Beyond.pl and Friends open a house for mothers with children fleeing the war in Ukraine

Nearly 50 people from Ukraine, mainly mothers with children, have found shelter in the “Ukrainian House”, that opened in Poznan, Poland in July of this year. The initiative to establish the housing accommodation was led by Beyond.pl, a provider of green and secure data center and cloud services in the Central European region and was made possible thanks to the financial and physical support from over 25 companies and individuals, and the involvement of multiple volunteers. Among others, residents of the commissioned shelter receive free access to professional assistance from a psychologist, support in their search for a job, care required for their children, and most importantly a roof over their heads.

The “Ukrainian House” was commissioned only 120 days after the outbreak of the war in the Ukraine in an apartment building on St. Czeslaw Street in Poznan Poland. The 400m2 facility has nine fully equipped rooms with beds which can accommodate up to 50 people, as well as bathrooms, two kitchens, a dining room, a common room with computers available to be used for study and work, and a playroom for children. The center offers families free shelter for 2-3 months and allows to adapt to life away from home, learn the Polish language, find a job, and most importantly define and prepare for the next chapter in their lives, whatever it may be, whether it is permanent life in Poznan, a further journey abroad, or the planning for the return back home to Ukraine. The project will be operated in this formula for at least a year.

A few months ago, Poles mobilized and responded brilliantly, rushing to help the Ukrainians. Today, when the war has become more of an everyday reality, the energy resulting from the initial spark has dropped off a bit, and available financial firepower for aid has been virtually exhausted, the assurance of continuous support for people from the Ukraine becomes even more important,” emphasizes Michał Grzybkowski, Founder and Executive VP of Technology of Beyond.pl, and person who personally led and overseen the project.

Extensive help

The building, which to date had been used for office purposes, required functional changes to allow for the adaptation to cater for the housing requirements of mothers with children. At the end of March 2022, Beyond.pl, as the project coordinator, commenced working on the general renovation and equipped the apartments with furniture and equipment.

“We wanted the space we had made available to provide its residents a sense of security, to recreate conditions that would reflect those of a home at least, and to provide the support necessary to aid in the inhabitants’ assimilation in the new reality,” adds Michał Grzybkowski 

The commissioning of the “Ukrainian House” could not have been possible without the support of mainly Poznan-based companies and donors who contributed financial resources and physical in-kind donations, among others: construction materials, bathroom fittings, kitchen furniture, lounge furniture, internet connectivity, household appliances, and new bedclothes. Thanks to the help of these companies, private individuals, public entities, and volunteers, the shelter is capable of providing the scope of support it provides today. Among others, companies and institutions contributing to the initiative are: Schneider Electric Poland, Strabag, Tpay, Netguru, Nenya Capital, Legrand Polska, S4DC, BIMs Plus, Ari10, Legimi S.A, GamerHash, KR Grupa Medialna, SKZ Sp. z o.o., Golden Submarine, Budchem, EASST architects, Projekt Malecha Tomasz, Adam Mickiewicz University, Filipiak-Babicz Law Firm, and Grzybkowski-Guzek Law Firm.

“I am very grateful to the companies and individuals whose help was indispensable to make the launch of the ‘Ukrainian House’ possible. Our partners surprised us both with the form of their aid and the intensity of their commitment. Their financial and material support should be noted and appreciated, as should the assistance of multiple volunteers and the foundation that has been managing the center at every stage of this project,adds Michał Grzybkowski from Beyond.pl.

Business joins forces with NGOs

After the opening, the center’s management was handed over to a specialized non-governmental organization. The Poznan-based “Malymi Oczami” Foundation was invited to operate and manage the project based on their experience in running day-care centers, operating care and educational centers, and providing care to children who are the primary residents of the “Ukrainian House”. The NGO was also involved in coordinating activities necessary to launch the center and define the means of operating and managing it so that the facility’s commissioning could be quick and efficient.

From the very beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, with their attitude, Poles showed that they were not indifferent and wanted to help,” says Dagmara Bydałek, President of the “With Little Eyes” Foundation. “Now, it is important to ensure that the pace of providing assistance does not fade away. We must remember that more and more people affected by the war need a safe place to stay and time to adapt to the new situation. We are delighted that we can help them in this process with the support of Beyond.pl.”

The project is open to further assistance. Financial support is specifically needed to help fund the center’s day-to-day operations and for the provision of additional care to the refugees staying there. Funds can be transferred to the Foundation’s  “Malymi Oczami” bank account with the annotation “Donation for statutory goals — Ukrainian House” (PL34 1140 2004 0000 3202 8234 5604), or via the fundraiser initiated at this link https://pomagam.pl/domukrainie.

 

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