Aid Ukraine Direct had a very productive 2022 and this is a report of our 2022 activities.
Also see our video at https://youtu.be/mLi--3MX6Rw
During 2022 we:
*raised over £200,000 in financial donations
*established secure routes for delivering aid into Eastern Ukraine to war-torn areas including Kharkiv, Kherson, Bakhmut, Mariupol and Mycolaiv
*delivered over 100 tonnes of aid to Ukraine and 10 tonnes to Poland
*carefully matched a range of refugee families with UK hosts
*targetted aid in response to specific requests from local pastors including:
high value non-perishable food
single and multiple family water purification kits and associated buckets
generators, large battery packs etc for charging of mobile phones, tablets and torches in bunkers
generators for churches operating as warm spaces
specialised medical kits
family hygiene kits, nappies & feminine hygiene products
clothing, blankets and sleeping bags
laptops for teenagers to continue Ukrainian schooling
external toilets and essential cooking and washing facilities for a very basic refugee camp
*provided materials, equipment, experience and labour to build and furnish a seven family refuge in SE Poland for Ukrainians en route to new lives in other countries
*bought two vehicles, one for transhipment between Poland and Western Ukraine, and one for rescuing refugees and distributing food around Kharkiv
Colleagues associated with the project have spent 40 nights working in Poland on the refuge, 33 people have driven to Poland on 13 trips, the largest involving 10 vehicles, and four of us have driven far into Ukraine.
In mid Autumn we reviewed our strategy. When asking senior government and military voices in the UK and Ukraine what we as a small organisation could do at this moment to impact the outcome of the war we were told:
1) morale boost - send food parcels. It's not the 12 basic items of food, see below, they contain but the message their distribution provides that a caring person in the UK, one of Ukraine's most important allies, packed this parcel.
2) transport – provide older pickups or landrovers for med-evac and supply purposes on the front line.
We designed the contents of our Family Food Boxes along with pastors and wives in Ukraine. Each box is the same: 6 bottle supermarket wine box size available for free with precisely specified weight and ‘value’ type contents, sealed with parcel tape. Purchase price £13, weight 6.7kg, transportation cost £6. These are easily liftable, storable, packable into vehicles or onto pallets.
We have a trans-shipment church in a discrete village in SE Poland near the border who then arrange onward transportation.
In November and December 2022 we filled, packed and shipped over 500 of these boxes. That's a small message of concrete hope to 500 families centred around our partner agency in Kremenchug in central SE Ukraine.
So far we have donated and delivered one pickup and one Landrover Freelander both filled with food boxes.
As well as the constant challenge to provide more food boxes, the needs are increasing not decreasing as the Ukrainian infrastructure is pounded by the Russians. We are now seeking to find, check, buy, insure and deliver to Poland more pickups and landrovers to hand over at the border to a trusted pastor.
So as the new year comes in we are ready to start again preparing food boxes and finding vehicles. We are always looking for volunteer helpers to purchase foodstuffs and pack boxes, for drivers and of course for donors.