Ukrainian activists abroad raise money for health workers in Ukraine

$ 24,000 for the needs of the Ukrainian medical sector during the Covid-19 pandemic – so much money has been raised until today by Razom and Ukrainians Without Borders (UWB) organizations. Almost the entire amount – $ 23,000 – has already been spent on purchasing of respirators and protective suits for Ukrainian doctors and nurses. This information Promote Ukraine received from a representative of UWB in Poland Natalia Panchenko and Vice President of the American organization Razom, UWB representative in the United States Lyuba Shipovich.

On the 01 of April these organisations launched fundraising on Facebook to help Ukrainian health workers. So not only Ukrainians but people from all over the world have the opportunity to help Ukraine withstand this difficult time. The activists use the money raised to buy the necessary things in Ukraine and deliver them to hospitals.

Lyuba Shipovych, Razom for Ukraine

Lyuba Shipovych, Razom for Ukraine

“We decided for ourselves that we would distribute medical supplies based on the needs of hospitals at a certain point. It means that if we have the money and we know where to buy respirators, then today we will find out which hospitals have the most critical situation. Because tomorrow the situation in hospitals may be different. Probably volunteers brought in something, cities or the state allocated some aid. Therefore, we do not plan well in advance… For example, last week we ordered equipment, today it finally reached the hospitals in Chernivtsi and Khotyn”, – says Lyuba Shipovich.

Natalia Panchenko, UWB

Natalia Panchenko, UWB

The activists cooperate with the Ukrainian foundation “Patients of Ukraine” from which they receive up-to-date lists of needs in hospitals. UWB and « Razom » are currently buying respirators and protective suits – what is most important to doctors and nurses at the moment to protect at work their health and life. But later the activists also plan to buy the necessary equipment for hospitals – if they can raise the necessary amount. According to Natalia Panchenko donations come daily from people from different countries: Poland, Italy, Spain, Canada, USA. More than 100 people including non-Ukrainians sent money to help Ukraine’s health sector. The representative of the Polish branch of UWB says that they value each contribution: “It doesn’t matter how much money somebody transfers. It is important that he or she does this and also shares this information with friends. Because if 100 or 200 people transfer even 5-10 euros each, it will already be quite a significant amount. And the things we need, such as respirators or suits, are not very expensive. One respirator costs up to 100 UAH (3 euros – ed.). Thus, even for 10 euros, we can already buy something. Therefore, every transfer is very important. We understand that now people do not even know what will happen to them tomorrow, so giving money to charity has probably become even more difficult than before.

With the spread of coronavirus literally around the world, volunteers are faced with one more problem: not only do they need to raise funds but also to find where to buy medical equipment (demand on which is sky high) and make sure that they have the necessary quality. Lyuba Shipovich underlined that it is necessary to check the marking on respirators for compliance with the state standard of the FFP2 class. Hospitals then have to check where the product came from and whether it has the required standard. “I say that it is harder now than in 2014 when we also organized help (related to Maidan and start of the conflict in Ukraine – ed.). Then the main thing was to find money, and you could buy stuff anywhere. If not in Ukraine, then somewhere in Europe. During the pandemic certain medical equipment is in great demand, so now it is more difficult in this regard,” sums up the Vice President of Razom.

Funds for the protection of Ukrainian doctors and nurses can be transferred through this page:

by Natalia Richardson

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