including donations from companies. We would like to thank in particular: LLC Sigmed , LLC Examion Polska, the National Association of Private Hospitals, fire brigade of the National Rescue and Firefighting Service of Cisek village, Independent medical facilitynin Głubczyce, LLC Centre for Psychiatric Prevention and Treatment Salus, NZOZ medical centre, ZEMCAR and NFM Group from Lębork.
Another area of help from ODF is the support of Ukrainian refugees. Thanks to our wonderful volunteers we have already housed 4855 people and a bunch of dogs and cats (and this is just a very conservative estimate). We have also helped to transport a minimum of 1500 people (both statistics illustrate figures as of 15 March 2022). These activities were made possible by the tireless work of our volunteers running the refugee hotline. The helpline can be reached at +49 577 121 101, and a short video on YouTube tells the story of its beginnings.
We also helped internally displaced people by providing 100 mattresses for war victims – mainly women and children – forced to leave their own homes, who found temporary asylum in one of the shelters in Truskavets, Ukraine.
For all of us, the war came as a surprise, including a big organisational shock. Thousands of messages reached us and our phones rang non-stop. The scale of the increase in our activities is reflected in the growth of our team – from 10 to 25 permanent employees. We are also supported by a reliable team of about 150 volunteers. We are systematically improving the processes on our side and will report on our activities with increasing regularity. You can follow updates on our social media channels and in the ‘news’ section of our public collection on zrzutka.pl.
As with our previous fundraising campaigns (e.g. to help Ukraine in 2014-2016 or the “Meal for a Doctor” campaign), as soon as the war is over (let’s hope it’s over quickly and with Putin’s defeat!), we will publish a detailed report documenting where every zloty raised and every piece of equipment purchased went. Transparency is of the utmost importance to us. Without the trust of donors we would not be able to run this or previous aid campaigns. In the meantime, we publish a brief summary of our recent activities and will report back soon with new statistics and information. Thank you for being here. And if you like what we do, we encourage you to support us at: https://zrzutka.pl/pomocukrainie