How polish IT industry has helped the Ukrainian refugees?

How polish IT industry has helped the Ukrainian refugees?

Dominik Nuszkiewicz
·Mar 12, 2022·

6 min read

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Recent times are extremely difficult for everyone in the world, specifically for Ukrainian people. Nobody has expected that a crisis like this could happen... I mean the launch of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

When the war in Ukraine started, on Thursday, 24 February, almost all nations of Europe and the USA had started solidarizing and helping Ukrainian people.

Everyone helps as much as they can.

For example, in Poland, a lot of people go to the border in their own cars to help refugees from Ukraine with transport. Lots of people share their own houses with Ukrainian people who are fleeing war. Others, organize collections of needed things for people who are in Ukraine or who are waiting on the border.

Everyone helps as much as they can, also people from the IT industry. In the last few weeks, I have observed a few generous initiatives in Poland done by the developer's community.

In this article, I want to present and describe projects of web applications to help Ukrainian people, created in Poland by foundations, government, and also independent developers.

Difficult situation in Poland with Ukrainian refugees

When the war in Ukraine started on Thursday, 24 February, refugees from Ukraine started to cross the Polish-Ukrainian border in mass.

I typed these few lines below on Sunday, 6 March:

Now(06.03.2022), 922,4k refugees crossed the Poland border and we accepted them

as polish information service - "Dziennik Gazeta Prawna" written.

Now, on Thursday, 10 March situation looks like this:

So, 1,430,000 people crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border since the Russian military aggression started. It is really huge number!

Online neighbors and massive problems

There is a lot of motivation to help people from Ukraine in Poland. We have a lot of Facebook/Telegram groups with ads of help offers and also needs.

Yes, a lot of social media groups, with a lot of people. One of them has even about 500k members!

Screenshot of one of the helping groups

Problem explanation

The huge amount of people in these groups leads to a huge mess and misinformation because people had problems searching and finding needed help or finding someone who need help because of the number of ads, posts, and comments.

image.png

Only on March 6th, it was more than 10 000 posts in this group! Just imagine, how much information and data this group can have and how much of them can't be seen by members of this group!

Web services created by polish IT industry to help Ukrainian people

I have observed a few "legit" apps which are created by software houses, foundations, or the government.

The first of these is the simplest one.

1. transporterua.pl

Created and maintained by foundation "Zustricz" from Cracow. Developed by VirtusLab Software House. The UI is quite intuitive:

image.png We have the opportunity to choose the language of the site from English, Ukrainian, Polish and Russian, which is great advantage. On the home page, we can choose if we are refugees or drivers. Then we can fill out forms with our data. An interesting option for refugees' view is the opportunity to choose a communicator type.

View for drivers is intuitive, too:

image.png

After inserting our data, we will be matched with someone who offers or needs help. The process of matching refugees to drivers is handled by members of the "Zustricz" foundation.

Conclusion

Great platform for everyone who needs transport or wants to help refugees with transport.

The initiative has been advertised by leaflets given to people on the border. The leaflet:

image.png

2. uasupport.pl

The next one is the platform created by the independent developer - Kemal Erdem and his team, as he wrote in his tweet:

The app is very well designed. It is quite complex and has a lot of functionalities. Three main things to find or offer here are:

The UI is clean and easy to use:

image.png

The most interesting and also useful thing in this platform is the detailed map with pins supported by Google Crisis Response. It is really simple to find needed help on the map.

Use case

Let's consider that we need to find accommodation near Warsaw. We can simply choose "Accommodation" option from the left sidebar.

image.png

Then we can see the map which I wrote about:

image.png

We can find the best place for us and check if it is an available offer of help. For example:

image.png

Conclusion

We must register to add an ad with help. The number of ads with free help is incredible!

Only in the category of accommodation, we can choose a place from 1142 ads! This is the state on Saturday, 12 March. Categories numbers:

  • Accommodations => 1142 ads
  • Transport => 32 ads
  • Aid Centers => 489 ads

3. pomagamukrainie.gov.pl

The last platform which I want to describe in more detail is a web application created at the request of the government. We can choose two options:

  • I need help
  • I want to help

image.png

To report willingness to organize help, we must have a "trusted profile". In Poland, it is the account in web platform provided by the government for dealing with official matters.

To report needs of help we have to fill forms with our data and then our needs will be processed to units responsible for concrete categories of help.

The entry message looks like this: image.png

Conclusion

Generally, the platform is well organized and could be really helpful for people who need help because it is the most official site for this purpose.

Other web platforms made in Poland to help Ukrainian refugees

There are also other platforms created in Poland to help refugees, but I can't describe each of them in just one blog post. I thought that it could be fine to list them below(the list will be updated if I will get to know about new platforms)

If you know of any other platforms, please inform me about them in a comment or directly, so I can let more people know about them.

Conclusion

As I wrote in the beginning, everyone helps as much as they can . The community of developers is not an exception. I tried to highlight projects of independent developers, foundations, and also the government, but I mentioned only these which I heard about.

I can't even imagine how many initiatives have been created by our community recently.

I am completely sure that it is something we can be proud of and that brought us together to help. To help people in need who have been forced to flee the war, which they did not deserve.

 
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