6/30 to 7/24 Recap
6/30 to 7/24 DIMA RESCUE PROJECT UPDATE
Dima is civilian medic from Kharkiv and T1 diabetic. During his service, he developed extreme kidney complications. He and his family lost nearly everything and were coming close to losing Dima as well. Oleg, VM4U Project Manager, with the support of Lauren, UAID-Direct; David, VM4U Accommodations manager; and Dr. Liliana, organized the relocation of Dima and his family to Vienna as well as Dima’s long term medical care. From 6/29 to 6/30, Dima, his wife, two daughters, and their cat were transported by ambulance, driven by Vladimir, with onboard doctor, Dr. Svitlana, to Vienna. On 6/30, the family arrived in Vienna. Luisa offered an overnight accommodation to Vladimir and Svitlana. Max offered intermediate term accommodation for Dima and his family. However, Max’s household unfortunately came down with COVID at this time. Thus, Dima and his family stayed in a small apartment which was covered by direct donations by Marie, Andrew, Katharina’s father, and Adam. Dima and his family have since been registered for their Meldezettel, blue card, and social benefits. In the interim, the family has been supplied food and Dima has been supplied medication, test strips, and CGM sensors to monitor his blood sugar paid for by VM4U donations. Two SIM cards were donated to Dima and his wife by The Feel Good Store. A laptop for entertainment purposes was donated by Oleg. On 7/12, Dima and his family were transported by Nathan to Max’s home. Dima frequently visits doctors requiring language and practical support provided by Oleg, David, Dr. Halyna, Dr. Liliana, and Svetlana. Due to overcrowding at the hospital, Dima’s admission to the hospital was delayed until 7/18. Unfortunately, the long term accommodation arranged for Dima and his family fell through. Fortunately, Max has offered to continue to accommodate Dima and his family until another long term accommodation is arranged.
6/30 to 7/24 KOGL ORPHANAGE SUPPLY PROJECT UPDATE
The Kogl Orphanage houses a transplanted Ukrainian orphanage of 73 kids (between 7 and 20 year old) and 13 staff. Meetings between Svetlana, VM4U Case Officer, and Filip, VM4U Project Manager, with counterparts at the orphanage and local government took place on 6/13, 6/22, 7/17, and 7/20. The orphanage’s needs have been established and continue to be advocated for and supported by VM4U. These needs include medicine, fresh fruits and vegetables, Ukr/Rus language books, tick vaccinations, winter clothing/shoes, sporting equipment, German lessons for caregivers, IT support, and the organization of ‘day trips’ for the children. Emiliia organized the medical procurement, paid for by VM4U donations, and on 6/30, Cliff drove the medicine to the Kogl Orphanage. On 7/3, Cliff made a second trip to the Kogl Orphanage and delivered sports equipment and fresh fruit and vegetables, donated generously from himself. Filip and Svetlana continue their efforts to raise and deliver the remaining requested supplies. The local government will pay for sailing lessons for 16 of the children and will pay for winter shoes and clothing; local government remains undecided regarding the provision of fresh fruits and vegetables. Filip and Svetlana have found a local source which can deliver fresh food and vegetables at a rate of 300 euros/week. Svetlana has generously donated one weeks supply and has organized donors for two more weeks supply. The VM4U board is reviewing a proposal to support up to 2 months supply, after which, it is anticipated that the local government will take over supply. Svetlana is sourcing Ukr/Rus language books out of Lviv. Elli, VM4U Deputy Executive Director, is sourcing laptops and online German language course. Svetlana has generously donated clothes, racks, detergents, etc. Additional issues identified include the caretaker’s kitchen not being in working order and that the young men between the age of 18 to 20 are disinterested in integrating and are requesting to return to Ukraine.
7/1 MEETING – HOMES FOR UKRAINE
The VM4U Executive Team and Accommodations Team, Adam, Elli, David, and Gebhard, had a meeting with Anna, Jaroslav, Thomas from the Homes for Ukraine (H4U) organization. H4U is a Ukrainian led organization in Vienna which implements an IT solution through their website for matching refugees with private accommodations in Austria. They support hundreds of refugee families and are currently looking for volunteers. Both VM4U and H4U share difficulties in finding accommodations, particularly long-term accommodations. At the moment, VM4U and H4U work in parallel to find sustainable accommodations for our respective refugee communities. The H4U organization is recognized by the VM4U team as being an important organization with committed, unpaid volunteers, doing valuable work.
7/2 ÖSTERREICH HILFT UKRAINE SUPPLY PROJECT 2
The Österreich Hilft Ukraine (OHU) verein-ohu.com organization operates a humanitarian aid collection and distribution center in Vienna which supports ~1000 refugee families. OHU reached out to VM4U with an urgent need for diapers, sizes 5, 6, and 7.VM4U responded by sending a team, Katharina and Adam, with Sergey from OHU to the METRO bulk supply store here in Vienna to purchase and transport diapers to OHU.VM4U donations were used to pay for the supplies.
7/6 MIGRATION TO MICROSOFT OFFICE 365
Thanks to Jon, VM4U has 8 free Microsoft Office 365 licenses.VM4U files are in the process of being migrated to the new centralized system managed by Julia, VM4U IT Systems Administrator.
7/6, 7/13, and 7/20 PARTICIPATION IN EMPLOYMENT WORKSHOPS AT DOMIVKA
Gebhard, VM4U Employment Program Manager, continues to support the Domivka organization by participating in a employment workshop, offered weekly to refugees on Wednesdays at Domivka’s facility in the 2nd district. A session with one person lasts approximately 1 hour and involves help with CV, applications, and advisement.
7/7 to 7/8 VAN MISSION – LVIV
A cargo van team, Reinhard and Adam, transported medical supplies (approximately 100,000 gloves and 600 L of disinfectant) for the YOUkraine organization from Vienna to Lviv on 7/7, youkraine.at. From Lviv, the medical supplies will continue on to hospitals in Ukraine. The team overnighted in Lviv prior to returning to Vienna on 7/8. The van was generously donated by the First Aid First Hand (FAFH) organization, firstaid-firsthand.de with logistical support provided by Marcus and Hannah from FAFH and operational support provided by Julia, VM4U Director of Operations. VM4U donations were used to pay for fuel, vignettes, and tolls.
7/7 GAMING BUSSING PROJECT
On 2022-03-27, VM4U transported 43 mothers and children from the Polish-Ukrainian border to long term accommodations in Gaming, Austria, as part of the At-Risk People Rescue Project. At the request of these people, VM4U transported 26 of the 43 mothers and children back to Ukraine on 2022-07-07. VM4U organized the logistics, buses, and volunteers for the EU side of the journey. Ivanka, VM4U Mission Leader (English and Ukrainian speaker), accompanied the bus to the Medyke, Poland border crossing. At the Medyke, Poland border crossing, Ivanka and the passengers proceeded to cross the border on foot. Once in Ukraine, the passengers boarded a second bus which took the passengers to their final destination. This project was fully funded by the project requester and a €500 donation from Paul Blaguss; no VM4U donations were used for this project.
7/7 ARTICLE IN THE KATY TIMES NEWSPAPER
The Katy Times newspaper from Katy, Texas (west Houston), published an interview with Adam, VM4U Executive Director. http://katytimes.com/stories/man-with-katy-ties-now-living-in-europe-leading-ukrainian-refugee-organization,8081
7/8 REFUGE WELFARE CASE
A case of a 50-year-old refugee, 3 months pregnant, was brought to the attention of VM4U by Sarah from The Feel Good Store thefeelgoodstore.at. This woman had no money; her social benefits went to her host family as a form of rent payment; and she was going to a Caritas canteen for every meal. Irina, VM4U Refugee Welfare Program Manager, working with Dr. Liliana, arranged for an urgent visit to AKH and a Russian speaking gynecologist. The refugee has received medication for her high blood pressure, was determined to no longer be pregnant, and was supplied a stock of food and vitamins. Irina and Sarah are further assisting her to find a more suitable accommodation.
7/10 MEETING – SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDRENS GROUP
The VM4U Executive Team, Adam and Elli, met with a group of Ukrainian doctors, psychologists, and teachers who are assisting a Vienna based community of Ukrainian refugee children with special needs. This group is in the process of standing up a community center to fit their needs. VM4U monitors this group and seeks to connect this group with other international and Austrian organizations and resources through the VM4U Psychological Support Team.
7/12 MEETING WITH THE EDUCATIONAL EQUALITY INSTITUTE
Elii, VM4U executive director deputy, had an online meeting with a Norwegian NGO TEEI. TEEI offers multiple language courses for people from Ukraine ( https://theeducationalequalityinstitute.org/language-courses/). The courses take place online and are free of charge. TEEI also offers support to Ukrainian women who want to found a tech-oriented startup. TEEI is a part of initiative books without borders (bookwithoutborders.com/en).
7/13 ALYONA ALYONA VISIT TO ÖSTERREICH HILFT UKRAINE
Elli, VM4U Deputy Executive Director, helped organize a visit by prominent Ukrainian singer, Alyona Alyona, along with her Ukrainian colleague, Jerry Hail, to the Österreich Hilft Ukraine facility in Vienna to show their social media subscribers the efforts of their volunteers and the supply needs.
Österreich Hilft Ukraine: http://verein-ohu.com
About Alyona Alyona: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alyona_Alyona
About Jerry Hail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Heil
7/13 to 7/14 VAN MISSION – PL-UA BORDER
On 7/13, a passenger van team, Cliff and Adam, transported medical supplies for the YOUkraine organization youkraine.at along with a passenger and cat from Vienna to the Polish-Ukrainian border. The passenger was a refugee who has been staying with VM4U host families who needed to return to Odessa to tend to an ailing family member. The medical supplies were transferred to a second van near the border and received two additional passengers from Ukraine heading to Vienna. Originally the passenger from Vienna was supposed to go with the Ukrainian van, however, delays of 6 hours occurred at the border, causing this passenger to miss their train from Lviv to Odessa, and further caused the van team and passengers to have a forced overnight at a motor lodge near the border. On 7/14, one passenger and cat were dropped at the Przemysl Train Station for continuation to Odesa (safe arrival confirmed) and the van team and two passengers returned to Vienna. The van was generously donated by Cliff. VM4U donations were used for fuel, tolls, vignette, lodging, and replacement train ticket.
7/15 VAN MISSION – REFUGEE SUPPORT CASE
A cargo van team, Nathan and Adam, moved furniture generously donated by Scott, Larissa, and Mark to refugees in Vienna, facilitated by Marian. The van was generously provided by the First Aid First Hand (FAFH) organization, firstaid-firsthand.de, with logistical support provided by Marcus, FAFH. VM4U donations were used for fuel.
7/16 MEETING WITH LVIV MUNICIPAL ART CENTER
Lyana Mytsko is the director of the Lviv Municipal Art Center in Lviv, Ukraine. Currently the Lviv Municipal art center acts is oriented on helping refugees from Ukraine to cope with their new reality. The space used for art exhibitions before the war is now used for “classic” therapy as well as art-therapy and as a co-working space for displaced people. The art center relies completely on private donations to proceed providing psychological support to refugees. VM4U is open to potential future collaborations with this organization.
7/20 VAN MISSION – LVIV
On 7/18, an independent van team, Stuart and David (members of Team Fynn and the UAID-Direct organization www.uaiddirect.org), drove from Poland to Vienna. On 7/19, their van was loaded with insulin, raised by Oleg, VM4U Project Manager, along with medical supplies and specifically requested clothes and toys, raised by the YOUkraine organization youkraine.at. On 7/20, the van team delivered these supplies and one passenger from Vienna to a relay point in Lviv. VM4U donations were used to cover fuel, tolls, vignettes, and driver lodging.
7/21 MEETING WITH UNITED UKRAINE
The VM4U Executive Team, Adam and Elli, met with Dmytro from the United Ukraine organization. United Ukraine is a kids charity fund, based in Kyiv, which raises money and materials to provide shelter, school supplies, and sport equipment to children. VM4U offered support in the event of any urgent situation, however, there was otherwise little overlap between the two organizations.