Update from Ukraine, April 2023

Neighbors helping neighbors is Atma’s mission – launching first in Indonesia, then in Puerto Rico, and, as of spring 2022, in Ukraine.

Thanks to generous donors, when Atma learned that humanitarian aid was slow to deploy in Ukraine, we jumped in to boost the power of people helping people. Below is a roundup of news and stories of Ukrainians helping one another through the award-winning AtmaGo mobile app and platform.

The goal is, as always, as we noted in a previous blog post: to empower the people most affected by the situation so they can rebuild and provide mutual support – helping with childcare, education, jobs and services.

Read on:

  1. How resources on AtmaGo connected a displaced person with a vital organization that provides aid – and for which she now volunteers
  2. A new partnership: Atma and a Berlin-based Ukrainian with an innovative fundraising campaign
  3. Other popular topics on AtmaGo: learning languages and more


1) Connecting people with resources and resources with people

When Russia invaded Ukraine, many people were forced to flee their homes and seek refuge elsewhere. Lilia, a temporarily displaced person who moved to Vinnytsia, southwest of the capital city of Kyiv, was one of them. She and her family struggled to make ends meet and find the resources they needed to survive.

One day, while browsing through social media, Lilia came across an AtmaGo post about a charitable foundation called SOTA. The post explained that SOTA was dedicated to helping people affected by the conflict by providing them with food, medical supplies, and other necessities. Intrigued, Lilia clicked on the link and began reading more about the organization. Impressed by the work that they were doing, she reached out via email.

Within a few days, she received a response. The organization arranged for her and her family to receive food and medical supplies, which Lilia said was a huge relief. As weeks turned into months, Lilia stayed in touch with SOTA and received assistance from them as needed. Then she began to volunteer with the organization, helping to distribute aid to other displaced persons in her area. As Lilia says, “It is very nice to make your own contribution, even a small one, to improve people’s lives.”

2) A new partnership: Atma Connect & Ilona’s Ukraine Daily

Recently, Atma learned about an initiative by a Ukrainian college student, Ilona Voronina (see image), to identify people in need and mobilize her Instagram friends to respond with financial donations. For months, Ilona has highlighted a person in need every day and tapped her own circle of acquaintances for help, which has grown to 42,000 people. In one month, she raised $30,000 for recipients, whose needs she personally verified. Now Atma is partnering with Ilona to help her expand the reach of her people-helping-people project, Ukraine Daily Donate.

Atma will use our social media network, AtmaGo, to boost the visibility of humanitarian requests, and Atma will use our metrics tools to capture key performance indicators, such as number of people helped, demographics regarding recipients, amount of funding raised, and the nature of needs. Typical requests are for warm clothes, paraffin for candles, batteries, simple medical supplies, fabric, ingredients for making energy bars, items for displaced children, and vehicles to transport the wounded.

Ilona has recruited young Ukrainian volunteers who work together in Ukraine, Europe, and the U.S. to identify people in need in Ukraine, verify the legitimacy of their requests for help, and fundraise for them via social media. Atma’s Ukrainian team will join hands with the Ukraine Daily Donate volunteers to expand the impact.

Ilona is currently living in Berlin, a war refugee. She says it hurt her to not be able to help Ukrainians directly, so this fundraising has become her way to support her country. Her motto is “Donating every day is a habit of every conscious Ukrainian.” With Atma’s help, more Ukrainians will find the help they need.

3) Hot topics on the AtmaGo app

Wherever people use AtmaGo, they share topics of interest and provide resources. One very popular post in Ukraine (more than 3.6K views, see image): Atma provided information on how Ukrainians can use various services to learn a foreign language for free.

Other popular topics: News about Ukraine offering state support to those opening their homes to displaced citizens. Holidays including Christmas. Charity events for children.

On the subject of topics, please know that our dynamic team members Nastya and Anna helped us to create user policies that reflect the Ukrainian government’s rules about the kind of information and images that can, and cannot, be posted during the conflict.

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