A well-known proverb says that necessity is the mother of invention. It suggests, and history confirms, that in times of crisis, people are capable of developing profound solutions – sometimes with barely any resources at all.
We’re seeing this proverb come to life in Ukraine right now.
Local tech workers are using their skills to develop platforms that collect humanitarian donations, warn about air raids, and help people find shelter and supplies. Life-saving solutions borne out of immediate need.
We’re so inspired by their tenacity and innovation in the face of war. And it’s prompted us to do something about it.
We believe that the global tech community can help
Our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine as they grapple with the invasion of their country right now.
Girls in Tech believes this to be an unacceptable breach of human rights – a tragedy that displays how far we have to go to truly achieve equality and respect for all people at a global level.
Try to fathom the scale of the situation –
*We acknowledge that the situation on ground is changing rapidly, so these numbers may have changed by the time you’re reading this*
- An estimated 11 million people have fled Ukraine for neighboring countries so far, according to a recent BBC article.
- A further 6.5 million are currently displaced within Ukraine and in need of humanitarian assistance.
- The country is facing a serious healthcare crisis. According to the World Health Organization, 31 attacks on healthcare have been documented so far, described as “an act of unconscionable cruelty”.
We feel that there’s an important role the global tech community can, and should, play in supporting Ukrainian refugees. We want to see a large-scale response, whereby our members develop ways for refugees to meet their basic daily needs, find work and do their jobs within the war zone, manage ongoing fear and uncertainty, and make actionable impact and change within their communities.
We want to see refugees not only survive, but thrive.
Will you join the cause?
So what can we practically do?
Seeing the devastation this is having on Ukrainians may leave you feeling helpless and unsure of what to do. But at Girls in Tech, we believe that all people – irrespective of their background, wealth, race, gender or circumstances – can make a meaningful impact.
We’re urging our members to participate in an upcoming Hackathon, sponsored by McKinsey and Nike, to develop creative tech to support Ukraine.
Here are some examples of the types of solutions you could design to help people in Ukraine on the ground:
- Communication channels: Develop technology that connects Ukrainians to friends and family, journalists and media, or military units.
- Healthcare solutions: Design ways for people to access TeleHealth services with language translation options.
- SOS apps: Help civilians send out an SOS for emergency services or nearby help.
- Resource identification platforms: Develop technology that helps families stuck in the crisis find and share resources like food, water, shelter and medical supplies.
- Donation methods: Create systems that connect international donations to real-world humanitarian aid.
These are just a few ideas, but your creative mind might identify other ways to meet the needs of the Ukrainian people and bring some hope to the situation.
People in the global tech community are already tackling issues and solving problems – and we invite you to join the cause too.
How tech is already influencing the war
Local tech companies are adapting on demand
The most inspiring examples of how tech is helping the people of Ukraine are coming out of the local tech scene in Ukraine itself.
- Railsware, Ukraine-based IT consultancy and software firm, used social media to spread news about the invasion amongst everyday Russians, in an effort to undermine Russian government propaganda.
- MacPaw, Kyiv-based Mac software company, placed resources about the war inside its products. Its team also developed Spybuster, software that detects apps of Russian or Belorussian origin running in customers’ backgrounds, and Together App – a tool to help track dispersed team members.
- SoftServe, a Ukrainian-American outsourcing company, created a living document to monitor queues at the border of neighboring countries and Ukraine.
- Lviv IT Cluster, a technology community that unites nearly 200 companies in Ukraine, has adapted into a volunteer organization, helping people who’ve fled bombed cities find shelter and supplies.
- Adwisely, a Ukraine-based tech startup, made a website showing people how to donate to the Ukrainian army and access trustworthy news about the war.
- Ajax Systems, a Ukrainian security company, has published a list of needed medical supplies, and is developing an app to notify citizens about air raids.
How YOU can help
Donate if you can
Financial aid is always useful in crises like this. Here are some non-profit organizations you might consider supporting if you’re able to:
- CARE – An international humanitarian group working to provide food, water and other items to families fleeing violence in Ukraine. You can donate here.
- Convoy of Hope – The disaster relief group is partnering with a local Polish organization to provide meals to refugees entering Poland.
- CORE – An emergency response nonprofit on the ground in Poland, distributing hygiene kits and thermal blankets as well as emergency cash assistance to help families resettle.
- The Ukrainian Red Cross – Currently providing bedding, food, mental health support, first aid lessons and other direct assistance to Ukrainians.
- Save the children – This organization assists young people internationally. They’re currently helping refugees who are in Romania.
Advocate for human rights, always
This probably goes without saying, but another way everyone can support the Ukrainian cause is to spread awareness. This includes striving for equality, inclusivity, and human rights in all areas of life.
Veronica Irwin, reporter at Protocol, says, “There may not be an app for peacemaking, but there’s certainly an appetite for it.”
Hack solutions with us
Whether you’re a web developer, a designer, a product developer, an engineer, a strategist or anyone with ideas – you’ve got skills and ideas that can help this crisis.
Will you join us in designing real, impactful solutions?
Sign up to take part in the Girls in Tech Hackathon for Ukraine.