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. – 1 million refugees have crossed into Poland, mostly women and children.
Alight’s team is on the ground doing the doable and acting immediately to respond to the needs of Ukrainians.
Alight is responding to the emergency needs of people still inside Ukraine. Our team is procuring medical supplies like freeze-dried plasma transfusion kits, wound dressings, pain relievers, and more in Poland and transporting them into Ukraine to groups holed up in bomb shelters or hospitals that need resupplying. The supplies we provide also include baby food, diapers, sanitary items, blankets, and phone chargers so people can stay connected with loved ones.
AT THE BORDER IN POLAND
Alight is based at the Medyka border crossing, where temperatures have been frigid. Exposure is a real concern, especially for people crossing the border in the middle of the night. Alight is distributing 1,000 blankets a day, as well as mittens, hats, and socks. We’re putting up a warming tent with heaters to give Ukrainian families a respite from the cold as they wait for transportation away from the border area.
We’ve also brought in other items to make the border crossing more welcoming. Trash cans for garbage and cleaning supplies. The wheelchairs we brought in were put to use immediately to bring elderly Ukrainians across the border to their waiting families.
- Safe transport for families
- Safe and secure shelter
- Support for host communities who’ve been generously welcoming Ukrainians
Other critical needs:
Support Alight’s Response
In Poland, at the border crossings, Alight is there to support families as they arrive. After long journeys across Ukraine, people arrive here exhausted, often disoriented and some showing signs of trauma. The crossing can be chaotic and disorienting. Our team is working on setting up an information desk with signage in Ukranian, internet access, chargers, sim cards, hot beverages and safe heaters to soak in some heat at least for a few minutes. After their journey, people need help figuring out their next steps. [Below: the Polish border at Medyka]
A Human Centered Response
While we look after people’s immediate essential needs, Alight is also 100% focused on listening, responding, and gaining insight to design a human-centered response going forward into the coming weeks. Refugees are visibly focused on the problems at hand. But if you ask them, their minds are occupied by the future.
We’re spending time at refugee reception centers and other places people are sheltering to hear what’s needed and how we can mobilize. We’re also connecting with local organizations to coordinate efforts and collaborate. Our team is on the lookout for signs of exploitation and trafficking. In this chaotic massive flow as the response is just getting organized, people are vulnerable. Alight is looking at what measures we can take to ensure the safety of the mostly children and women who’ve fled.
Here’s a recent interview Alight CEO Jocelyn Wyatt did on 3/7 with KTMY MyTalk 107:
Here’s a recent interview Alight Response Team Member Mike Zuckerman did on 3/7 with KTMY MyTalk 107:
Will you join us? Here are some things you can do:
- Right now, financial contributions are needed most – you can make a donation here.
- People are doing whatever they can to help Ukrainians, using their skills and talents to help from afar.
- @sarah_c_owens is teaching a Ukrainian Easter Bread Baking Workshop to raise money. You can signup for that class here: https://ritualfinefoods.com/products/ukrainian-easter-bread-workshop-fundraiser
- What talents could you use to help?
- You can start your own fundraiser, to support Ukrainian families through Alight’s emergency response team.
- Get started and setup your fundraiser here: https://give.wearealight.org/forUkraine