The homeland of our colleague and friend Alex is being bombed. We want to help. Perhaps you want to help too, so we're sharing 5 places – handpicked by Alex – for you to donate to.
As a remote company, we employ people from around the globe. It just so happens that Alex, our lead designer, lives in Ukraine. He woke up to explosions in his city of Dnipro last Thursday and he has been sharing updates with us when he could. This has given our team front-row seats to his life under these unimaginable circumstances, and it has been absolutely devastating for all of us.
What we can do
Short of picking up rifles ourselves, we figure the best way we can help is by allocating resources and attempting to influence people. With that in mind, we will:
- Donate €10,000 to help Ukraine. Alex proposed a selection of funds that we'll list below. In addition, Transloadit will match any donations made by Transloadians.
- Continue paying Alex each month, whether he is able to get work done or not.
- Make an additional €100,000 emergency loan available to Alex under the most relaxed terms.
- Offer free time. Naturally, Alex is off the hook and we do not expect anything from his side, but other Transloadians should also take time off if they feel they need it.
- Share on social media that our hearts are with the people in Ukraine and refrain from sharing anything else on there.
- Add the Ukrainian flag 🇺🇦 to our website's logo and write this blog post to provide context and to encourage others to also donate and influence people.
- Host the address made by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Russian people on our own web infrastructure. Hopefully, this has a lower chance of being taken down in Russia than Twitter or Facebook (which are already fully or partially down there).
- Use the websites of our open source projects (Uppy & tus), which are #1 in their category and used by millions of developers, to further spread this message.
- Keep taking cues from Alex to find out what else we can do.
We stand with the Russian people
As stated, our hearts are with the Ukrainian people, but our thoughts go out to the Russian people as well. Decorating our logo with the Ukrainian flag was proposed by another one of our teammates, Artur, who is himself from Russia. Artur and Alex have become good friends over the years, and it actually was Artur who invited Alex to come work at Transloadit. Here they are dressed up as Luigi and the Princess, five years ago, in brighter days:
We're showing this to illustrate that A) we are way overdue to take another picture like this, and we can't imagine doing that without Alex present, and B) we should take care to not conflate people with politics. It would be as silly as this picture is to condemn Artur, or any other ordinary Russian citizen, for the aggression and blatant disregard for human life exhibited by Putin and his cronies. It is an unspeakable tragedy that Russian soldiers – often kids still themselves – are now being sent to their deaths, while having little idea or false information about why they were dispatched in the first place. The sad reality is that the people of Russia are being lied to systematically. If we had met these young souls under different circumstances, we could just as well have ended up becoming friends and taking embarrassing pictures together – just like Alex and Artur did. That people, and those in power, can be two very separate entities, has never been more clear.
Message from President Zelenskyy to the Russian people
President Zelenskyy addressed the Russian people in their native tongue. Regrettably, with state-owned television and restrictions on social media, many of those living in Russia have no easy access to differing viewpoints. We feel this message should be heard by as many Russians as possible, so we are sharing it here.
We are hosting this video on our own infrastructure, which is powered by AWS (Amazon Web Services) and operates on a global network of 310 datacenters around the world, where the video will be replicated to. That, combined with a fairly obscure URL, can hopefully prevent this video from being banned too quickly in Russia. Should the domain get banned, then we can publish the video under a new domain in minutes. Should Amazon's entire CDN get banned, Russian leadership risks shutting down critical infrastructure in their own country as a significant part of the internet is built on AWS.
Here is the direct link if you want to share it with someone: https://d1o65hzc4mq0ec.cloudfront.net/68a612.mp4.
If you are in Russia and can't open this link to play the video, please reach out.
Note that you can also embed the video into your website by adding the following code, and that Transloadit will pay for the bandwidth expenses:
<video src="https://d1o65hzc4mq0ec.cloudfront.net/68a612.mp4" controls playsinline></video>
List of places to donate
The following funds were handpicked by Alex, who has everything to gain from making sure that our donations find their way to rightful and trustworthy causes. We don't think there is a better way that we could vouch for these. These funds directly benefit the Ukrainians who need our help the most:
- 🇺🇦 Ukrainian Army
- 🏥 Med Help Dnipro
- 🪖 Come Back Alive foundation
- 🧸 A charity providing psychological support to children suffering from war trauma
- 🧭 A charity providing assistance to internally displaced people (IDPs)
If you want to help and aren't sure where to start, consider raising your voice and donating money.
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