A few weeks ago now–February 24th, to be specific–Russia invaded Ukraine.
Naturally, if you have a television or a computer–and under the circumstances, I suspect you have at least one of those–you’ve probably figured that out at this point, but if not (or if you just want a bit more context), this video may prove insightful:
In the wake of the invasion, I joined with a group of fellow nerds for a project called Tech For Ukraine (or, more generically, TechFor), where we’ve banded together to build an assortment of tools to help those affected by Putin’s war.
So far, the group’s work has included:
- A missile alert system to receive notifications about incoming missiles on Telegram, and now on Twitter as well.
- A website to centralize information for Ukrainians, including directions on how refugees can stay safe (we’re coordinating with Translators Without Borders to ensure that our otherwise automated translations are accurate).
- Coordinating with the International Commission on Missing Persons to help with reporting of missing persons.
- Coordinating with UkraineNow to help with their data security.
The process has been a bit surreal–between using Discord to collaborate with a plucky group of volunteers I’ve (mostly) never met, the potential life-or-death stakes of the functionality, and the rapid development pace to get products up and running as soon as possible, it’s felt fairly different from writing enterprise software or personal projects.
So, the important question:
How can you help?
Obviously, there are any number of organizations you can donate to in order to help people in Ukraine. But if you’re looking to offer assistance of a non-financial nature, you can help raise awareness of uasafety.org or the missile alert system, particularly if you know anyone who lives in or has family in Ukraine.
Alternatively, maybe you can help us directly, if you:
- Have any technical skills
- Know any languages spoken in or around Ukraine
- Have experience with marketing
- Are willing to contact companies and services and ask them to let us use their stuff for free (or at a discount) for our projects
- Know someone who is already involved in a Ukrainian relief effort that could use technical help
If any of that applies to you, you can either contact me with questions or a request to join our Discord server, reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, or–for those comfortable with coding–take a look out our GitHub page and see if any of the projects in there are something you’d like to work on.
Don’t be intimidated if you aren’t familiar with Discord. I wasn’t either. It’s basically just a chat room app. ↩︎