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Meeting displaced Ukrainians at critical moments, thanks to you!Alight is coming alongside Ukrainians on their journey, to help them process, re-orient, connect, and navigate their new reality. We’ve been listening and what we’ve learned has helped us build a human-centered response. Read More
—Vitaliy and his wife Katia were living a life they describe as normal: running their own food shop and raising their three daughters, Kira 2, Alina 8, and Vlada 10, in the Odessa region. They didn’t believe war would ever come to Ukraine. In the early morning of February 24th, the phone rang. Read
—When the war began in Ukraine, 36-year-old Olena had been working at a coffee factory in Poland for a month. She had gone to Poland with a friend, temporarily leaving her four children with family in Ukraine so that she could earn more money to support them. Read
Around the web
Richard Reeve, KSTP - April 15, 2022
Catherine Cheney, DEVEX -April 8, 2022
15 Million have fled their homes.
Supporting Ukrainian Families
Over the past year, the war in Ukraine has destroyed cities, separated families, and forced 25% of the population to leave their homes. 8 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries, while 6 million are internally displaced. In the early days of the crisis Alight’s response team met Ukrainians at critical moments of their journey, at border crossings and transit centers, offering support and helping families navigate their next steps.
Since then we have expanded our services to reach more than 1,000,000 Ukrainians through our quick impact projects, our partnerships, and our direct financial support. We have provided $3M in grants to over 220 community-based organizations. We have mobilized Americans to sponsor Ukrainian families so that they are able to come to the United States. We have 90 sponsor groups ready to welcome Ukrainian families and help them feel safe and settled.
GUIDING TO SAFETY
Alight is there to help Ukrainians make their next move.
Our guides, who are Ukrainians themselves, worked tirelessly in Poland recommending cities for families to settle based on our vetting of housing, employment opportunities, resources, and other beneficial services. Our guides provided assistance, but also hope, care, and kindness in moments of extreme crisis.
As the emergency has shifted away from the borders and transit points, our guides are now helping displaced Ukrainians chart a path to the U.S through our Uniting for Ukraine (U4U) Jobs Sponsorship Pathway. U4U is a program organized by Alight that allows Ukrainians and their immediate family members to live and work in the U.S for up to two years.
Partnering with Airbnb
Alight has partnered with Airbnb.org to provide Ukrainian families who've left Ukraine with safe, secure places to land and regroup. Wherever our Guides meet families on their journey, they find and book them free short-term housing accommodation for 14-30 days. It's been an amazing service for families like Olena's, who just need a little time and space to recharge and plan their next steps. Our team has placed families in Airbnbs throughout Poland and in several other European countries. Thanks to the amazing support from our partners at Airbnb.org, we've provided families with more than 73,146 nights of safe, secure temporary housing (and counting).
DOING THE DOABLE
The size of the crisis is massive. But small actions will always make a difference. Alight has been doing the doable since our team hit the ground in February 2022. These are just some of the quick-impact projects we’ve delivered.
We’ve provided hundreds of tons of food for displaced people in Lviv and Kharkiv, non-perishables like soup, tuna fish, cereals, and baby food. And we’ve sent medicines and medical supplies including tourniquets, wound dressings, and plasma transfusion kits to hospitals in Sumy and Kyiv. We've also provided support to a Lviv orphanage sheltering more than 600 children. And we're funding loads of small organizations providing support and relief deep inside eastern Ukraine - each grant averaging around $10,000. One organization called Mother's Kitchen has led numerous distributions, including a recent Alight-funded distribution of clothes, crockery, blankets, bedding, shoes, and food to the village of Zahaltsi.
Alight is also the fiscal sponsor of FARMERHOOD, a digital platform that helps farmers around the world easily and reliably support Ukrainian farmers restore farms, maintain business operations, and provide for their workforce.
Alight provided lots of blankets, hats, socks, and mittens, as well as beds and warming tents to receive families as they came across the border. After moving beyond the border, we provided supplies and supported vital services for Ukrainians at reception centers and service hubs.
We know we can make an even bigger impact if we amplify the efforts of others. Faith-based groups are already critical providers of warmth and sanctuary, and there are so many providing amazing support for Ukrainians. We've been supporting and partnering with these groups across Poland and beyond. We’re working with the Jewish Community Center and Salam Lab in Krakow, Women on the Road and Catholic churches and sisters all over Poland and in 12 countries in Europe.
THE DOABLE, DONE
Doing the doable, Alight has provided critical support to more than 526,000 Ukrainians through quick impact projects. The most recent including:
- 1-week of groceries for 500 families in eastern Ukraine
- 4 generators to provide electricity in the Ukrainian towns of Losova and Bliznyuki
- Food and veterinary medicine for the animals living at 12-Months Zoo outside Kyiv
- Clothing for wounded civilians in Vinnytsia
- Hygiene kits & tablets to help children in Odessa continue with their online education courses
CREATING SAFE HAVENS
Ukrainian families need longer-term solutions so they can continue with their lives.
There is a major housing shortage in Poland, where millions of Ukrainian families are now living. Temporary housing solutions are running out. In imagining longer-term safe havens for families, our number one goal is to honor Ukrainians mothers’ entire purpose for fleeing: to protect their children. Alight has begun transforming vacant buildings into safe spaces for families. Working with IDEO and MASS Design, we’re co-designing with Ukrainian mothers to create havens where they’ll feel able and empowered to move forward in their lives.
HOUSING FOR LGBTQI+ REFUGEES
As in every crisis, Alight also seeks to assist the most marginalized groups within displaced populations. Alight is working with ORAM - Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration to specifically support the short-term housing needs of LGBTQI+ refugees from the Ukraine crisis. We are also interested in setting up a community center to provide this group with a safe space to gather and support one another.
DIGNITY OF WORK AND FINANCIAL SECURITY
Aside from housing, employment and money are among the top concerns of Ukrainians.
Through Aid2Art Alight provided $1,000 unrestricted cash transfers to Ukrainian artists and designers. This financial support helped them afford food, shelter, and essential items for their families. Some artists donated artwork that Alight auctioned in an online gallery, providing additional financial support for the artists as well as Alight’s Ukraine relief efforts.
WILL YOU JOIN US? HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU CAN DO:
Get Your Community Engaged – Start A Fundraiser: You can start your own fundraiser through Alight. Learn how!
- Use your talents: People are doing whatever they can to help Ukrainians, using their skills and talents to help from afar.
- Make A Donation: Right now, financial contributions are needed most - you can make a donation here.
- Reach Out: Have any questions about our work with Ukraine? Is there something you're excited about and want to help make happen? Get in touch with us.
- FAQs: Get answers to some of the frequently asked questions about Alight's response and giving.
People are made up of more than being fed, clothed, housed, educated and given some kind of political voice. There is something more to a human being that’s really not visible on the surface.”
– Dr. Curt Rhodes, Questscope Founder