When we started on the 4th of March of this year, we decided that each week until the end of the year we will send one 22-ton truck with humanitarian aid to Eastern Ukraine. This goals would add up to 43 trucks till the end of this year. One the one hand this seemed a near impossible target. On the other hand, we imagined that we would be quite pleased with ourselves if we would reach that target, and that the impact of reaching our target would be rather meaningful. We saw ourselves, popping the champagne on the 31st of December, and congratulating eachother on a project well done. We also expected that with the same champagne we would celebrate peace.
Now, ten months later, upon loading truck number 50, we hardly noticed that we surpassed our initial target of 43 trucks, as we were solely focused at the next 5 truckloads that needed to be arranged.
We also hardly noticed that we started suporting 3 Ukrainian hospitals, 14 Ukrainian women-owned businesses, 6 local NGOs. We had a succesful Cozy Christmas Gift Basket Action thanks to Sylvia van den Brink and Marius Dekker, and our Warm Christmas for Ukraine fundraiser became a success thanks to the amazing teams of Glasnost International, Ace, and LOYR, and has already allowed us to purchase over a 1000 stoves for Ukrainian families.
Together with Bijenbaas we are in the process of setting up the LifeLine Fair Farm Cooperative to provide small Ukrainian farmers with fairly priced cooperative purchasing and with cooperative export opportunities.
Marinus Wisselink is helping to set up LifeLine Energy Solutions that will soon start to lend generators to Ukrainian non for profits and socially rent generators to small Ukrainian businesses.
With WeCookIT, Arnoud van der Pol, and Rudolf Vriens we are busy creating LifeLine Tech. LifeLine Tech will create dignified livelihoods for Ukrainian veterans, family members of veterans, and family members of fallen military personnel by helping them to access the Western European IT sector job market from their home base in Ukraine. LifeLine Tech does this by providing IT-oriented training and assisting in the placement of these people at Western European IT companies.
With Iryna Tytarchuk and Women IN, and wwwest.solutions, LifeLine is creating a webplatform that will match Ukrainian women- and family-owned businesses with Dutch entrepreneurs and businesses.
If LifeLine Ukraine.org were a company, I would have been happy and proud with these results, and excited by these prospects. But as we are doing this to try and alleviate the suffering of innocent people in war torn Ukraine, I don’t feel any joy or pride.
If anything, then I feel a dark and somber, but unshakable and powerful determination. A determination that this is the war where our generation can and has to make THE (not “a”) diffence.
When good people do something, evil will not triumph!