Faces of Freedom: Uniting for Ukraine

This year to honor the Ukrainian Independence Day on August 24th, Razom has launched a celebration of the incredible freedom fighters within our community. From dedicated delivery drivers in Ukraine to passionate volunteers in New York, behind every face is an inspiring story about freedom which we are excited to share and encourage you to create your own.

Meet the Razom Ukraine Response Initiative team! They assist externally displaced Ukrainians in the New York area with everything they need to gain a sense of normalcy after being forced to flee Ukraine because of russia’s full scale invasion. They provide vital support, including legal consultations, clothing and food distributions, and medical services, such as flu vaccines. And they do all that with a big smile! It takes a lot of care to help the displaced Ukrainians – many of them fled their homes in places like Mariupol and Kharkiv with just a backpack and came to New York, where they know no one and are often faced with challenges such as health problems and difficulty finding a job to provide for their families. But the Ukraine Response Initiative doesn’t only provide material help. They also provide a much-needed sense of community. Many of the recipients of the Initiative’s aid also become volunteers to help other Ukrainians. Because together – we are Ukraine.

We’re honored to feature Texas Congressman and Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Michael McCaul, among our Faces Of Freedom. He emphasizes the importance of supporting Ukraine: “Supporting Ukraine and standing up to unprovoked aggression that violates sovereignty and territorial integrity is in the U.S. and free world’s interest, especially with China closely watching the world’s response to Russia’s full-scale invasion. Razom is critical in keeping up this support by educating the American people on why a victory for Ukraine is imperative.”

We thank Mr. McCaul for the kind words and for all his support of Ukraine! We thank ALL of Congress for its unwavering and crucial support of Ukraine not only over the last year and a half, but the last 32+ years. It’s amazing to walk down the halls of Congress, as the Razom Advocacy team often does, and see so many signs of support for Ukraine – from Ukrainian flags to “We stand with Ukraine” posters.

The day before Ukrainian Independence Day, Razom’s team presented the results of the Razom Heroes program at a press conference in Kyiv. We were thrilled to share that $45 million worth of aid was provided to Ukraine’s defenders through this project. Razom has delivered over 15,000 radios right into the hands of the defenders and helped evacuate over 1,300 injured soldiers from the frontlines on medical vehicles. Razom has also delivered hundreds of tons of tactical medicine, medical equipment and medicine, thousands of drones, walkie-talkies, radios, generators, portable charging stations and other supplies to Ukrainian defenders, emergency services, hospitals and clinics. To celebrate Ukrainian Independence Day and thank the brave defenders of Ukraine, the Razom Heroes team hosted an impactful meeting with many of the recipients of Razom’s aid from the frontlines. We were so happy to have so many of our partners and friends in one room!

In honor of Ukrainian Independence Day, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy held an award ceremony to recognize the “National Legends of Ukraine”. One such is Dr. Andriy Sirko, the head of the neurosurgery department at Mechnikov Hospital in Dnipro. Aside from being a talented and skilled neurosurgeon, Razom is proud to call Dr. Sirko a partner in our Co-Pilot Project. Just recently, three American neurosurgeons travelled to Ukraine to support Dr. Sirko’s department through the Co-Pilot project. Additionally, Razom shipped 21 pallets of donated neurosurgery supplies to the frontline hospital. We are grateful to Dr. Sirko for his incredible work! We thank all the doctors, surgeons, nurses, medical workers and professionals working to bring Ukrainian victory closer every day!

Faces Of Freedom would not be full without one of our largest programs – Razom Relief and all its amazing partners. In 2022, Razom Relief team provided $5MM in grants to a network of 123 volunteer organizations in Ukraine that help local communities. The impact of this work is vast. Among other aid, these organizations distributed 221,458 food packages to people in need, evacuated 9,640 people, renovated 91 buildings including 11 shelters, and supported 18 shelters that provided 2,375 sleeping places. Surely, the people behind these organizations, some of which are pictured in here, are real Faces of Freedom. We asked a few of them what freedom meant to them. Read their responses and get inspired to continue working together for Ukraine.

Finally, we are excited to share a very special video with you – the video that marked the finale of our Faces Of Freedom campaign. As the Ukrainian community gathered for an Independence Walk (organized by Svitanok) starting at Washington Square Park (NYC) on the Ukrainian Independence Day, we set up a photo booth where we asked the participants what “freedom” meant to them. Their words are felt deep and touch our hearts.

Watch the video here

We thank the filmmaker Polina Buchak and photographer Irynka Hromotska for making this project come to life. You’re an incredible creative duo and we’re so happy to have you as part of our community.

We thank all of you, who are not mentioned here, but feel for Ukraine, support Ukraine, and do a lot to contribute to Ukraine’s freedom. YOU are, too, the faces of freedom. Thank you!

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