Words by Smiley Team
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February – and everyday life for Ukrainians was thrown into chaos. Even though some of the fighting has receded, medical supplies and medical support became scarce overnight.
International support has been consistent and strong. The US government has dedicated over $54 billion in aid to Ukraine, companies like 26 Degree Brewing Company in Pompano, Florida are hosting fundraising events, and organizations are donating to causes throughout Ukraine. One such organization, the international Techiia Foundation NGO, found its beginnings in Ukraine.
The foundation is the charitable arm art of the overarching Techiia Holding. It was founded in 2019 to provide charitable aid to people in Ukraine, something that has evolved to support those affected by the war. WePlay Esports Arena L.A. is owned by the WePlay Holding esports group, part of Techiia Holding.
“We helped a lot with this in this field before," Olga Bulygina-Lazebnikova, the charity networking officer for the Techiia Foundation, tells Smiley News. "So when this terrible war started, it was obvious the foundation had to help.”
The foundation's previous work in Ukraine focused on providing support to hospitals and rehabilitation centers. It mainly focused on saving lives, by providing the best hospital equipment upgrade, with a focus on pediatric oncology, says Olga.
"We also funded the Eva Inclusion and Correction Center which treats children with disabilities and post-cancer surgery," she adds.
"And we also focused on empowering children to get quality education by supporting STEM education projects."
When the war broke out, the foundation wanted to continue – and increase – its support to Ukrainians.
"We purchased humanitarian aid – worth over $21 million as of June 23 – including armored protective equipment, optics, communication equipment, UAVs," says Olga.
They also provided food to those in need. "When some areas of the Kyiv region were temporarily occupied, we financed hot meals for refugees, hospital patients, and the defenders of Kyiv," she says. "And we also launched a series of video addresses by well-known people in the United States and around the world calling to support Ukraine (#StandwithUkraine initiative).
"These statements are recorded at the WePlay Esports Arena L.A."
The Techiia Foundation NGO, like most companies of the Techiia Holding, originated in Ukraine, says Olga. "Almost 90% of our team members and their families were born and raised there," she says. "It’s our home and we never had any doubts as to whether we should do something during the war.
"It was an essential, logical, and expected step everyone would have done if they were in our shoes. Even though they are now doing their jobs from all over the world, our people are more united than ever. I hope we can be a good example for others who stand for their freedom, rights, and independence."
SUPPORT: You can check out the Techiia Foundation to look into the work they’re doing in Ukraine.
GO BEYOND: If you want other ways to support Ukraine you can look for options here.