10/28 to 11/22 Recap
10/28 to 11/22 Recap
10/28 to 11/22 FURNISHINGS PROGRAM UPDATE
Nathan, VM4U Furnishing Program Manager, and teams of volunteers, Arkady, Pasha, David S. Coach Oleksandr, Vitaly, David B., Jake, John, and Adam, continue to move donated furniture to refugees on almost a daily basis. Through collaboration and coordination between VM4U, The Feel Good Store, Domivka, Österreich Hilft Ukraine, and Yulia in Baden, each piece of furniture is delivered direct from donor to the refugee family in need. Significant furniture donations are raised by Cliff. Vans are generously provided by Nathan and the First Aid First Hand (FAFH) organization. VM4U donations cover the cost of diesel and vehicle maintenance. The impact of this program continues to be very high.
10/28 to 11/22 PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT PROGRAM UPDATE
Roxy, VM4U Psychological Support Program Manager, leads to the Psychological Support Team which includes Natalia, Inga, and Alexandra. They are involved in several cases which are not included here for patient confidentiality reasons.
10/29 Relocation Support Case
Two VM4U van teams, Nathan and Vasilyy, and Dr. Michael (The Feel Good Store), assisted a refugee family of a grandmother, mother, and daughter relocate their household from Klein-Neusiedl, Austria (near the airport) to Utzeneich, Austria (between Linz and Munich). The move was the result of the mother finding employment and accommodation in Utzeneich. The bulk of their household items included furniture raised by Cliff and the furnishing program. The vans were generously provided by First Aid First Hand and Dr. Michael with fuel being covered by VM4U donations and Dr. Michael.
10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21 FOOTBALL PROGRAM TRAINING SESSIONS
Coach Oleksandr, Football Program Manager, and Coach Sergii continue to lead football training sessions for children ages 6-11 on Monday’s from 17:30-19:00. Roxy, VM4U Psychological Support Program Manager, brings the children snacks after each training session. The Football Program is a collaboration between VM4U and Domivka and is funded by program specific donations from Michael (October-2 weeks), John (November-4 weeks), Julie (December-5 weeks), and Sharon (January-2 weeks).
11/3 VOLODYMYR MEDICAL SUPPORT CASE
Previously, Dr. Halyna, Medical Support Program Manager, assisted Volodymyr to attend a doctor’s appointment via Roman, a volunteer translator. The appointment was incidentally not covered by Austrian insurance and was thus paid directly by a volunteer. Volodymyr will need heart surgery. David, VM4U Refugee Support Officer; Dima, Ukrainian medic; Adam, VM4U Executive Director; and Florian, Red Cross Medic, met with Volodymr to discuss the path forward over coffee and to provide him reassure of VM4U support. On 11/3, Adam met with Volodymr and digitized his medical records. Dr. Lillian had a call with Volodymr and will coordinate his next appointment. 11/10, Oleg organized the translation of Volodymr’s medical records into German. VM4U continues to support Volodymr and his family (wife, daughter, and 3 month old grandchild) as they go through this next phase.
11/5 MEETING – ERUDYT UKRAINIAN SCHOOL
Elli and Adam, VM4U Executive Team, and Roxy, VM4U Psychological Support Program Manager, visited with Zoriana, Director, and Olha, Psychologist, with the Erudyt Ukrainian School here in Vienna. The school supports the Ukrainian community, operates only on Saturdays, and supports 100 students from grades 1-12. The purpose of the school is to provide Ukrainian children living in Vienna the additional coursework (e.g., Ukrainian language) necessary to receive a high school diploma recognized by the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian universities. Refugee children are required by Austrian law to attend Austrian schools Monday through Friday. It is understood that many, if not most, Ukrainian children are attending both Austria and Ukrainian schools. Ukrainian schools are attended either virtually or in-person at Erudyt or other Ukrainian schools. VM4U has learned that there other Ukrainian schools in Vienna. Roxy and Olha discussed potential Psychological support collaboration. Elli and Adam discussed other potential collaborations including the Football, Music, Integration Furnishings, and Van Programs (to deliver school materials from Ukraine to Vienna).
11/7, 11/11 VM4U VAN MISSIONS – TEAM VIENNA SUPPORT
VM4U Van Teams have provided transportation support to the Let’s Play, The Feel Good Store, Domivka, and YOUkraine organizations by transporting bicycles, clothing, equipment, medicine, and cardboard boxes between these groups. Van missions between the Team Vienna organizations is becoming a weekly request.
11/8 VM4U VAN MISSION – LVIV
An Austrian VM4U van team, David and Dr. Michael, transported Oleg’s insulin, a generator, and medical supplies for YOUkraine to Lviv for continuation to hospitals in Ukraine. Insulin was sent from Lviv by post to Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Kirovohradska, Kyiv, Dnipro with some part of the insulin shipment delivered directly to the Lviv Clinical Center of Endocrinology. Julia, VM4U Director of Operations, coordinated the mission. The cost of fuel, tolls, driver lodging in Lviv, and medical supply postage is covered by VM4U donations.
11/8 RIVNE RESCUE PROJECT
A VM4U bus team, Svetlana and Brian, led a chartered Blaguss bus to pick up and transport 15 foster children and orphans + two foster parents (originally from Kherson, Ukraine) from the Medyke, Poland border crossing to their new home in Mureck, Austria (near Graz). Irina was the Project Manager. Julia, VM4U Director of Operations, coordinated the mission. Sasha, VM4U Human Trafficking Safeguards Program Manager, authenticated and checked all Ukrainian legal documents to verify the legal relationships between the foster parents and the children as well as the government permissions for the foster family to relocate to Austria. Svetlana checked all passenger passports on the bus and Svetlana and Brian served food and comfort during the 21 hour journey. Eileen verified the Austrian entities involved and that long term accommodation and support for the family were arranged. Michael and Adam met with Berat, from Caritas, and performed a site survey of the foster family’s accommodation (which was a hotel arranged by Caritas and was very impressive). Eileen and Svetlana maintain communication with the family, the local government, and Caritas to provide continued support. The cost of the bus charter and supplies were covered by VM4U donations and project specific donations from John and Francesco. Michael, Anya, and Nathan loaned VM4U car seats.
11/14 BICYCLE PROJECT INTRODUCED
Gebhard, Project Manager, is working with MA48 to procure bicycles for children at a significant discount. A group of 11 and 12 year old girls performed a ‘cupcake fundraiser’ and raised €100.31. Gebhard and these girls are working together to buy refugee children bicycles.
11/15 MUSIC PROGRAM INTRODUCED
Nadin, Music Program Manager, is working to return refugee children to music training. How this goal will be met is underdevelopment. Nadin is collaborating with Domivka, the Feel Good Store, Österreich Hilft Ukraine, and other groups.
11/15 to 11/18 KOGL ORPHANAGE SUPPLY PROJECT UPDATE
On 11/16 to 11/17, two VM4U van teams relayed documents from Kogl Orphanage to Vienna, then Lviv, that were finally delivered to Kyiv by Post. On 11/17 to 11/18, medical supplies for Kogl Orphanage were transported from Lviv to Vienna and shipped by post from Vienna to Kogl Orphanage. On 11/15 Svetlana, VM4U Refugee Support Officer, attended a meeting with representatives from the local government, orphanage, and other stakeholders where the supply of fresh fruits and vegetables continues to be negotiated.
11/16 VM4U VAN MISSION – LVIV
A VM4U van team, Adam, transported 11 diesel generators, power banks, and medical supplies to Lviv for YOUkraine and Social Work Hub. Legal documents were transported for the Kogl Orphanage and medical supplies were transported from Lviv to the Kogl Orphanage. The road conditions around Lviv were near freezing and interruptions in power, water, phones, and internet (effecting navigation) were encountered. Julia, VM4U Director of Operations, coordinated the mission. The van was generously provided by the First Aid First Hand organization with diesel and tolls covered by donations.
11/17 REFUGEE SUPPORT CASE
Irina, Refugee Welfare Program Manager; Natalia, Psychological Councilor; and Gebhard, Integration Program Manager, have been working with the mother of a 29 yr old son with down syndrome. They have successfully overturned an incorrect diagnosis filed with the Austrian government which prevented this family from receiving government support. Additional support was provided by Roxy, Dr. Liliana, Dr. Halyna, and Dr. Elena. The team continues to work with the family to file the necessary paperwork and ensure their benefits are received.
11/18 MEETING – SOCIAL WORK HUB
Adam, Executive Director, and Nathan, Van Program Manager and Furnishings Program Manager, met with Chris, Social Work Hub at their warehouse in Vienna. Social Work Hub is a humanitarian support organization established in 2015 with a very broad and diverse portfolio of activities that are not limited to but are very involved with Ukraine and refugee specific issues. At the meeting, the transport of medical supplies including disinfectant and feeding tubes with food from Social Work Hub to Ukraine was discussed. Transportation of diesel generators to Ukraine was also discussed. Elli, Deputy Executive Director, also works for Social Work Hub. Steven, former VM4U Volunteer Coordinator during March 2022, also worked at Social Work Hub.
Social Work Hub: http://socialworkhub.com
11/20 ST. NICHOLAS PROJECT UPDATE
Svetlana, Project Manager, is raising presents for the children in the Team Vienna network to include orphanages in Kogl, Burgenland, and Zhuravno; the large foster family in Mureck; and Domivka, Feel Good Store, and Österreich Hilft Ukraine refugee communities. Following the Ukrainian traditions: children receive a small gift under their pillow on St. Nicholas day, Dec. 19, such as sweets or a pair of socks. On New Year’s Eve, Father Frost leaves presents under the tree and on New Year’s Day, gifts are exchanged. On Christmas Day, Jan. 6, families gather and religious celebrations are observed but no presents are involved. Currently, Svetlana is working with the Vienna Family Network, Cliff, and Larissa to raise the presents and the Team Vienna network to identify the needs and to distribute the presents. This project is not limited to children’s presents but also includes all elements of the holiday spirit for children and adults alike.
11/22 GERMAN LANGUAGE TRAINING PROGRAM INTRODUCED
Holly, German Language Training Program Manager, is working to facilitate refugees learning German. This program was initiated following the discovery that two VM4U managers, who are also refugees themselves, are paying approximately €400 per training module. Domivka, in the past, has successfully organized a German session funded by the Österreich Integrationsfonds (ÖIF).
11/22 VAN PROGRAM – WINTER UPGRADES
VM4U is responding to driving challenging conditions in Ukraine related to both winter conditions and utility outages by maximizing driver safety through comprehensive winter upgrades and repairs to the First Aid First Hand van. The 2008 Iveco Daily has new winter tires, will have new brakes, upgraded headlights, new electronics (which were glitchy), the airbags checked, and new safety procedures and equipment to maximize driver safety. The need to keep running lifesaving medicine and generators for YOUkraine and potentially other organizations is apparent. Upgrades to the First Aid First Hand will be covered by VM4U donations.