• OPERATION SAFE DROP

    Support Families in Ukraine in need of Urgent Assistance

  • The Cause

    MAD Foundation’s Operation SafeDrop has been working on the ground in Poland and Ukraine since early March to assist and support Ukrainian families fleeing the conflict Our humanitarian staff and volunteers help vulnerable individuals through their entire path to safety. MAD’s extraction team brings aid to needed locations in the East for those remaining in place and carries out extractions from those locations for women, children, and other vulnerable individuals seeking safety further west. Our skilled volunteer translators have supported refugees through the often difficult transition through the refugee centers in Poland and navigating the transition to stable accommodation.

    The Operation

    The journey many Ukrainians are forced to make does not begin when they cross the border. They may be coming from prolonged times of distress, including sleeping underground, scarce food for days to weeks, and transport across Ukraine with tired or sick children. Many have only the few belongings and funds they could gather and bring at short notice while under a time of great stress. We began Operation SafeDrop initially to provide safe, efficient, and free "last mile" transportation in Poland for those fleeing the conflict but quickly expanded due to those needs within Ukraine carrying out extractions and evacuations. At the same time, we established a constant presence in Przemyśl, Poland, at the humanitarian center and other near-border locations to not only receive those we evacuate, but also to provide social services and translators to all refugees coming through the Centre. In total, MAD volunteers have spent over 6,500 hours translating and supporting families at the Przemyśl Centre alone. The families we assist frequently display signs of trauma and require an empathetic, caring, and knowledgeable staff as they make decisions on how and where to find temporary settlement—worrying about being able to work in a foreign country, feed their children, and keep their family safe.
     
    In June, Operation SafeDrop established a full-time office and headquarters in Lviv. There, our team provides advice, visa assistance, and information for those contacting us online or walking into our office for support, with a specific focus on support reaching the UK. We have increased our aid drop and evacuation capability from our Lviv base, working with other NGOs on the ground to increase aid supply and social support for families in need. As of July, 2022, our vehicles and drivers have facilitated or carried out over 60 van and bus aid drops to trusted locations and MAD drivers have evacuated or transported at least 2,100 individuals escaping the conflict.
     
    Our mission is currently covering 5 key objectives to provide support and assistance as necessary to the following:
     
    1. Extract vulnerable groups and individuals from frontline and unsafe locations within Ukraine to our base in Lviv and across the border to Poland with our specialist extraction teams.
     
    2. Provide social service support and translation to Ukrainians who are transitioning through the Polish border.
     
    3. Source and deliver aid to locations across Ukraine, including by working with trusted partners to verify and prioritize types of aid and delivery locations.
     
    4. Assist Ukrainians applying for a visa under the UK Homes for Ukraine Scheme by providing translation and host matching services, casework and provision of services and accommodation during waiting periods, local transportation services, and transit to the UK.
     
    5. As needed, support and assist families to return to their homes in Ukraine.
     
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