Ukraine Sunflower

Help for Ukraine On the Web

There are many ways to help those in need in Ukraine, as they defend their country against the Russian invasion. Traditional aid organizations like the Ukrainian Red Cross stand ready to accept your financial support and deliver help where they can. An impressive list of support services has been curated for 32 countries by Support Ukraine NOW (here is the link for the US). Certain types of help however, are most effective when they take place online, such as combating misinformation or providing direct financial support to individuals on AirBnb and Etsy. The good folks at the World Wide Web Foundation have written about ways that those of us on the web might make a difference.

The web has helped to inspire resistance and assist fact-checkers to debunk war propaganda, to help people navigate to safety and find places to stay, to keep families and friends connected, and to enable others across the region and beyond to stand in solidarity and provide support. These scenes are yet another reminder of why we must nurture and protect a safe, empowering web for everyone.

Rosemary Leith and Tim Berners-Lee
Co-founders, World Wide Web Foundation

Online help during the crisis

Here are just a few examples of online efforts taking place around the world.

How one tech company is supporting their Ukrainian team

SEO company BrightLocal has an extensive team of Ukrainian software engineers. In a recent email to their mailing list, they detailed some of the preparations that they had made:

Sensing that invasion was a possibility, we had made prior preparations to rent safe houses for team members to relocate to, in Chernivtsi in Western Ukraine.

While we did not foresee the scale and speed of what was to come, our preparedness has led to a number of our team and their families moving west and setting up home in relative safety, and with good access to food, cash, power and internet. I’m hopeful that more will be making their way to these safe houses over the coming days.

Currently, five team members and their families have made it across the border to Poland. Some of our UK team members are on the ground there, and as I write this email I am on the way to meet them in Gdynia (in the north) and help them get settled into apartments we have rented for them. 

Our plan is to establish a base and a community there for the team to head to should they have the chance to cross the border. Ukrainian men aged 18-60 must currently remain in the country so this may just be wives, partners and children for now, with the men able to join them at some point in the future.

Myles Anderson
CEO & Co-founder, BrightLocal

Finally, in real life, people make a difference, like this concert violinist in a Kharkiv bomb shelter.

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