Today, if you’re eligible to vote in the US, we hope you go and do so. Democracy is an act that needs to be exercised regularly and healthy elections are a vital part. At the moment, Ukrainians are acting to defend their democracy, fiercely and effectively, through daily actions, in countless ways. Their work protects democracies everywhere, including of course their own. We hope that work gets recognized and that every time you open a newsletter from Razom you choose to act (we encourage donating to Razom (so many projects profiled below!) and advocating for Ukraine).
Dear Razom Community,
We know you got the drill about voting, so we want to jump right in to the projects that need your support. There are truly so many that are worthy of a spotlight here every week. For example, we’re still procuring, delivering, and distributing winter-preparedness supplies, medical equipment and medicines, and communications devices. We’re still fundraising for local grassroots organizations supporting internally displaced persons in Ukraine. We’re still working to translate more Ukrainian books into English and IT courses into Ukrainian. You can support any one of those projects directly by following the links. But today we’d like to bring to your attention two special projects that need your support most urgently today: 1) our partnership with Pirogov First Volunteer Mobile Hospital (PFVMH), and 2) homegrown Razom project, “Razom with You”.
With start-up funding from a major US foundation, Razom started the “Razom with You” program this July to support those in need of psychological help, including children. The project provides free therapy to people in Ukraine whose lives were disrupted by the war, and aims to create an emotionally safe and easily accessible space for individual and group sessions in areas heavily populated by Internally Displaced Persons. These are people who have been forced out of their homes, who have seen first-hand the horrors of war, unable to reach their loved ones. After the first assessment, we evaluated that 80% of newcomers to the program have never received psychological support in their life.
To date, we’ve opened two support centers and hired eight psychologists who’ve delivered over 27 group sessions and 241 individual sessions. You can learn about our focus areas and approach here. To be able to sustain this important program, we need your support.
Thanks to our work early on in the invasion of distributing medical aid to hospitals in Ukraine and organizing medical missions, we uncovered how quickly doctors had to learn to operate in hospitals in conditions of urban warfare, dealing with a high influx of wounded patients, where diagnoses and treatments have to be made on the move. Through our grant program, we have been supporting the Pirogov First Volunteer Mobile Hospital (PFVMH), and have learned how such mobile clinics can save more lives.
From day one of the full-scale war, PFVMH volunteers have been first on the scene in combat zones across the country (the picture you’ll see below is from Bakaliia), following the advance of the Ukrainian army, risking their lives to treat injured civilians and combatants, and carrying out evacuations. In September alone, PFVMH medical professionals treated almost 1,200 people. Over 800 patients had severe war injuries, and 6 of them didn’t make it.
What they desperately need now is an armored all-terrain vehicle to provide a mobile stabilization point, it’s a “hand-made” ATV called “Kovcheg” which solves for:
- Mobility. It’s critical for the moving frontline, such as during the deoccupation. In these regions, roads are destroyed — regular ambulances cannot quickly move and require frequent repair.
- Warmth. Winter requires a warm stabilization center. While in other territories PFVMH is often based in the hospitals as close to the front line as possible (like in Bakhmut now), this is not an option in recently deoccupied territories. There, hospitals are either destroyed or highly likely to be targeted by the russian army.
- Security. Kovcheg is an armored vehicle and thus protects doctors and wounded people. Because PFVMH medics not only evacuate and provide first medical aid, but also treat wounded on the spot, it is important for them to have a mobile, warm and safe stabilization center, especially during winter counteroffensives.
A Kovcheg costs $250,000 (already a reduced price). Because Kovcheg is in Ukraine, it could be purchased quickly and without any additional charges (like customs fees etc). PFVMH already has everything needed to transform vehicle into the stabilization center.
Razom has been supporting PFVMH from the first months of the war by supplying them with medicine, medical and communications equipment, and $135,000 in grants. We also committed to provide $60,000 towards the Kovcheg already. Help us raise the funds to cover the rest of the costs! Donate on facebook or by clicking the button below that’ll take you to our website.
In the meantime, below are some of our regularly scheduled updates around our in-kind donations work. We continue to work with businesses, major disaster relief and global health orgs, and individuals like yourselves who might work at these places (including hospitals!). Here’s a short report on the last two weeks:
- Thanks to our partners at MedShare, 11 more pallets of donated medical supplies are making their way to Ukrainian hospitals in need, making this their sixth large shipment to Ukraine via Razom since March 2022. Eight months later, MedShare remains committed to helping doctors save lives in Ukraine.
- MedGlobal has been our partner for an equal length of time, partnering with Razom to both donate supplies and organize medical missions to Ukraine. They have supported Ukrainian healthcare facilities with medical supplies, medications, and medical equipment, and educated Ukrainian medical professionals on essential topics including Polytrauma, surgical skills, the use of Butterfly ultrasounds, and chemical preparedness.
- The disruption of the global supply chain since February 24th, 2022 has worsened the disease burden on Ukraine’s healthcare system. Limited transportation and the halting of clinical services have erected substantial barriers to accessing health care and medications in many areas of the country. Partners like CMMB Worldwide are providing life-saving support to Ukrainian hospitals with their generous donations of medications. Thanks to our partnerships with AirLink and Zdorovi, these medications are getting to the people who need it most as quickly as possible.
- Designer Brands Canada has donated 358 pairs of new three season and winter boots (men’s, women’s and children’s) and they’re already on their way to Ukraine. We are grateful to Designer Brands Canada for this generous donation and encourage other companies to do the same. If your company can donate any number of winter coats, hoodies, sweaters, boots or portable heaters for Ukraine, we would be happy to accept them in the USA, Canada, Europe (we’re a global team!). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Ready for some goosebumps?
During the Ukraine Action Summit in Washington D.C. on Sept 18-20, 2022, a few campers from Kobzarska Sich, a bandura and choral camp that takes place every August in Emlenton, Pennsylvania, sang a Ukrainian folk song in the rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building in the Capitol Complex, on their way out of a formal performance at the summit reception.
Want to join one of the teams that was responsible for co-organizing that summit (and so much more!)? Apply to Razom Advocacy team openings outlined below!
We are less than a month away from “Notes from Ukraine” at Carnegie Hall! Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime event to commemorate the centennial celebration of the debut of Mykola Leontovych’s infamous “Carol of the Bells”.
Get your tickets here and tell your friends to do the same!
On top of that, you can donate directly to this project that’s many years in the making here. Your donation will help pay for the travel expenses of the Ukrainian Children’s Choir “Shchedryk” (based in Kyiv), ensuring 55 children have accommodations in New York City.
If you can’t stand side by side with us at our weekly Saturday protests in NYC, then we hope you can join us at some of these events across the country! Put these on your calendar:
In New York:
- On Wednesday, November 9 @ 8PM at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie, artists from Poland, Ukraine, the US and Canada unite on stage to raise funds for orphans and wounded children affected by the war in Ukraine performing classical, folkloric, popular and jazz works from their respective countries. Buy your tickets to United for Peace: Benefit Concert of Polish and Ukrainian Solidarity here.
- On Saturday, November 12 @ 7PM the Coney Island Comedy Festival is proud to present The Funnies NYCUkrainian Fundraiser Stand Up Comedy Show at The Red Doorsbar and grill, located Brooklyn, NY. Tickets are $15, with all sales donated to Razom for Ukraine. The Funnies NYC is a Stand Up Comedy Show showcasing comedians from around the world. The 11/12 show will Headline: Gregory Korostishevsky (The BlackList, Orange Is A New Black, Billions, White Collar), with Features from: Mike Hernendez (New York Silly), Meka Mo (2022 Best of BWICLaffFest), Upa InSpace (CICF), Mick Diflo, and Coney Island’s own Cherryann Trinidad. Purchase tickets here.
- On Sunday, November 13 @ 5:00PM Evgeny Afineevsky’s newest documentary, Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, will have its New York City premier at DOC NYC. Catch a moving, behind the headlines account of the Ukrainian people’s resistance and resilience during the 2022 Russian invasion. With unprecedented access to the events on the ground, it weaves together personal stories of civilians, soldiers, journalists, and international volunteers to give voice to the people whose lives have been turned upside down. Snag your ticket here and use code DOCNYC_PTNR_22 for a discount. Better yet, between now and Wed, Nov 9 at 11:59am, FREEDOM ON FIRE tickets will be only $5 each, no code required.
- On Wednesday, November 16 @ 5-6:30PM the Harriman Institute at Columbia University will host an evening withVolodymyr Rafeyenko, a Ukrainian writer, poet, translator and critic. He initially wrote entirely in Russian, but following the outbreak of Russian aggression in 2014 he switched to Ukrainian. “Mondegreen: Songs about Death and Love” is his first novel in Ukrainian whose English translation was funded by the Razom Translates project.
- On Thursday, November 17 @ 7-11PM the Dungeons & Dragons Club in NYC is hosting a game night with all ticket sale proceeds going to Razom. The evening will include free drinks and appetizers and feature a DJ and interactive art gallery. New D&D players are welcome and highly encouraged! Get your tickets here!
- On Sunday, November 19 @ 7-11PM the Lisovi Chorty Plast Fraternity is celebrating their centenary by hosting a formal costume ball, or Kostyumivka, at the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York City. The elegant affair will be a fundraiser to support humanitarian aid efforts in Ukraine. Secure your tickets here.
- On Sunday, December 4 @ 2PM Notes From Ukraine, a concertdedicated to 100 years of “Shchedryk” and highlighting Ukrainian music and the connections between Ukrainian and American cultures, will take the stage at Carnegie Hall. Secure your tickets here!
In Washinton, D.C.:
- On November 15-17, the Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS) and the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) “Ukrainian Days” advocacy event will be held after the midterm elections. Register here.
- On Wednesday, November 30 @ 5:30-8:30PM, the U.S. – Ukraine Foundation will host the D.C. premier of Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, an incredible documentary film by Evgeny Afinevsky is a sequel to his 2015 documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom. Info on how to secure tickets to come!
- The Oxbow Gallery in Easthampton, MA will be showing a series of new oil paintings by Joanne Holtje, “Lamentations,” from October 27-November 27, 2022. Begun in early 2022, this series served as a way for her to bear witness to the horror of the invasion of Ukraine. The proceeds of sales from the show, plus an additional 20% match from an anonymous donor will be donated to Razom.
- The Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery at Bristol County Community College in Fall River, MA will be showing an exhibition called Eye of the Beholder (Don’t Close Your Eyes): Ukrainian Artists Respond to the War, from November 10-December 22. With over 120 pieces on display, these works evoke the resolve and the anguish of the Ukrainian people and what they are experiencing as events unfold. All art is on sale, with 50% of the sale price going to the artist and 50% to humanitarian organizations like Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation and Come Back Alive.
- On Saturday, November 12 @ 6PM the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago is hosting its annual fundraising gala “Ukraine My Love”. It will feature Ukrainian-American artist Ola Rondiak as the keynote speaker and Serhiy FOMA Fomenko, a Ukrainian fusion folk singer from Mandy. Buy your tickets here.
- On Monday, November 14 @ 5PM UCSD in San Diego will invite Volodymy Rafayenko to speak alongside Marianna Kiyanovska. Volodymyr Rafeyenko is a Ukrainian writer, poet, translator and critic. He initially wrote entirely in Russian, but following the outbreak of Russian aggression in 2014 he switched to Ukrainian. “Mondegreen: Songs about Death and Love” is his first novel in Ukrainian whose English translation was funded by the Razom Translates project.
- Introducing to the world: KOLO, an unparalleled immersive visual experience and theatrical dance show celebrating the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Ukraine! The first of its kind, KOLO is the brainchild of award-winning, Ukrainian-bred competitive ballroom dancers and partners, Iaroslav and Liliia Bieliei, both natives of Kyiv who now call Los Angeles home. The show is launching its North American tour in Florida:
- December 26 @ 3PM and 7PM at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, FL
- December 29 @ 8PM at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, FL
Thank you so much for reading this newsletter, sharing it, generously donating to many of our important projects, and for showing your support of Ukraine. We are immensely grateful.