Razom is multifaceted support for Ukraine: to stop the shelling (Advocacy), to stop the bleeding (delivering Tactical Medicine), to keep people alive (at Hospitals), to keep Ukrainians connected (with radios, generators), to connect the world to Ukraine (with you). We are committed to victory.
Dear Razom community,
This is our first newsletter of the year and it’s been too long since the last, so you will see a lot of updates from us in this edition. After our year-end holiday fundraising drive (we raised over $8MM, you are all absolutely incredible), the Razom team decided to take stock of its work and impact in 2022 to effectively plan for 2023 (while still delivering on our programs). To do this required comprehending the sheer scale and length of this war, which at times feels like a herculean effort. So does thinking it will go on for another day, and another.
In the span of nearly one year, Ukrainian Armed Forces, perhaps the most diverse army in the world today (made up of professionals, musicians, ballet dancers, olympic athletes, history teachers, journalists, volunteers, sons & daughters and moms & dads… did you know that 1 in 6 people in the Ukrainian army are women?) have defended Ukraine and freedom against an imperialistic, genocidal power with massive consequences. Razom has supported these First Responders and Defenders from the start, and will continue to do so.
In the span of nearly an entire year, Ukraine’s healthcare system has withstood extreme pressure and strain that has risked and scarred the lives of countless individuals across the country as this war is not only impacted on the battlefield, but in the systematic bombing of hospitals, schools, malls, theaters, apartment buildings, homes, key water and energy infrastructure, and more. Razom has supported doctors and hospitals in the hottest regions across Ukraine from the start, and will continue to do so.
In the span of nearly an entire year, there’s been a renaissance of NGOs in Ukraine that have stepped up in incredible ways (much like during the Maidan of 2013-2014 when Razom itself was born) supporting a vibrant civil society. Razom has supported these grassroots organizations in Ukraine from the start, and will continue to do so.
All of these targeted efforts on their own, save lives, and when put all together, move Ukraine forward in winning this illegal war. Ukrainians have resisted and beat back this horror for 356 days now, but need your continued support today as ever before. Every time you donate, forward this to a friend, repost and tweet, call your representatives, rally, engage with the things that Ukrainians create – you become a part of the resistance and the victory.
In just the first half of February, Razom teams delivered a total of 132 orders to First Responders and Defenders, most of them in the east of Ukraine. We also transferred 4500 IFAKs to a major military unit so that they can be deployed quickly in case of an escalated assault on the one year anniversary of the full-scale invasion. In the months of December, January, and part of February, Razom fulfilled 641 orders (out of 745 which also went to medical facilities and NGOs) of tactical medicine and communications equipment to First Responders and Defenders. We constantly monitor requests so we can respond quickly with the supplies needed most that save lives.
Our team in Ukraine also launched an innovative collaboration to provide meals-ready-to-eat (MRE) that are made in Ukraine. We’ll share more in our next newsletter issue, but you can preview it here Проект «Космічний харч» – Razom (razomforukraine.org).
Each order makes it to the end user thanks to the effort of many hands. We are streamlining our processes so we can keep getting more efficient. Our Razom office in Lviv today was busy with people processing paperwork on deliveries that have gone out this week and preparing the next shipments.
Our support for the Ukrainian healthcare system is formalized under the project Razom Health, whose activities have evolved into a diverse set of programs and strategic partnerships designed to not only support the system during wartime, but strengthen medical care in Ukraine for the future in line with Razom’s mission. Here is a spotlight of some of our work over the past two months in gathering medical supplies, planning out the logistics of their delivery, and coordinating medical missions:
- With grants from Americares and others, Razom Health was able to cover the costs of procuring, delivering, and installing backup hospital grade power generators and winterization equipment. So far three out of eleven generators have been installed (which includes training Ukrainian medical workers to use the equipment) and three oil heaters delivered in the Dnipropetrovsk region of eastern Ukraine.
- Thanks to a grant and your generous donations, Razom Health was able to procure, set up, and distribute (with some still in transit to our warehouse in Ukraine) over 120 portable Butterfly ultrasounds so that doctors and paramedics on the front lines of the war can diagnose and treat patients faster, more accurately, and in a non-invasive way in wartime conditions.
- In partnership with our friends and distribution partners Zdorovi in Ukraine, an anesthesia machine from Partners for World Health was delivered to a hospital in Dnipro.
- In the aftermath of traumatic injuries caused by the war, many Ukrainian civilians are in need of durable medical equipment like wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches. Razom’s team of drivers continue to deliver these items (donated as a three-part installment from the Afya Foundation) to hospitals, rehab facilities, and nursing homes throughout Ukraine. In December, they made it to the Veterans Hospital in Kropyvnytskyi and Mechnikov Hospital in Dnipro.
- In partnership with Marsh Zhinok in Ukraine, who distributes prenatal vitamins as part of baby boxes for pregnant women, those who have just given birth, as well as women who are breastfeeding, we’ve been able to deliver 6 pallets of prenatal vitamins that will reach women in Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, and Kherson regions.
- Over the holidays and well into the new year, our team has been distributing brand new scrubs from FIGS to boost the spirits of overburdened Ukrainian healthcare workers across the country.
Our Razom Grants project aims to support civil society at the most local levels across Ukraine. Non-governmental organizations, of which there are over 120 now that have received grants, address hyper local problems in regions that suffer most as a result of the war. During this winter season, our focus has been on electricity (which can be connectivity for school children, or warmth for the displaced and people in need) and basic humanitarian aid to regions in Ukraine that are experiencing the most extreme violence and destruction, i.e. closest to the front.
As of today, our team of drivers in partnership with our grantees have distributed 87 generators and 46 charging stations across Ukraine. They are largely for shelters, “Resilience Points,” humanitarian aid hubs, and institutions like PEN Ukraine International and Ukrainian Institute Kyiv. For example with Volonterska UA, we enabled them to deliver 14 generators as part of their goal to distribute them to every de-occupied village in the Kharkiv region where there is still no electricity. They were installed in village councils, administrative premises, medical stations, lyceums, cultural centers, hospitals, and more.
To get a sense of what life is like for civilians in de-occupied territories or towns that are on the front lines, one needs look no further than Bakhmut in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine [read our long-form blog post here]. Check out video footage from our grantees at Ukrainian Charity Alliance delivering aid there. One woman shares, “Along with the packages of humanitarian aid that you all deliver, you’re also delivering faith in that we are one Ukraine and that we are not forgotten.”
As we look ahead to the challenges in front of us, Razom has taken steps to systematize and scale our organization in order to better serve our mission, our projects, our donors, and our engagement with volunteers. For eight years Razom was a fully volunteer-run organization. In 2022, we started building a volunteer-driven organization with strong institutional support. Today this means transforming our Board into a governance board, compensating our CEO, and building out a full-time and part-time staff to support our programs sustainably. This month, we are also beginning our first-ever independent financial audit and continue to improve our systems and processes.
As we approach the one year mark of the full-scale invasion and of the intense sprint of our work together, we invite you to join people around the world to rally in support of Ukraine on Saturday, February 25th. We’re keeping a running list of rallies here, and if you’d like to get your city, town, or village added to it, please reply to this email. It’s vital to continue putting pressure on our governments and public to not be bystanders to the atrocity in Ukraine, to “defend the international legal order and peace project of the EU, to end an era of empire and weaken the prestige of tyrants around the world, and remind each other that democracy is the better system.” The list is a lot longer than that, and you can learn more here thanks to Timothy Snyder, a historian who specializes in the modern history of Central and Eastern Europe.
If you can make it to D.C. join us there, but it’s just as important to show up in your local communities too. We’re tracking those rallies here: https://www.razomforukraine.org/marking-365-days-of-resilience/
To stay up to date on Razom Advocacy’s work, including information on every single campaign we’re running, register to be an advocate here. Currently we’re prioritizing continuous military and economic support for Ukraine, and the designation of Wagner as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Join our advocates network to get the latest news from our Advocacy Team here: https://www.votervoice.net/RAZOMFORUKRAINE/Register
There’s power in understanding key policy towards Ukraine to stay active and engaged with a war that’s impacted so many of us.
Thank you so much for reading this newsletter and hopefully passing it on, calling your representatives, joining us at events and rallies, and generously donating to our projects, and for showing your support for Ukraine. Stay razom (together).
P.S. – The 2022 tax receipts have now been sent out either by email or mail for donations totalling over $250 (please check your mailbox for the subject “Thank you for donating to Razom!”). If you have not received it, we might not have had your email or address, so please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Tax Receipt” in the subject line and include your name and method of your donation.