At the beginning of the war, the humanitarian project "Saving Lives" appeared as a quick response to the challenges of the time
28-year-old Denys Denysenko is from Kryvyi Rih. With the beginning of a full-scale Russian invasion, he was sent to defend Kryvyi Rih first, and then — to the Kherson direction. In the fall of 2022, during a combat mission, a soldier blew up a mine. He lost his left foot as a result of the injury. After treatment, Denys received a German prosthesis under the «Saving Lives» program and the Prosthetics Support Project in Ukraine. And this is just one small example of the enormous help to Ukrainians that has been provided by the humanitarian program «Saving Lives» since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion and all this time, since Ukraine is in the heat of war.
Ukrainian cities located in the east of our country and near which hostilities are taking place has been fighting for survival more than year in the conditions of constant bombing and shelling. Some of such cities are on the verge of a humanitarian disaster. The inhabitants of these territories found themselves in extremely difficult conditions, many of them suffer from cold and hunger, these people are in dire need of support and care. They need the most necessary – products, medicines, hygiene products. People constantly live in despair and fear for their families, relatives and friends.
However, from the very beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian invaders on the territory of our country, the company Metinvest organized active humanitarian activities: it helped with the evacuation of the Mariupol residents, its workers and their families, provided them with temporary housing, the most necessary products and medicines. From the beginning of this charitable activity, it became clear that such help for hundreds of thousands of people turned out to be vital. For this purpose, a charity project Saving Lives was launched at the beginning of March 2022. It was created in the most difficult time for the entire country. But having attracted the support of international partners and mobilizing the efforts of employees and everyone who cares, Metinvest is implementing the largest humanitarian project.
“The world is going through a global upheaval. No one expected that such a brutal war could happen in the 21st century. In 2014, my life was divided into “before” and “after” the beginning of the war in Donbas, and on February 24, 2022, a full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia took place. Everything that is happening in Ukraine then and now, I perceive with acute pain. Therefore, I became an ambassador and a member of the Program Council of the Do it together foundation. Now each of us sees the fragility of this world. Only with joint efforts we will be able to save children, women, and elderly people in Ukraine from hunger”, said project ambassador and member of its Program Council Dario Srna.
According to him, now Ukraine needs support more than ever, that’s why he turned to European clubs and is sure that many teams will not stay away and show solidarity with Ukrainians and Ukraine.
In just one year of operation, the humanitarian project «Saving Lives», created by the Metinvest Group in coordination with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, has turned into one of the largest programs of support for the population of Ukraine. The main goal of this project remains unchanged – helping compatriots survive in war conditions and preventing a humanitarian disaster.
The state, whenever possible, provides assistance and support to the least protected categories of citizens, but this assistance is far from sufficient. Therefore, social responsibility and the humanitarian mission of business are important in such conditions. It is no exaggeration to say that such support has now become vital for millions of people.
The companies of the Ukrainian iron and steel complex make a very significant contribution here. Although, this branch of the economy, the enterprises of which are located mainly in the east of our country, where the fiercest hostilities are taking place, as a result of the war lost the most – during the year of the war, all indicators in the Ukrainian steel industry fell by 80%. Some enterprises were practically destroyed due to bombing and constant shelling by the enemy.
At the beginning of the war, the humanitarian project «Saving Lives» appeared as a quick response to the challenges of the time.
It was supposed to prevent a food crisis and shortages of basic necessities. Therefore, from the beginning, the company formed a stock of the most necessary things in Polish hubs – food for long-term storage, hygiene products. All this was quickly sent to Ukrainian cities.
Two hubs in Poland began to receive aid from all over the world, which, after sorting and packaging, was sent to Ukraine. Currently, the most vulnerable categories of citizens, families of mobilized Metinvest employees, veterans of the company’s enterprises and residents of de-occupied territories receive permanent assistance from the Fund. In general, during the year of the war, the «Saving Lives» project provided significant support to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians.
However, soon the possibilities of the project increased: the initial concept of providing people with food and hygiene was expanded by a program of medical support, psychological help, the organization of prosthetics and rehabilitation of military and civilians who lost limbs.
Assistance in prosthetics and rehabilitation
Since the beginning of full-scale Russian aggression, the need for prosthetics for Ukrainian military and civilians due to hostilities has increased significantly. As the war in Ukraine progresses, the number of people who have lost limbs will increase. Often, those who need prostheses do not know where to start and where to turn for help. In addition, not everyone is able to pay for prosthetics on their own, the cost of which starts at several tens of thousands of euros. That is why «Saving Life» decided to help the victims to return to a full life as soon as possible.
And the first direction of the initiative’s work was prosthetics and rehabilitation of Metinvest employees defending the country in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. About 7,000 company employees joined the ranks of the Armed Forces. «Saving Life» together with the Prosthetics Support Project in Ukraine and their partners «ProsthetiKa» and «Razom for Ukraine» are taking on organizational and documentary issues regarding the prosthetics of victims. Currently, assistance is provided to 33 Ukrainians. Seven have already received modern prostheses. The initiative covers Metinvest Group employees, their family members, military personnel and civilians in the company’s regions.
Anatoliy Uzlov, military serviceman, during peacetime steelmaker at Zaporizhstal:
– The war caught me and my family at a ski resort in the west of Ukraine. After returning to Zaporizhzhia, I immediately joined the ranks of the Armed Forces. During a combat mission in Pisky, near Donetsk, I received a shrapnel wound in my hand, which required an operation to amputate left hand. However, thanks to Metinvest, I became a participant in the joint charity program of the Humanitarian Initiative «Saving Life» and the Prosthetics Support Project in Ukraine. I am currently undergoing prosthetics and receiving a Norwegian bionic prosthesis, which I hope will allow me to continue living a full life without limitations. This is a very important initiative for all servicemen of the defense forces of Ukraine who had to undergo amputation.
Yuriy Ryzhenkov, CEO of Metinvest Group:
– Since the start of the war, the «Saving Lives» initiative has been helping everyone who needs it the most. It was created to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the regions close to the front line. We helped hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians with food and basic necessities, and hospitals – with medicines and equipment. We also help in the psychological recovery, education and reintegration of women and children affected by the war. To overcome the new challenges of war, we are expanding our humanitarian mission – we are introducing a large-scale prosthetics and rehabilitation program for wounded veterans and civilians. After all, Ukrainians, to whom we owe our lives, deserve the best prostheses.
Availability of high-quality rehabilitation at all stages of recovery, understanding how to choose and produce a limb prosthesis are crucial aspects of a person’s return to everyday life and work.
The second rehabilitation program «Saving lives» – «Unbreakable Mum». This project was implemented in cooperation with the «Masha Foundation» (one of the founders of which is the well-known Ukrainian TV presenter Maria Yefrosinina). «Unbreakable Mum» helps women with children overcome the effects of stress caused by war.
Restorative sessions for the participants of «Unbreakable Mum» took place in regions far from hostilities – in the Carpathians, Chernivtsi region. These sessions lasted three weeks. During this time, the participants worked with specialists: they tried to stabilize their psycho-emotional state, prevent post traumatic stress disorder, develop the ability to adapt and self-realize, and create new social connections.
Mothers and children had separate schedules of consultations and classes, attended psychological trainings, art therapy master classes, and individual practices. Adults received psychological help through methods of EMDR, art therapy, mindfulness, psychodrama, physical, narrative and cognitive-behavioral therapy. The children were engaged in neurogymnastics, play therapy, and the project’s specialists practiced the «Serial Drawing» and «Safe Space» methods, and developed resistance to stress.
“I would like to thank the donors, organisers and people who implemented the «Unbreakable Mum» project. I am deeply grateful to each and every one of the miracle workers and doctors who cared for our wounded souls through psychological rehabilitation, excellent accommodation, intensive programmes and positive moods. With your help we, mothers of little citizens of Ukraine, find inner resources to bring up the future generation. With your help we feel strong and free – people who see a future path in life,” Victoria Kiva shared her impressions of the project.
Helping heroes in white coats
The hostilities increased the burden on medical institutions, drugs and new equipment for treating the wounded were urgently needed. Therefore, a new direction of activity appeared in «Saving Lifes» – support of the medical industry. After all, because of the war, many wounded people are admitted to hospitals, as well as people who fell ill due to stress or poor living conditions. To support heroes in white coats, «Saving lives» provides essential assistance to medical institutions in Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kirovohrad, Kherson, and Odesa regions.
Doctors are supplied with unique equipment – anesthesia and breathing apparatus, surgical and trauma sets, digital radiographs, devices for external fixation of bones, X-ray transparent operating tables, etc. Hundreds of thousands of consumables also go to medical facilities – catheters, intravenous cannulas, syringes, blood transfusion systems, gloves, kapron and silk surgical threads, hemostatics.
The first batches of aid from «Saving Life» went to hospitals in Zaporizhzhia and Kamianske, because these cities were the reception centers for displaced persons and victims from hot regions. Kryvyi Rih and Donetsk region also receive medical cargo. And the humanitarian project supplied food for babies and drinking water to medical facilities in Odessa and Kherson.
Creation and equipment of shelters
When the issue of resettlement of displaced persons arose, Metinvest’s humanitarian project singled out another vector of work – the arrangement of shelters. «Saving Lives» supplied everything necessary so that cities and communities could take care of internally displaced Ukrainians.
Thus, through the humanitarian initiative, the Shyrokivska, Karpivska, Novolativska, Lozuvatska, Gleyuvatska and Petrivska territorial communities received household appliances, electric kettles, microwaves, electric ovens and refrigerators for shelters. In addition, folding beds, mattresses, blankets, bed linen and pillows were delivered here.
With the support of the Italian legal company RiDiamo Onlus – a partner-donor of the humanitarian project «Saving Lives» – a large playroom for children of all ages was made in one of Kamianske shelters.
Products are constantly brought to the shelters in Zaporizhzhia and Kryvyi Rih to organize a full meals. For example, pasta, sweets, cereals, flour, juices, vegetables and much more. Individual sets of goodies are also supplied.
Of course, this will not replace the comfort of home, but it will help people feel more protected.
“Ukrainian steel industry suffered from the war with Russia much more than all other sectors of the economy. We immediately responded to the call for help in March and began to build a system of international support for the fund’s activities together with Metinvest. We are impressed by the scale of support for veterans, workers and civilians, which we note in the actions of Metinvest,” emphasizes Horst Wiesinger, member of the Saving Lives fund Board, founder and CEO of the Austrian company Horst Wiesinger Consulting.
A humanitarian mission that united the whole world
The humanitarian mission «Saving Lives» united almost 200 donor companies from all over the world – Germany, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, the USA, the UK, Switzerland, Greece, the UAE and other countries. Also, employees of Metinvest join the initiative through donations to the «Do it together» charity fund. The amount of donor support, together with monetary contributions from benefactors, amounts to more than two million euros.
– The war year showed that we know how to be strong, and this strength is in our unity. Ukrainian indomitability inspires the whole world, so foreign companies and private benefactors also help us. Together, we have created a powerful system of support for civilians, and we have arranged the delivery of aid to medical institutions. Activity of Saving Lives involves large-scale continuous humanitarian aid with the involvement of our international partners in the form of food and basic necessities. And if in February we did everything to persevere, today we are moving towards victory step by step, – emphasizes Yuriy Ryzhenkov, CEO of Metinvest Group.
During the year of «Saving Lives» activity, over 420,000 Ukrainians have already received targeted aid from this humanitarian mission, in particular, hundreds of thousands of food kits were provided to Metinvest employees, their families and socially vulnerable categories of the population, more than four thousand tons of vital goods were delivered to Ukraine from abroad, 240,000 euros worth of medical drugs, consumables and necessary equipment were sent to medical facilities in different regions of Ukraine, more than 170 people received help with prosthetics and psychological rehabilitation.
Every day, the «Saving Lives» project expands the geography of assistance. Currently, food and hygiene kits, medical preparations and consumables are supplied to 70 territorial communities of Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Kirovohrad and Kherson regions.
The humanitarian initiative «Saving Lives» was included in the list of the best social cases during the war «Responsible Country» in the nomination «Corporate Charitable Fund» according to the version of the MMR (Marketing Media Review) project.
You can support the «Saving Lives» project by following the link. The fund operates according to the principles of transparency and regularly publishes financial reports on the spent funds. As long as Ukraine suffers from the war, the humanitarian project «Saving Life» will take care of Ukrainians. More information about the activity of the initiative can be found on the official website of «Saving Lives»: https://bit.ly/Savinglivesproyetst.