Technology is a powerful tool that can help people in many different ways, and provide effective solutions to difficult problems. To utilize its capabilities in the face of Russian invasion of Ukraine, Tech To The Rescue initiated a special movement called #TechForUkraine. Its purpose is to promote projects dedicated to helping Ukraine, and connect organizations that need support with technological partners who want to offer their skills and resources.
Find out how technology comes to the rescue of Ukraine in a few inspiring projects that we described below.
To the rescue of Ukrainian refugees
One of the consequences of the Russian invasion is the refugee crisis. Millions of Ukrainian people had to leave their homes and flee the country. Not everyone had a chance to prepare for such a situation. A lot of people left Ukraine in a hurry, to protect their lives and their families. They had to face the challenge of finding a new place to stay in a foreign country, often having no financial resources.
People and organizations in neighboring countries opened their houses and shelters to help Ukrainian refugees, and provide them with a safe place to live. To make the process easier for both sides, a new platform was created.
UAsos.org is dedicated to Ukrainian refugees seeking shelter, and to accommodation providers from Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary, who want to offer their help. The process starts with filling out a form with necessary information. For accommodation providers it is information on what type of housing they can offer, for how many people, etc. For the refugees the form is very similar – they can type in the number of people looking for accommodation, the special requirements (i.e. pets), etc. The beneficiaries are then matched with the providers, and can contact each other. The platform makes the most optimal connections, to satisfy both sides and deliver help to people who need it. It also provides users with information about public shelters, where to find them, and how to contact them. The website is simple and easy to use. It is available in multiple languages.
The platform was created by a collaborative team of ID Advisory, the BCG group, Cleversoft and their partners. All of the people involved showed an astonishing amount of engagement and willingness to create something useful. With such a team, setting up and designing the platform was a matter of a few days. UAsos.org has already matched more than 4,600 people, and surely will match many more in the future.
To the rescue of war trauma affected Ukrainian children
The most defenseless and vulnerable victims of war are children. Even if they escape physical injuries, the psychological and emotional damage is still going to affect their lives. War trauma is a serious problem, and people who suffer from it require specialistic care and support. However, in this crisis situation not everyone has access to such help. To make it easier for parents and children affected by war trauma, Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow (YTT), a Paris-located, global art-based Humanitarian NGO, decided to create a mobile application that would help them deal with the situation.
YTT was partnered with Sai Charan Tej, Founder of AI Quotient. Together they worked on the application. The goal was to provide parents and children with tools that can help them work through difficult emotions they are experiencing. The app contains psychological exercises developed by YTT, dedicated to children between the ages of 6 and 18. The exercises are based on art therapy and encourage children to express their thoughts and emotions in a visual form, picturing their strengths, positive visions of the future, etc. The app contains a gallery of children’s images. Users can compare their visions with pictures of other children who are going through similar experiences.
Many local organizations support and promote the initiative, to help it reach more children. The application is simple to use and can be accessed by entering an email address. You can find it here: YTT Ukraine.
To the rescue of Ukrainian cultural heritage
One of the tragic, but easily overlooked consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is the great loss of cultural and historical monuments that are being damaged and destroyed by Russian military forces. Many valuable objects of Ukrainian cultural heritage are already lost without chances of retrieving them. The damage is affecting the digital sphere as well. Ukrainian cultural institutions’ websites are being taken down, and their data is endangered. Thankfully, there are people who from the very beginning of the invasion knew that risk and acted to protect whatever they could from destruction.
That is how Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO) came to be. It is a movement of librarians, archivists, researchers, and developers from around the world, who came together to find and quickly archive content from Ukrainian cultural websites, and local hard drives of cultural institutions.
To preserve the valuable data the cloud migration was necessary. However, volunteers from SUCHO did not have enough time and resources to conduct such a big operation in a short period of time. To help them, Amazon Web Services (AWS) joined SUCHO in their mission, providing the organization with free access to Amazon Cloud, as well as assistance from the AWS Cloud Economics team and Solution Architects. Amazon has also onboarded SUCHO to an open data program in AWS, as a form of a long-term support.
Many important websites of Ukrainian museums, libraries, and galleries went offline shortly after they were migrated to the cloud. If not for SUCHO and AWS engagement, they would have been lost forever.
You can find more information on the SUCHO initiative, as well as a virtual exhibition of Ukrainian culture heritage objects and monuments, here: sucho.org.
The mission continues
These few cases, although impressive and greatly appreciated, are still just a drop in a vast ocean of needs. The mission of helping Ukrainian people in this difficult time continues. There are many projects still waiting for realization. If your company or organization wants to help, head to #TechForUkraine and apply for the project that you would like to participate in. Every contribution is valuable!