Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Tech To The Rescue has matched 24 NGOs with tech companies to develop digital solutions needed to overcome the increasing humanitarian crisis. Now Tech To The Rescue is calling on the tech community and investors for financial support to carry on #TechForUkraine efforts, estimated to positively impact the lives of two million people.
In the last two weeks, the world has seen Russia launch a full-blown attack on Ukraine, a European democracy of 44 million people. Its forces are bombing city centres and closing in on the capital, Kyiv, prompting a mass exodus of refugees. An estimated 2.2 million people have already fled Ukraine and 1.2 million of them were taken in by Poland.
Refugees are in urgent need of shelter, medical assistance, transportation through safe corridors, language assistance, and legal and administrative aid. This is only the first of many steps on the road to rebalancing their lives, which includes finding permanent housing, employment, language skills training, social relationships, and continued education for their children.
The burden of organizing temporary housing and transportation for refugees rests heavily on volunteers and NGOs, which often lack the digital resources to effectively manage a crisis of this magnitude.
"Tens of thousands of people have immediately joined the unprecedented wave of aid that has come from neighboring countries and around the world, saving countless lives. The overflowing aid needs to be structured, and efforts need to be streamlined and optimized. Technology is key to coordinating all humanitarian efforts. This is where Tech To The Rescue comes in," shares Jacek Siadkowski, co-founder and director of Tech To The Rescue.
#TechForUkraine provides support for NGOs helping Ukraine
Tech To The Rescue is a Poland-based non-profit organization that matches NGOs in need of technological support with companies willing to provide them with technical skills. When the invasion of Ukraine began, the foundation pivoted to focus all its resources on the needs of Ukrainian refugees. It launched the #TechForUkraine campaign, which aims to provide pro-bono support to NGOs working to solve urgent problems related to the immediate and long-term impact of the war. The campaign intends to launch about 100 digital projects for NGOs in the region within the next 3 months and has plans to support even more projects over the long term.
Since launch, 60 NGOs from Poland, Ukraine, Romania, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States have submitted their projects. More than 450 IT companies from 40 countries pledged to provide their support to NGOs.
These companies include Amazon Cloud Services, Orange, Salesforce, Allegro, Netguru, Divante, Boldare, Nocodely, Astek, Servsoft, Droids on Roids, Twilio, Nord VPN, 10Clouds, Codility, RTB House, and Packhelp.
Projects already launched through #TechForUkraine
24 projects have already been matched through #TechForUkraine and several went live last week, including:
The team is currently working on about 45 projects simultaneously, and new projects are matched every day as regional NGOs continue to submit requests. Notable new projects include a system for coordinating NGO activities created for the NGO Forum and a chatbot being developed in collaboration with the Polish Prime Minister's Office to help refugees find education for their children.
The ultimate goal is to provide relief to two million people who have already fled their homes or will soon do so – half of the estimated total number of refugees.
Currently, the foundation is raising funds to support #TechForUkraine for the next year and to expand the team.
"We are overwhelmed by the response to the #TechForUkraine campaign and are working around the clock to process all applications. Therefore, we appeal to the international IT community, startups, investors, and angels to support us. To meet the challenge, we need to increase our team and hire new people. This will help us help refugees on a large scale and assist twice as many organizations as we can now," shares Siadkowski.
The goals of Tech To The Rescue include hiring analysts who will help NGOs define their technology needs, and a team that will ensure there are enough technical resources to support projects. The foundation also wants to invest in translating resources and materials for service delivery in local languages and hire local Tech To The Rescuerepresentatives , which will ease access for local non-profits.
Another goal is building a scalable humanitarian response model that will alleviate the suffering of millions of people in the case of another crisis.
The fundraising campaign has been backed by investor and entrepreneur Sebastian Kulczyk, owner of Kulczyk Investments and the founder of Manta Ray vc, a venture capital fund that provides support on an international scale for the top business talents concerned with developing ground-breaking technologies in the education system, biotech, health, infrastructure, and other areas.