A humanitarian mission launched within 24 hours of the conflict breaking out in Ukraine is delivering thousands of boxes of essential items to residents and collecting refugees at the Ukraine/Poland border to bring them to safety in the Czech Republic, Poland and Switzerland.
Freedom Boxes has been created by Stuart Watkins, who also owns the software company Zenoo which is based in Prague. When the conflict began, Stuart, his family, and his team set about to do something to deliver help and provide hope to those affected by the invasion. With Freedom Boxes, the team has created an immediate way to directly help those in need.
The team is made up of people from the UK and across the Central and Eastern European region, including Russia and Ukraine, who have pulled together to prepare, pack, and deliver Freedom Boxes.
The Freedom Boxes are delivered across the border directly to those in need – in bunkers and war zones – with the team’s drivers risking their lives on every trip.
Two of the four people working on the project in Ukraine are Stuart’s team members and they are helping deal with the coordination of getting people to the border and out of the areas under siege.
Stuart Watkins, founder of Freedom Boxes, said: “During the war, it is always the vulnerable who suffer the most. We are dropping off truckloads of Freedom Boxes for distribution to those who need them and bringing Ukrainian refugees to safety.
“As a private company located in Prague and with colleagues in Ukraine, we had the ability to mobilize our assets, people, and connections very quickly to get up and running and begin helping. Larger organizations are less agile and take longer to mobilise, whereas Freedom Boxes provides a way for people to have a much more immediate and direct impact.
“In just two weeks since the war began, we have already delivered over 450 Freedom Boxes and transported over 70 refugees to safety. We will continue to do whatever we can to get essential items into Ukraine while getting as many people as we can out and away from danger.
“As the humanitarian crisis worsens, bordering countries are filling up with refugees. They are having to travel further afar which can add days onto their journeys. The Freedom Buses are helping solve this problem.”
As a tech company, Zenoo has been able to quickly build solutions to utilize its assets for the greater good, with QR codes to help understand what people need and tracking devices to verify receipt of items.
Visit www.freedom-boxes.com to purchase a Freedom Bus ticket for someone fleeing Ukraine or choose from a range of Freedom Boxes tailormade for families, children, and the heroes who have taken up arms to defend their country.
Children who want to let families and children who are victims of war in Ukraine know they are thinking about them are uploading messages of hope at www.messagesofhope.uk – the messages will be delivered directly to Ukrainian families via Freedom Boxes. Children everywhere are encouraged to upload their messages of hope.