Russia’s invasion of Ukraine immediately resulted in the biggest European refugee crisis we have seen in decades. Many individuals across Poland and beyond rallied together to support Ukrainians forced to flee their homeland. They wanted to offer free rooms and beds, and share their homes. The problem, at least in the early days, was figuring out who needed support, and how to reach them. And this is where a new platform, UAsos.org, proved crucial. Perhaps the most amazing thing about it was that it was created by a group of organizations in just a few days.
ID Advisory, the BCG group, Cleversoft and their partners have developed the first working version of a platform, UAsos.org, matching Ukrainian refugees with those who can provide them with shelter and housing. Here is how it works. The person who can offer accommodation fills out a form outlining what they can offer: the number of rooms, the number of people they can accommodate, whether they can take children or pets, and any other important details. On the other side, the refugees seeking accommodation fill out a ‘mirror image’ of the same form - i.e. they indicate how many people belong to their group, for how long they need accommodation, whether they have children, etc. In the background, the system matches these people where the criteria are the same, and allows them to contact each other via a messenger function. Partners of the UAsos.org platform include non-governmental and local governmental organizations such as: Union of Ukrainians in Poland, Ukrainian House - Our Choice Foundation, Aushwitz Pledge Foundation, Polish Humanitarian Action, Polish Migration Forum Foundation, Szlachetna Paczka, Stocznia Foundation, Union of Polish Cities, Union of Polish Metropolises, Tech To The Rescue, BCG Platinion, Clevsoft and ID Advisory.
The platform has already matched 4,600 people and is still going strong. Many of the people who have hosted refugees have spoken about the positive experience that they have had with the portal, and both national and international media have reported onthe platform. The platform also sees recurring users in cases where a guest family has moved to another location or become independent. ID Advisory, the tax and law firm that coordinated the project, is now looking for a charity or foundation to continue to run the platform
The platform has already matched 4,600 people and is still going strong.
I was truly amazed by the sheer amount of people who wanted to help. The first week the project started, my phone kept ringing. I joked that my phone number must be on a billboard somewhere in the center of town… After the first version of the product was released, we worked very closely with Tech To The Rescue not only on IT support, but also from an organizational perspective. Their experience and expertise played a really crucial role here.