The war in Ukraine has forced millions of people to flee their homes and search for safe shelters. More than 3.1 million of the refugees found shelter in Poland, and this is where help is very much needed.
To support refugees and fight the humanitarian crisis, Nordea has organised collection points at Nordea headquarters where employees could deliver what the refugees needed the most. Nordea Poland started the collection at the beginning of March, and shortly afterwards the Nordic countries joined the initiative. All donated items were sent from Nordic headquarters to the headquarters in Warsaw, Poland, from where they were further distributed to local Red Cross offices.
Long-life food, hygiene and cleaning products as well as first aid accessories were among the most donated items. Nearly one tonne of essential items were collected and will support the people in need.
Employees give a helping hand
Adrian Lesiakowski from Nordea’s Workplace Solutions has been coordinating the transport of items donated by colleagues in the Nordics to the Warsaw branch of the Red Cross.
“When fleeing the war, the refugees left everything behind. They came to Poland often with one bag in hand, and sometimes with nothing at all. The need is huge and I’m very happy to see colleagues across Nordea uniting in this support.” says Adrian Lesiakowski and continues:
“I must say I was really surprised and happy to see how many items colleagues had collected to help refugees here in Poland. Now all the items have been sent to the local Red Cross headquarters, where the refugees can pick the items they need.”
At Nordea's offices in Poland, collections of items are still open, and colleagues are happy to help and devote their time if necessary.
Sebastian Wilczewski, who is working in the IT Analysis Credit Risk team, packed his own car to help with transport of the donated items.
“One day my colleague who coordinates transport of donated items to Red Cross in Tricity asked me to help. She couldn’t find a transport for a given day, so I packed donated items in my car and took them to the local Red Cross office,” says Sebastian Wilczewski and continues:
“There I met a woman with a child – they fled from the war and came to Red Cross branch in Gdynia to pick up things they needed. This made me feel good knowing that the donated items reached the right place and found people who needed them the most."
Every penny counts
The need for help is huge and the desire to help is enormous. Apart from getting involved in collecting the necessary things, colleagues from Nordea are also engaged in fundraising activities organised by charitable organisations.
So far, almost EUR 15,000 has been donated through employee donations to Nordea-approved organisations, and our colleagues in Finland have helped raise an additional EUR 50,000 through a voluntary fundraiser.
The collected funds support both refugees who have found safe shelter in our countries and those who remain in the war zone. Some of the collected money has been given to UNICEF, which has aid workers in the affected areas.
“The war in Ukraine threatens the lives of up to 7.5 million children. Nearly 6 million refugees, 90 per cent women and children, have fled to neighbouring countries and beyond. By mid-May we have delivered over 3,000 tonnes of emergency supplies to Ukraine and its neighbours. The supplies include medicines and medical equipment, children's winter clothing, hygiene kits and educational and early childhood supplies,” says Nina Stelander, Manager, Corporate Partnerships, UNICEF Finland, and continues:
“We have established psychosocial support teams and a child protection emergency phone line to help traumatised children and their families. Child-friendly facilities have been set up on refugee routes to neighbouring countries, where families receive help and children travelling alone or separated from their families are identified and protected."
"So far 268,000 children inside Ukraine have benefited from school supplies provided by UNICEF and more than 158,000 children have been engaged in formal and non-formal education. The UNICEF-supported All-Ukrainian Online School platform is enabling students inside and outside Ukraine to continue learning the national curriculum. All this help would not be possible without donations. We thank all for supporting UNICEF’s aid efforts.”