The new SOS UA platform from community Tech To The Rescue was launched today, and aims to match refugees from Ukraine with accommodation providers
Presented in a similar style to AirBnB, SOS UA is designed to help refugees find accommodation offered by institutions, companies and private hosts.
Hosts and refugees are matched based on criteria such as number of people seeking accommodation, length of stay, arrival date, and transportation options.
The platform will be available in Polish, English and Ukrainian, and is one of around 20 projects currently focused on Ukraine and averting the looming refugee crisis.
Behind the development of SOS UA were a number of tech companies united by Tech To The Rescue, including ID Advisory, BCG Platinion, and Clevsoft.
These IT organisations collaborated with several NGOs, including:
- Auschwitz Pledge Foundation;
- Dom Ukraiński foundation;
- Noble Gift (Szlachetna Paczka);
- Our Choice Foundation (Fundacja Nasz Wybór);
- Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH);
- Polish Migration Forum Foundation (Fundacja Polskie Forum Migracyjne);
- Stocznia Foundation;
- The Polish Metropolitan Union (Unia Metropolii Polskich);
- The Ukrainian Union in Poland;
- The Union of Polish Cities (Związek Miast Polskich).
Over 200,000 refugees have fled Ukraine due to Russia’s invasion, and an estimated 3-4 million are likely to follow, all of which urgently need temporary housing, medical care, and transportation.
Tech To The Rescue also looks to meet the challenge of delivering legal support, translation services, and job search capabilities.
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“Ukrainian NGOs are at war. Many of them suspended their operations and their employees are taking care of their families,” said Jacek Siadkowski, managing director and founder of Tech To The Rescue.
“Non-profits and grassroots groups from Poland, Moldova, Romania or other countries in the region are acting and supporting refugees. Everyone helps where they can.
“Technology is one of the key tools used to help those on the battlefield and those trying to escape the brutality of war.”
The coordinators of the project, ID Advisory managing partner Jagoda Trela and Clevsoft CEO Alina Bieniek, commented: “The platform is an initiative of people of good will who have decided to join forces and create a digital solution that is completely free.
“This solution will provide real help to those affected by the war in Ukraine. We have worked tirelessly for hours to develop an effective and safe solution for refugees in need.”
About Tech To The Rescue
Dating back to the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Poland in March 2020, Tech To The Rescue brings NGOs and tech companies together to help people in need navigate societal challenges.
Initially, over 140 tech companies decided to join forces, with 75% pledging to donate from 10 to 100 hours’ work weekly to aid non-profit organisations.
From here, a scaled-up foundation was established in July 2020, with organisers realising the impact they could have on the lives of those in need.
Past projects include a web page helping to find volunteers to build wind power plants for villages in Peru (Windaid Institute); an educational platform helping women in preventing cervical cancer (Chava App); and an application supporting children with Autism (Signes de Sens).