Responding to the Crisis in Ukraine
Updates on our relief efforts
APRIL 22, 2022
All Hands and Hearts has urgently deployed a team to Poland to support people at risk due to the violent invasion of Ukraine. Activated and inspired by the personal efforts of our co-founder Petra Nemcova and multiple members of our board who mobilized to support the transportation of unaccompanied minors at risk, we are leveraging our proven disaster response abilities to assist in this extraordinary event.
While on the ground, our team is liaising with local partners, coordinating bodies, and relief organizations to assess how best to increase our support within this rapidly changing landscape. Throughout, we are coordinating with relevant authorities and partners, and we place the utmost importance on managing the duty of care, migration process, and wellbeing of these minors.
This is a unique relief initiative for All Hands and Hearts, given our focus on natural disaster relief. Acknowledging the urgent call for assistance in this crisis, we are uniquely positioned to utilize our skills and resources to provide urgent and needed relief for Ukraine refugees.
UPDATE: APRIL 22
Since early March, All Hands and Hearts has worked closely with valued partners to support local efforts to respond to the Ukraine crisis. Raising more than $1.9 million dollars to date, we have connected organizations on the ground with much-needed resources including food, water, diapers and toys for orphanages, personal protective equipment for 80 people, audiovisual equipment, and three generators. We facilitated the purchase and transfer of 21 vehicles to be used to evacuate civilians, in addition to covering the cost of a further eight roundtrip evacuation trips from Lviv to Poland. We have also provided direct assistance with operating expenses for nonprofits involved in organizing the evacuation of over 20,000 people and accompanying anti-human trafficking work.
All Hands and Hearts prides itself on rising to the occasion to help those in need. We are relieved that some of the expertise we have gained helping in disasters over the years allowed us to contribute to the people of Ukraine during this horrific time in history. As local capacity increases, we will wrap up these response efforts, encouraging those interested in further support to work directly with these amazing partners.
We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all of our supporters, donors, and partners who made this impactful work in Ukraine possible, and look forward to sharing a final report in the coming weeks.
UPDATE: MARCH 28
As of last week, All Hands and Hearts has enabled the delivery of 20 vehicles to our partners who are working to evacuate highly vulnerable children to move them out of harm’s way.
Using the first wave of the vehicles provided, our partners have already evacuated over 300 children with disabilities and their caregivers, in addition to 1,500 unaccompanied minors, plus the transportation of an additional 400 women and children traveling from Lviv to Poland.
The second group of vehicles has now arrived in Lviv and is being used by our partners in the same manner. We anticipate that, by the end of next week, AHAH’s efforts with our trusted partners will have resulted in the safe transportation of over 3,000 vulnerable children and caregivers.
To date, we have raised over $1.6 million for these efforts. Barring one $5,000 purchase of food and water for orphanages that were without supplies, all funding has or will be used directly by AHAH for the purchase of vehicles, goods and services to enable the vital work of our partners above.
Sadly, our trusted partners have come under attack from negative social media commentators seeking to do harm during a time of great need and what should be solidarity. As a result and at their request, we have removed our partners’ names from our posts, lest the malicious actions of a few on social media cause harm. We will share the details of our partners with those who are funding this work, but we will remove all public references.
*Updated March 30, 2022
UPDATE: MARCH 22
Since our last update, All Hands and Hearts has continued to make possible the safe passage of vulnerable groups of children at risk from war.
Building from our initial response, we continue to secure the transportation capacity and provide logistical support to two trusted partners to procure essential materials and vehicles for this life-saving work. Through All Hands and Hearts’ partnership and generous supporters, we have already been able to secure and transport over 20 vehicles, including several vehicles specifically suited for the transportation of children living with disabilities.
Our partnership with these two organizations saw us deploy a small team to Poland in the early weeks of March, where our teams facilitated the purchase and delivery of vital, life-saving transportation capacity to these two partners. Building from that foundation and partnership forged in person, we continue to work to support this critical initiative from a distance, mobilizing our networks and contributing our skills to our partners leading the safe and systematic evacuation of vulnerable children.
In the words of All Hands and Hearts’ board member Eric Gebaide who was on the ground in Poland, “In this unprecedented humanitarian crisis, where 70% of the refugees are women and children, and the most vulnerable amongst them are the disabled and unaccompanied minors, we have not hesitated to go beyond our typical deployment into natural disasters, to help those most in urgent need. We have been mindful of our organization’s lack of experience working in a man-made crisis or with unaccompanied minors, but unswerving in our energy and commitment to help. We have made, and are continuing to make an impact, using our culture of partnering with expert and impassioned groups on the ground that you only find by being there.”
DART UPDATE: MARCH 7
We are on the ground in Poland supporting various efforts focused on enabling the safe passage of disabled children and accompanied children across the Ukrainian border. We are aware of the risks these minors face and will continue to uphold our duty of care while also supporting the efforts of those transporting children.
To date, we have provided vehicles and assisted vehicle delivery over the border into Ukraine filled with specific medical supplies and essential humanitarian aid, which will reach areas in the Ukraine with the greatest need. These vehicles will also provide additional seats to assist with emergency evacuations and some will evacuate disabled children as part of broader efforts needed to evacuate the 7.5 million children who are at risk from this conflict. In addition, we are working with Ukrainian partners to provide logistical support to their life saving operations for thousands of children.