War in Ukraine. What you can do to help. Benchmarks for individuals and business.

Russist invasion on Ukraine has a global impact. Check what you can do to help the people and stop the war.

Monika Chutnik
War in Ukraine. What you can do to help. Benchmarks for individuals and business.

Find here a bunch of ideas and benchmarks based on what many people and organisations already do. Join in!

 

last updated March 5, 2022

 

Let me share with you a number of actions which are within your immediate reach. You can take them literally or as inspirations for your own version of what makes sense. The point is to TAKE ACTION and HELP.

 

Help Ukraine A Step Ahead Monika Chutnik

 

 

Call your fellow Ukrainians

That’s the most immediate support. If you have any colleagues, friends, or neighbors coming from Ukraine, that’s a good moment to call and talk. Check how they are, just as people how they feel ❤, and what they need. It’s perfectly all right to be personal and emotional. I’ve been, sometimes there is no way to stop the tears!

Even if you don’t know them too much, still go and talk.

The key message is: You are not alone! Make it very clear: I am here for you, please feel free to reach out to me if you need anything.

Solutions are always possible.

It’s a good idea to ask your fellow Ukrainians directly, what you can do locally to help Ukraine. They will most probably be much more informed where you can best invest your energy and support👍.

 

Donate money

Hundreds thousands of Ukrainians are fleeing from war. In Poland, we have already given a home to more than 500,000 fleeing Ukrainians, mostly mothers with children, and this number comes just from war day 7 (March 3rd). There are many more who have stayed in their homes, to protect their country, their families, and their belongings. All need help now, and you can donate to any of the organisations providing humanitarian help. Check this link for global recommendations or browse the same page downwards to find your country and donate according to the guidelines there.

What Ukrainians need is support for their army. Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has opened a special account for donations for this purpose. You can donate with Google Pay, SWIFT, or even cryptocurrency.

 

Give temporary home

You can offer free accommodation to Ukrainians who are fleeing the war. If you have a spare room at home, it might be a good place to start! The airline company Wizzair has offered 100,000 free flights to Ukrainians fleeing to various destinations, making their travel so much easier.

Please mind that just asking your colleagues “if anyone needs accommodation” is not enough.

It’s best to register your place in an official database so that your place can REALLY be found by people who need it. See how it looked in Poland on March 3rd.

Today, as of March 5rd, this is so much needed. In Poland, the government arranges large-scale places where people can just lie down and sleep under the roof. Empty student houses (due to COVID, everyone was in online education) in all major cities are already almost fully populated. Hundreds, thousands of people offer their private homes as a place to stay. Even my small company has rearranged the office to offer one room for someone from Ukraine, who is in need. We have just moved some furniture to the side and arranged two mattresses. The kitchen with a cooker and bathroom with shower are there, what else do we need? You can make it simple, just help.

A few days ago, also Air Bnb has offered free accommodation for one month to 100,000 people fleeing from Ukraine. Check out whether your Air Bnb contacts might join this action.

If you can give support with your wallet, in the future do purchase goods and services coming from Poland. We are all just thinking to save lives and people now, but the longer-term economic consequences are a burden. How to recognize a product is from Poland? Check for 590 on the barcode 🇵🇱 as the starting three numbers.

 

 

Make your voice count

The people of Ukraine are fighting for their right to democracy. Make the best use you can of democracy in your place! Use all measures to make your voice heard and ask the business and officials in your country to help stop the war.

  • sign a petition

here you will find a list of those which you can sign regardless of your nationality or residency. Check for more in your own country.

  • join a protest in your city

check for list of protests around the world. Just look at this photo or this recording of 250,000 protesting against the war in Cologne, Germany. This is really happening. This is really needed.

 

Make it public

There might be many people around who do not realise how serious the situation is and how global its impact. Help them get this awareness, e.g. by:

  • writing articles, just like I am writing mine at the moment
  • your social media posts. One of them might be linking to the text you are reading now, others to other sources of reliable and useful information. You can tag some people to make sure that they will surely see your post. Watch out for fake news and disinformation! Just in Poland, just on March 5th, there have been 120,000 cases of misinformation in Polish social media, which is an increase of 20000%!!! Watch out and double-check for the source. Spreading disinformation makes the situation worse.
  • changing your LinkedIn title, just like I have changed mine.

Why? Psychology knows the power of social proof. If others have already done it, this is the right thing to do. Have you noticed that what I am showing here are actual activities already taken by others? My role is not to convince you. The others that have done it are already the best proof.

 

Use correct language about Ukraine

It is perfectly ok not to know the detailed history of another country. What makes sense now is to understand how to talk about Ukraine and Ukrainians. My warmest thanks for this guidance to Susanna Romantsova.

 

  • Correct: Ukraine.

Incorrect:Post-Soviet State. Ukraine has been an independent state for 30 years.

  • Correct: Further invasion. Russia’s large-scale war against Ukraine.

Incorrect: Russian invasion. Russia started the war and invaded Ukraine’s territory on February 20, 2014 by invading Crimea.

  • Correct: Russian-Ukrainian war.

Incorrect: Ukrainian crisis. Ukrainian conflict. Civil war. On February 20, 2014, the Russian Federation launched its war against Ukraine, which continues to this day. By using such terms, we would allow the occupying power to call the war with Ukraine “an internal conflict”.

  • Correct: Occupation administration, occupation authorities, so called “L/DNR” authorities Crimea.

Incorrect: Authorities in Crimea. LNR, DNR. By using this name without the prefix “so-called” and without quotation marks, we would recognize the legitimacy of the local occupying government.

  • Correct: Temporary occupation of Crimea.

Incorrect: Annexation of Crimea. The statement of the fact that annexation, without specifying the illegality and temporary nature of these actions, would speak of “recognition of Crimea as Russian”.

  • Correct: Russian forces.

Incorrect: Separatists. Terrorists. The use of such concepts allows the aggressor state (Russia) to conceal the presence of Russian troops in the temporarily occupied territories.

  • Correct: Kyiv. Odesa. Donbas.

Incorrect: Kiev. Odessa. Donbass. These names are transliterated to English from Russian. However local names must be transliterated into another language from the language of the country, i.e. Ukrainian.

 

Stop business with and in Russia / Belarus

Stop supporting Russist activities with money from your purchase!

The barcode numbers 460-469 mean “made in Russia”. 481 means “made in Belarus”.

Multiple major businesses have already withdrawn or stopped their operations in Russia. Care for some names? Apple. Jaguar. IKEA. MasterCard. AirBnb. AMD and Intel no longer sell processors in Russia. Netflix. Spotify. Nokia. Daimler. Ford. Harley Davidson. Mercedes. Toyota. Volvo. Disney. H&M. Nike. Dell.

Multiple retail stores have withdrawn Russian and Belorussian products from their offer, with immediate result.

 

It needs to be stated explicitly: there are many Russians who are against the war. In this sense, there are Russians and Russists, this is how we want to differentiate the aggressive power. Let’s find ways how you can give support and courage to Russians so that they can defend themselves against the brutal country regime and help Ukraine from within Russia… Differentiating and giving justice in assessing Russians is the first step towards it.

 

Offer jobs to Ukrainians

What an amazing opportunity for a win-win PLUS great help! Many people fleeing from Ukraine are very well qualified. They are translators, developers, office clerks, analysts, doctors, even psychotherapists. Some of them might find employment in your company if you offer it, or businesses around you if you activate it.

Be active in offering jobs. The fleeing people want nothing more than just regular life. If you help them with paperwork, they will be more than grateful.

Ukrainians cross their borders as regular citizens. They do not request refugee status. This would actually block them from working for a period of 6 months (that’s how it’s regulated in Poland, as every separate refugee case needs to be analysed separately). Help manage the documents and win skilled staff!

Wizzair has already been smart to understand that and offered not only jobs but also help with relocation and accommodation for a period of one month.

 

Involve your tech power

According to NATO, war has five domains: land, sea, sky, and space. The fifth one is cyberspace. As a skilled individual or as an IT team, you can help discover UA web vulnerabilities or join the Tech To The Rescue initiative. On March 1 there were already over 250 organizations offering pro bono support to Ukrainian NGOs in the field of technology. In both, there are ongoing projects and enough tasks for everybody.

 

Goods

Before you start collecting or sending goods anywhere, make sure and check what’s needed where. To give an example: at this very moment, the Ukrainian-Polish border is flooded with clothes, but what is needed much more is medicines, as children who were traveling a long time in uncertain conditions have caught a fever, and some people are wounded.

Just make a call and double-check with the direct recipients what they need… and then move on!

In Poland today, every single primary school in every tiniest town and village serves as a place to collect goods for Ukrainians. Make sure you give what is needed, that’s a lesson that we in Poland have already learned!

 

There are even more options to help

Some companies have even started retooling their machines to start manufacturing protective vests for Ukrainian soldiers and civilians. You might, but don’t have to go that far. It’s enough if you do one or two of the things you’ve just read about. Others have done it, too.

Every little grain of sand counts, so a Spanish proverb. That’s our tiny area of influence.

Please share this article with any of your colleagues, friends, neighbors so that they can also choose how they can help. So that they also regain their grain of influence ❤

 


If you like to share other great benchmarks to support Ukraine, please mention them in a comment below!


 

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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