WATCH | Gift of the Givers training, funding people in Ukraine to provide essential aid

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  • Gift of the Givers is training people in the Ukraine on disaster intervention such as procuring and delivering food and other essentials. 
  • The organisation is funding the initiative by paying everything associated with purchasing and delivering these necessities.
  • They have also started a BackaBuddy page to raise R1 million for the initiative. 

With Russia's invasion of the Ukraine raging on, South African humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers has started remotely training ordinary people on the ground on how to provide relief, such as food, for those in need.

The organisation started providing disaster intervention training to a South African man who escaped from Kyiv with his wife. Once they were in a place of safety, Gift of the Givers guided them on sourcing supplies such as food, warm clothes and essential medicines from small shops and wholesalers to provide to those in need.

READ | Pretoria-based Ukraine ambassador says 'we didn't receive a strong message about Russia' from SA

"We are expanding the teams and are organising them inside the 'hot spots' where there is no entry point for supplies and are replicating the process, finding shops, supplying the funds, identifying specific needs and supplying. When you can't get items from outside, be resourceful and find everything inside," said Gift of the Givers founder, Imtiaz Sooliman. 

The organisation pays for everything associated with purchasing and delivering these necessities, such as fuel. They were also setting up storage facilities for the items.

"The teams are held by the hand and guided on the approach to disasters daily," said Sooliman. 

Gift of the Givers also provided disaster management training, fuel, and funds to purchase essentials to a cardiothoracic anaesthetist who crossed into Ukraine on 10 March.

READ | We are very scared': South Africans hunker down in Ukraine with little hope of leaving

They had also partnered with various organisations to help provide aid as best as possible.

"The Ukraine Association of South Africa has partnered with us. They are connected to medical personnel inside Ukraine. Medical supplies are being sourced inside the country, and together with their own financial contributions, we will commence purchases of these life-saving materials for health facilities 'trapped' in the hot spots," Sooliman said. 

Gift of the Givers had also set up a BackaBuddy crowdfunding initiative, with a moving target of a million rand, for those wishing to assist in the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

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