1/24 to 2/28 Recap
01/24 to 02/28 Recap
VM4U, in close cooperation with Dominka and The Feel Good Store, continues to develop and expand support programs for refugee children in the Team Vienna network. Team Vienna children’s programs supported by VM4U donations include:
- Football Program, Oleksandr
- Music Program, Nadin
- Art Program, Juliia
- Bicycle Program, Gebhard
- German Program, Holly
- Orphanage Support Program, Svetlana
- Psychological Support Program, Roxy
All VM4U volunteers are shared resources with the Team Vienna community.
1/24 to 2/28 MUSIC PROGRAM UPDATE
Nadiia, Music Program Manager, is working with Domivka to return refugee children to their music training. The program has 6 instructors:
- Joel, Saxophone Instructor
- Inna, Guitar Instructor
- Emin, Piano Instructor
- Mariam, Piano Instructor
- Nadiin, Violin Instructor, and
- Daniel, Piano/Guitar Instructor
Currently 11 students receive music instruction for half an hour each week with some students (and adults) having received donated instruments. Piano instructors are currently needed to return 6 children to music training. The donation of a music stand is needed. Donations are needed for instrument maintenance and small event costs. VM4U cannot pay instructors or volunteers but encourages patrons who might want to privately sponsor an instructor to reach out. Thank you for the program specific donations from the TU Wien Orchestra and Phil.
1/24 to 2/28 INTEGRATION PROGRAM UPDATE
Gebhard, Integration Program Manager, is investigating possible sources of government support for VM4U programs including the German Program and Children’s Programs.
1/24 to 2/28 FURNISHINGS PROGRAM UPDATE
Nathan, Furnishings Program Manager, continues to work with Olga, The Feel Good Store, to transfer furniture and appliances directly from donors to refugees using the First Aid First Hand van. Since the early retirement of the First Aid First Hand van on 2/22, Nathan continues to move furniture using his personal minivan and public transport with assistance from volunteers including Pasha, Oleksandr, Arkady, and others. VM4U donations are used for van fuel.
1/24 to 2/28 PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT PROGRAM UPDATE
Roxy, Psychological Support Program Manager, and her team, Inga, Natalia, Alexandra, and Alissa, have been supporting local refugee and volunteer cases which are confidential but are of high impact. The team is also developing a resource together with a psychologist from a local Ukrainian school. On 2/9, Holly, German Program Manager and Instructor, and Maeve, German Instructor, received training from Roxy, Psychological Support Program Manager, prior to the launch of the first German course. The training prepares volunteers for working with refugees from Ukraine.
1/29, 2/5, 2/13, 2/19, 2/26 FOOTBALL PROGRAM SESSIONS
Coach Oleksandr, Football Program Manager, and Coach Sergii continue to host football training for children ages 6-11 on Monday nights from 17:30-19:00 at Castellezgasse 35 in cooperation with Domivka. Roxy, Psychological Support Program Manager, continues to bring snacks to the kids after each session which has become tradition. Indoor gymnasium use is cost-free. €220 in program specific donations from Julia and Sharon are in reserve with this program.
2/1, 2/3 TATIANA SUPPORT CASE UPDATES
On 2/1, Tatiana’s family (grandmother, 22 yo daughter, 22 yo son, 4 cats) moved from their host family accommodation with Robert to a low rent, long term, and sustainable accommodation provided by Maximilian. Tatiana (mother) has been in a Vienna hospital with shrapnel injuries to her leg for the past two months. On 2/3, Tatiana was released from the hospital and is now resting comfortably at their new apartment (and not the refugee shelter). Robert hosted the family for 1.5 months and saved them from residing at the refugee shelter for this period. Maximilian also provides low cost, long term accommodation to Dima and his family (another serious and long term medical case). Marie and Andrew provide extra financial support during this time when the family was not receiving social benefits. Nathan and Irina have been organizing furnishings for this family’s new apartment as well as the helping them move. The refugee support team, led by Irina, and consisting of Gebhard, Michael, Adam, Arkady, Holly, Dr. Halyna, Nurse Alena, Medic Dima, and Nathan have been working hard to assist with employment, accommodations, furnishings, medical support, and relocation. This new apartment makes the family’s life sustainable and is the first step toward toward self-sufficiency.
2/2 VAN MISSIONS – LVIV & KYIV
A VM4U van team delivered 20 generators and medical supplies for YOUkraine, Elevate Ukraine, and Oleg in the First Aid First Hand van. The van delivered medical supplies raised by YOUkraine to the Lviv Regional Psychiatric Hospital and to the Kyiv Children’s Hospital “Okhmadyt”, Department of Neurology. Fuel and tolls were covered by VM4U donations.
2/3 ELEVATE UKRAINE GENERATOR SUPPLY PROJECT
VM4U completed a collaborative project with the Elevate Ukraine organization, registered in Texas, USA. Elevate Ukraine tasked (and funded) VM4U to purchase and deliver 8 generators to Ukraine. A second collaboration between VM4U and is underway to deliver heating elements. Vienna’s proximity to Ukraine, logistics capability, and reputation makes VM4U a reliable partner in the international NGO network.
2/2 CHARITY EVENT WITH TU WIEN ORCHASTRA
The TU-Wien orchestra held a charity concert on 2/2 and donated the proceeds to the VM4U Music Program.
2/8 MEETING WITH THE CENTER OF CHRISTIAN CHARISMATIC CHURCHES OF UKRAINE (CCCCU)
Sarah, The Feel Good Store, invited Adam, VM4U Executive Director, to meet a guest at the store, Pastor Oleg, CCCCU. Pastor Oleg, based out of Uzhhorod, represents a network of churches in Ukraine responding to every situation. Pastor Oleg discussed a specific need to move tons of supplies from Poland to Ukraine. VM4U shared our logistical capability to respond to urgent situations quickly (but with limited funding) and our ability to organize sustainable solutions in Vienna for people with serious medical situations.
2/10, 2/19 MEETINGS WITH FRONT LINE MEDICS
Front Line Medics (FLM) is an NGO registered in Ukraine and the US and performs high-risk medical evacuations in hot areas. FLM is composed of unpaid international volunteers including medics, doctors, drivers, and translators.
On 2/10, Adam, VM4U, met with Simon, FLM Lead Medic, along with Marcus, First Aid First Hand (FAFH), and Fynn, Team Fynn. FLM’s primary need is ambulances and diesel followed by medical supplies. FAFH has an ambulance they want to supply to FLM. Fynn has previously supplied ambulances to FLM and knows the transfer process and the FLM organization well. VM4U will supply the diesel for the ambulance up to a set amount.
On 2/19, Jon, VM4U Geospatial IT Systems Admin, Pavlo, VM4U Director of Operations, and Adam, VM4U Executive Director, met with Simon, Front Line Medics (FLM) Lead Medic, and discussed VM4U support and cooperation for FLM operations. Jon and Pavlo, and the VM4U command center are a significant capability which can be leveraged fully by FLM to save lives and reduce the risk to their volunteers.
2/12 VASILIY SUPPORT CASE
Vasiliy, 27, and his mother Tatiana, 51, from Kyiv were unable to stay in their current apartment due to renovations and cannot move into a new apartment they found until April 1. Robert will host this family during their accommodations gap. This is the third family Robert has taken in – 3 miracles -> St. Robert.
2/12, 2/19, 2/26 GERMAN PROGRAM SESSIONS
Holly, German Program Manager and Instructor, and Maeve, Instructor, working in collaboration with Domivka, have organized adult and children’s introductory German language courses. Courses are held on Sunday starting at 12 noon at Domivka’s community center. The Domivka facility offers child play areas adjacent to the classroom permitting parents to attend. Currently 6 adults and 8 children are enrolled. Children are presenting a challenge for instructors because of their advanced level of German. Gebhard, Thanks to John, the German Program is currently fully sponsored by project specific VM4U donations.
2/16 MEETING WITH TANJA MAIER
Adam, VM4U Executive Director, met with Tanja Maier. Tanja leads a 2 person Verein. Tanja focus’s her donations to buy food gift cards for refugees in need. Tanja uses a journalist type approach to connect with the public and donors by telling the stories of many of the refugees she helps and comes in contact with. Tanja is an American living permanently in Austria and speaks English and Russian. Tanja and VM4U have begun collaborating on refugee support cases.
2/17 MEETING WITH DAIKI
Daiki is a volunteer from Japan who was passing through Vienna on his way to volunteering in Ukraine. Daiki had no set plan other than to go to Ukraine and volunteer. Marian, VM4U First Volunteer, directed Daiki to meet with several members of Team Vienna.
On 2/17 Daiki met with the Feel Good Store and VM4U. The Feel Good Store team, using their network, was able to connect Daiki with a volunteer organization in Lviv and find him a host family to stay with while he is there. Adam, VM4U driver, suggested Daiki pack warm winter clothes, waterproof boots, power banks, flashlight, head lamp, subzero sleeping bag, sleeping mat; download off-line maps; and to purchase a Ukrainian sim card at a gas station in Ukraine.
2/20 MEETING WITH PTASHKA ART PROJECT
Adam, VM4U, and Sarah, Olga, and Tatiana, The Feel Good Store, met at The Feel Good Store with Tatiana, Ptashka Art Project, to discuss art fundraising. Tatiana, Ptashka Art Project, has a gallery in Vienna, hosts exhibitions, and sells Ukrainian art to fundraise for Ukraine. Several of the Team Vienna organizations have opportunities to fundraise through the auction/sale of donated art. The YOUkraine group held an art auction on 5-9 December 2022. Domivka featured Ukrainian art and artists at their fundraiser on 23 September 2022. The Feel Good Store hosts a resident Ukrainian painter in the store where their paintings are for sale. VM4U and UAID-Direct were recently contacted by an artist willing to donate art. There was no immediate outcome of the meeting, however, a network was formed which may further develop into art fundraising capabilities at a later point.
2/21 ART PROGRAM INITIAL WORKSHOP
Juliia, Art Program Manager, hosted the first arts and crafts workshop for 25 refugee children at Domivka. The workshop will be held weekly. VM4U donations cover the costs of art supplies.
2/22 VAN PROGRAM UPDATE
The First Aid First Hand van, the Team Vienna workhorse vehicle, failed its annual government inspection. Unfortunately, the van has excessive rust on the chassis which cannot be repaired for less than the cost of replacing the van. Nathan, Van Program Manager, is in the process of replacing the van. Fundraising efforts are underway and van program specific donations are desperately needed.
2/24 CONFERENCE WITH SOCIAL WORK HUB
Social Work Hub organized an event where volunteers from different organizations could share their experiences and find each other. Adam and Nathan from VM4U as well as Sarah and Olga from The Feel Good Store were in attendance.
2/26 DIMA SUPPORT CASE
VM4U continues to support Dima and his family. Dima needs a kidney transplant, which will likely take place within the year. Dima requires regular hospital visits involving translators and general medical support from the VM4U Support Team including David, Oleg, Dr. Liliana, and Dr. Halyna.
2/26 BICYCLE PROJECT UPGRATED TO BICYCLE PROGRAM
The bicycle project, which has delivered 20 bicycles to refugee children in Austria, has been upgraded to the bicycle program (i.e., a project which does not end). Gebhard, Bicycle Program Manager, will continue to raise bicycle donations for children (priority) and adults, for distribution by The Feel Good Store and Domivka.