“I volunteer!”: How tech and marketing community leaders stand up with Ukraine
Everyone can help by doing what they do best
In the first weeks of the Russian invasion, people manifested their opposition on every social media platform. It started with sweet, personal memories about Ukraine, and later it progressed to strong statements like "Ban Russian gas" or "Stop Business with Russia" – the last one is still relative to these days.
However, there are more meaningful ways that will actually help the victims of Russian imperialism. Sharing shelters, delivering food and equipment, donating, spreading the truth about Ukraine and war across social media…
Instead of saying "my prayers are with the Ukrainian people," everyone can help by doing what they can do best. Marketers, developers, and business owners are no exception.
Here are stories of people who help Ukraine using their business or professional experience and network.
Support Ukrainian refugees together through technology
Martin Carpenter is CIO of agriculture technology company Synomics. At the beginning of the invasion, the lack of action by the UK government prompted him to share a petition calling for visa requirements to be waived for Ukrainian refugees on the Horizon CIO Forum WhatsApp group for UK tech leaders.
This initiative was highly praised by other tech peers, including Adrian Wakefield and Neill Dunwoody. They founded a community called Tech Link Ukraine.
It is a voluntary community of technology leaders using their skills and networks to support technologists from Ukraine –a group of Ukrainians whom this community can provide the most impact to.
More on how Tech Link Ukraine was created:
Both Adrian Wakefield and Martin Carpenter are involved with a company called Fused4, which uses AI to match people to opportunities. One day, Adrian called him and said, "Do you think we could reuse the platform to enable displaced Ukrainians with tech skills to opportunities?"
The idea of helping with matching jobs and Ukrainians grew from there. Also, Andrian and Martin already had some co-founders who were busy seeing what they could do in terms of placement.
Neill Dunwoody is one of them. Based in Ireland, he had managed to find a couple of opportunities for people, one in temporary resettlement and one remote working. The resettlement included flight and accommodation for the individual and her young daughter.
Neil, Martin, and Andrew have been inundated from companies wanting to help, which includes those offering remote working spaces, and tablets free data, to companies offering opportunities with travel, accommodation, and help with resettlement.
However, they quickly realized that our original idea was too narrow; also, some organizations were already offering a site to match jobs to people, so there was no point in re-inventing the wheel.
That's why now Tech Link Ukraine acts as a signpost for the following areas:
- Individuals with tech skills displaced by the war in Ukraine looking for work, remote or temporary resettlement
- Companies with opportunities for displaced individuals
- Companies wanting to help in providing enabling services; remote working, travel, bank accounts, immigration advice, safety
- Ukrainian tech companies open for business
- Companies wanting services from Ukrainian tech businesses
We are all volunteers in this and giving up our time to help do something. Our principles are that we will not work with any organization that seeks to commercialize this or make profit out of this in any way. If an organization wants to be on our site, we will ensure that they are a credible organization and suitably vetted. We also have had some great conversations with the Ukrainian IT Association, who suggested that we could also help to highlight that the industry is still very much open for business.
Help fellow pets in Ukraine
As Ukrainian citizens have been forced from their homes in search of safety, many have taken their pets with them. But some pets were left behind, as their owners couldn't fetch the transport and facilities in such conditions. As people fled, dog shelters and zoos were abandoned, together with hundreds of animals.
Andrea Nerep is a founder of Petzbe, the social media app for pet owners where they share their pets' daily lives from the perspective of their four-legged friends.
Recently, Andrea Nerep launched an initiative. For each photo shared on the Petzbe app with #PetsOfUkraine, Petzbe donates $2 to support the United Animal Rescue - Ukraine campaign.
Why Petze decided to help animals from Ukraine:
Actually, Petzbe has monthly charity campaigns to help animals around the world, and since the launch of Petzbe, we have donated over $155,000 to help animals. But in February, we chose to help animals in Ukraine as this is something the Petzbe community feels strongly about. We raised $3,200 during one day that we donated to the United Animal Rescue – Ukraine campaign. Find the donation receipt here. We donate to animal causes on a monthly basis and have planned another #PetsOfUkraine campaign for April. Our user base continues to grow and we scale it through marketing activities. We want to reach millions of pet parents around the world. Everyone can stand with us and help animals in Ukraine by sharing photos with the hashtag & sticker.
Save lives by spreading truth
Another way of supporting Ukraine is to continue discussing the war on every possible platform. And use the right terms. It's not a crisis or conflict – it is a war. These just decrease the level of horrific events and make this war a part of the #newnormal.
Lorena Acosta, a personal brand professionalist with 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, training, and leadership, is doing precisely that. Having a LinkedIn network of over 1.7 million extraordinary individuals, she regularly posts on what's happening in Ukraine.
Some posts promote volunteering funds, like Razom. Others are targeting those people who don't know what Ukraine is. There still exist misconceptions that Ukrainians are poor and uneducated people and the country doesn't have any potential.
Sharing facts about Ukraine, history, and people is another way to help, so people get more context on why Ukraine and Ukrainians matter.
For those who ask: "Why does Ukraine matter?"
This is how the nation of Ukraine is classified:
1st place in Europe in proven recoverable reserves of uranium ores. 2nd in Europe and 10th in the world in terms of titanium ore reserves. 2nd place in the world in terms of exploited reserves of manganese ores (2.3 billion tons, or 12% of world reserves). 2nd largest iron ore reserve in the world (30 billion tons). 2nd place in Europe in terms of mercury ore reserves. 3rd in Europe (13th in the world) in shale gas reserves (22 billion cubic meters); 4th in the world for the total value of natural resources; 7th in the world in coal reserves (33.9 billion tons).
And of course THE CITIZENS. That is why PUTIN is there.... DONATE TO HELP THEM. REMEMBER Their freedom is our freedom as well.
Today, apart from global communities or campaigns, many companies and individuals are standing with Ukraine by providing military and humanitarian aid, helping with finding work and giving their homes to refugees. We thank everyone who makes a difference, small or big.
Even if you donated $5 or shared a post about events in Ukraine, you've done something to stop this war.
If you want to help Ukraine, here’s how the Global community can make a difference.