On February 24, the lives of people in Ukraine changed. The top priority of Sigma Software and IdeaSoft from that day on was safety of our people. In line with our Business Continuity Plan, we began evacuation of our people and their families to the west of Ukraine and abroad.
First, the BCP team included about 20 people. They arranged evacuation buses and accommodation for people in transit. In just several days, the team organized overnight stay for 800 colleagues and their pets – 120 cats, dogs, hamsters, and other animals. When the information spread, many requests for help started coming from outside Sigma Software circle. We helped everyone we could. Over 15 hundred people not related to Sigma Software or IdeaSoft were evacuated to safer places from Kharkiv and Kyiv.
However, many people could not or didn’t want to evacuate, but they still needed support with humanitarian and safety needs. In a struggle to meet as many requests as possible, our Business Continuity Plan turned into something bigger, the team of helpers grew to 40 people due to volunteers from our specialists and their family members. Some of our specialists deliver food and medicine in Kharkiv.
To structure and unite all these initiatives, we decided to use a charity fund that we created earlier for other purposes. The top tasks defined for the fund were to provide targeted help for transportation, accommodation, medicine, food, and protection means with a focus on Kharkiv and Poltava regions. In total, the fund has spent 321,42 thousand US dollars by now. Of this amount, 251 thousand US dollars was spent for evacuation by buses, 21.76 thousand for optics, 18,85 thousand for transportation by cars, 15.58 thousand for food and medicine, 10.52 thousand for gasoline.
We joined efforts with a building design company GenPro that received a Red Cross license to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Kharkiv and partnered with several retail and logistics giants, including Metro Cash & Carry, Epicentr K, Nova Poshta. Our task now is to create a centralized request management system to ensure efficient processing of help requests, proper logistics and storage.
The fund coordinators, Ekaterina Gribanova, Head of Finance at Sigma Software, and Peter Kolomiets, CBDO at IdeaSoft, validate incoming requests and manage the fund activities. Requests for help are coming through local volunteer teams and social network channels. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us via our official Facebook page. Those willing to donate to the fund can do it here.
In terms of finance, the fund is supported by Sigma Software and IdeaSoft as well as our past and current clients who show the highest possible level of sympathy and compassion with real deeds. Together with this, other funds, looking for transparent and targeted initiatives, also transfer costs to our charity fund.
We consider it important to create a network of volunteer organizations and support each other when needed. Thus, Sigma Software and IdeaSoft fund ‘Venice’ volunteer hub in Mukachevo that provides free food and accommodation to forced migrants. Some of our colleagues and members of their families also establish volunteer centers in Western Ukraine and run volunteer initiatives that we would be glad to support as well.
Our plans include strengthening cooperation with Red Cross as they are going to introduce a centralized delivery and logistics process of targeted deliveries. Also, we are open to cooperation with other IT companies willing to join our humanitarian aid initiatives as volunteers or as donators.
“There can be the time when your country gives you support and opportunities, and now it is the time when we need to give back to our country. We are eager to provide our support in this situation and want to live in the modern and new Ukraine”, says Andrey Lazorenko, CEO at IdeaSoft.
“Every war has several fronts – military, information, volunteer, and economic. As a responsible business, we contribute to our economy by continuing our operation. Today the IT industry is one of those that can and should work. And so we do, earning money for our country, for our families, for donations.” adds Valery Krasovsky, CEO at Sigma Software.