At Redwerk, we always help people in need. That’s why we don’t want to stand aside in the current situation when older people are at a high risk zone of dying from COVID-19.
Coronavirus is a disease that has become a real challenge for the whole world. All countries that have faced the virus have taken a good push, and every day they are fighting to save human lives. Ukraine isn’t an exception: the number of cases is growing every day. And the elderly are in the high risk zone.
Why older people are unprotected in Ukraine
Unfortunately, over the years of independence, our country has not developed and implemented a viable mechanism of helping single older people who have no relatives. Besides, the budget of the state does not include enough funds to provide targeted assistance to lonely older people. When the quarantine was announced, it became difficult for them to get to the hospital, buy food, go to the pharmacy for vital medicines and many more. Social services that previously helped them are now limited in their work due to measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
How “the crown” struck elderly and unprotected people
According to the Pension Fund, 11.3 million senior citizens live in Ukraine, which is 1/3 of the country’s total population. Just think about it. About 75% of them get up to 120 USD (3200 UAH) per month. With this money, they need to pay utility bills and make a living somehow. In these conditions:
- there is not enough money for medicines
- public transportation is limited
- no funds for respirators
The Ukrainian government promised them to pay $35 of assistance per person one time, but this money is not enough in today’s economic conditions. Therefore, volunteers bring food packages and necessities.
Many single older people live in nursing homes where they receive medical care. There are 90 in Ukraine, where 50 thousand people live. These organizations are focused on working with elderly patients who have lost the ability to service themselves independently due to illness.
Nursing homes need help from volunteers and charitable foundations to ensure the basic needs:
- medical equipment
How activists help
Activists and volunteers from different regions of the country are trying to help single elderly people who are in trouble. So what are they doing? First off all, they:
- buy groceries
- provide protective masks and antiseptics
- help get medical care
- buy medical equipment for hospitals and clinics
For example, in Kyiv, there is the charitable foundation HappyOld which helps the elderly with special needs. You can either help financially or become an AutoVnuk and use your own car in your spare time to deliver food and medicine because now older people should stay at home at all times.
They launched a good initiative via Rozetka.ua, Ukraine’s top online shopping platform. When people shop there, they have an option to purchase grocery kits that get delivered to the lonely elderly people. Delivery is done for free by the local parcel service Nova Poshta.
In every Ukrainian city, you can find charitable organizations. All the necessary information about projects, plans, and needs is posted on their websites. You can help financially or as a volunteer. Whenever possible, Redwerk chips in and participates in social initiatives.
Who else needs help
People with disabilities
In addition to pensioners, people with disabilities are in a critical situation. They need specialized help more than ever, but social workers don’t come too often. To clean the house, bring food and medicines – this is what is necessary for people with disabilities.
Before quarantine, they received daily hot meals at food outlets organized by volunteers. Now, this is not happening due to the ban on mass gatherings of people. Recently Ukrainska Pravda shot a short documentary about how life of the homeless changed over the recent events. Spolier alert: it didn’t get any easier.
Therefore, their lives are at risk. Everyone can help by providing them with masks and food, or choose to support through a charity foundation. For example, in Kyiv, there is a “Help the homeless” charity foundation.
What Redwerk does
Redwerk regularly takes part in charity events and helps people whenever possible. In quarantine, by now this is how we got involved.
We contacted the Let’s help charity foundation, with which we have already cooperated in the past many times. Given the danger of visiting public places and increased prices for essential goods, the foundation initiated fundraising for the purchase of groceries for those who need help, among which there are those who have nothing to eat. Assistance is provided through regional assistance centers, and this time focus of efforts will be on the Desnyansky district of Kyiv. In this area, there are 900 single older people, three hundred of whom are most in need.
We at Redwerk want to attract the attention of other companies in the IT industry to the problem. No matter where you are: Ukraine or anywhere else, there are people hit by the current situation and there is a way you can help. No matter which initiative you take and how you participate: by donating some money or volunteering in an activity.