The continuous targeting of Ukrainian energy infrastructure since the beginning of October has highlighted that energy supply isn’t just a winter issue, but a continuous wartime issue that has ripple effects across every aspect of life in Ukraine. We look at our team, our volunteers, our working partners, and people in Ukraine persevering during the darkest and harshest period since the full-scale invasion, and we want to do more as soon as possible. This week, updates on how we’ve been able to respond thus far.
Dear Razom community,
In the span of only 2.5 months, over 9,000 of you made a donation to Razom to make it possible for us to do everything in our power to get Ukraine closer to victory. These days it’s meant delivering humanitarian aid that can save lives during a cold winter and constant electricity outages. Today we want to report on that work as it impacts the work of defenders and first-responders, hospitals, and local civil society groups providing basic aid to internally displaced people in Ukraine.
We have already supplied the majority of first responder units on the frontlines, at least once. Between now and October, we have delivered 400 wood burning portable stoves, 7,500 freeze dried meals, and over 2,500 pieces of warm tactical clothing to our Ukrainian defenders and first responders. This is on top of our regular deliveries of IFAKs and communications equipment.
Most important during this time period have been our deliveries of 161 generators and 112 Ecoflow or Bluetti portable power stations to the frontlines. Having electricity means having connectivity, and in war time, accessing and disseminating information can be the difference between life and death. All of this aid has so far reached Bahmut, Kharkiv, and Kherson only — regions with the most brutal and consistent violence and destruction.
Since the first days of the invasion, Razom has been developing its own ERP system, enterprise resource planning software called Ozero to ensure effective accounting of the humanitarian aid we procure, ship and deliver between our warehouses and the final destination of aid in the hands of battalions, first responder units, and hospitals across Ukraine. Our team of programmers and logistics managers have been refining the software so that today Ozero is used by six other organizations to track their aid in Ukraine! In fact, if you’re an organization working to distribute aid on the ground, feel free to reach out to us to learn about how you can gain access to our Razom-made software.
Hospital generators are differentiated by their much higher power capacity — they can’t power up an entire facility, but they can support individual units like ICUs and operating rooms. With this grant, we’ve purchased enough to be able to supply 11 hospitals in Ukraine with reserve generators that provide between 20-80kW of power, supporting specific departments within the hospital. These hospitals are in Mykolaiv, Zaporizhia, Dnipro, Kharkiv and Odesa regions, places that are dealing with high inflow of patients and where the risks of power disruptions and difficulties of restoring electricity supply are the greatest.
In an aim to support Ukraine’s institutions and local economy, the Razom Health team utilized an open source government e-tender system, ProZorro, to ensure maximum transparently in our purchasing process. The bid that won out includes Turkish manufacturers and Ukrainian distributors. ProZorro was implemented in 2016 and has since been globally recognized as one of the most innovative public procurement systems delivering government services in a stakeholder-focused, transparent, effective, fair and low-cost way.
We can’t wait to share with you photos and videos of those generators in the right hands as soon as they get delivered and installed!
Last but not least, the Razom Grants team has already delivered 90 generators that will be distributed by our grantees to power places (many in Kharkiv) where Ukrainians can gather to charge their devices and get warm. Some of these places are shelters or heating zones over 3,200 sq ft in size, and across Ukraine they’re referred to as “Points of Invincibility.” Razom has worked to support over 100 different NGOs in Ukraine to uplift the extremely active civil society groups that organized after the invasion to help people in need. Below are a few of the groups we’re supporting in this project:
- Stezhka Dodomu (The Way Home) runs a shelter for victims of domestic violence in the Odessa region. When the full scale invasion broke out, they were extremely active in helping IDPs while continuing to run their shelter, which now also includes low-income families, children who were forced to leave their homes because of the war, and senior citizens.
- Volonterska UA a consistent Razom Grantee based out of Kharkiv that has identified over 14 “Points of Invincibility,” heating spots across deoccupied areas in the region.
- A Kindergarten turned shelter whose main mechanism of preparing food is via induction stove, requiring electricity to cook.
- Korsakiv Center of Contemporary Ukrainian Art turned shelter in Lutsk that offers frequent art, craft, yoga, breathing, dancing, and performing arts workshops for kids and adults. It also operates next to Adrenalin City, a mall in Lutsk that’s been converted into a massive shelter.
There are a number of amazing projects you can support that will bring you closer with Ukrainian culture, art, and history. Below is a roundup of some of those events and fundraising opportunities. Moving forward, you’ll also be able to catch the most up to date schedule of events and creative fundraising campaigns on our website here.
In Washinton, D.C.:
- On Friday, December 16, 8PM, the Music Director Cynthia Woods and the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra present Holiday Pops 2022 at the Robbins Memorial Town Hall in Arlington, VA. A festive, glamorous night out with holiday favorites including Sleigh Ride and the world premiere of Scrooge: A Christmas Overture by composer Donald Fraser—featuring Vira Slywotzky, soprano. Get your tickets here!
In New York:
- On Friday, January 20, 8-10PM Plast Chornomovtsi and Chornomorski Khvyli present Newark Deb Pub Night with an open bar at Lys Mykyta in NYC. You can get your tickets on presale or at the door. More info here (all proceeds go to Razom!).
- Between now and January 19, 81 Leonard Gallery is pleased to present PAUSE: Lucky Charms, a solo exhibition of recent paintings by Ukrainian-American artist Christina Saj. The exhibitionexplores the perception of magic implicit in talismans and symbols as well as the ontological nature of spirituality. The artwork is also available for purchase online. 40% of proceeds from the exhibit will be donated to Razom!
- On Saturday, February 4, 8PM at Opera America in NYC, contralto Vira Slywotzky and pianist & composer Dina Pruzhansky present This American Life, a performance of classical, popular, and folk songs from the US and Ukraine. Email email@example.com to reserve seats.
- You can catch the performance in New Haven, CT on Sunday, January 22 at 5PM at Bethesda Lutheran Church, and in Hudson, NY on Friday, February 10 at 7PM too at Hudson Hall!
- The Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery at Bristol County Community College in Fall River, MA will be showing an exhibition called Eye of the Beholder (Don’t Close Your Eyes): Ukrainian Artists Respond to the War, from November 10-December 22. With over 120 pieces on display, these works evoke the resolve and the anguish of the Ukrainian people and what they are experiencing as events unfold. All art is on sale, with 50% of the sale price going to the artist and 50% to humanitarian organizations like Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation and Come Back Alive.
- Introducing to the world: KOLO, an unparalleled immersive visual experience and theatrical dance show celebrating the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Ukraine! The first of its kind, KOLO is the brainchild of award-winning, Ukrainian-bred competitive ballroom dancers and partners, Iaroslav and Liliia Bieliei, both natives of Kyiv who now call Los Angeles home. The show is launching its North American tour in Florida:
- Stream a historic performance of the National Ballet of Ukraine from Orlando, FL at the prestigious Steinmetz Hall on August 27, 2022, and donate to help raise humanitarian aid for Ukrainian children and families. The National Ballet of Ukraine is considered one of the top ranked ballet companies in the world. Cozy up with your friends and loved ones and watch a special performance that affirms the power of art and beauty over tyranny and destruction.
- Awethentic Gallery’s latest charity campaign, Prints for Ukraine, features a variety of artworks from award-winning journalists and photographers across the world, including Mykhaylo Palinchak who served as the official photographer of the President of Ukraine; Emmy-nominated journalist Laurel Chor and renowned documentary photographer, Natalie Keyssar. All artworks are $150 and 100% of net proceeds of prints go directly to our artists and critical humanitarian war relief charities Razom and World Central Kitchen.
- Started by a Ukrainian yoga teacher, Yoga4Ukraine aims to bring together 1,000 yoga teachers all around the world that each donate ONE yoga class! Any style, any format, anywhere, anytime. Visit www.yoga4ukraine.com to officially become a part of the Yoga4Ukraine project or find a class near you, and get your Yoga4Ukraine t-shirt to support the initiative today. All donations will benefit United24 and Razom.
Thank you so much for reading this newsletter, sharing it, generously donating to our projects, and for showing your support for Ukraine. We are immensely grateful.
P.S. – This time of year a lot of companies are offering matching options for your donations throughout the year. Make sure to take advantage of that! If you have any questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.