New Web App Can Help War-Torn Ukraine Families, NJ Nonprofit Says

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — An Essex County nonprofit is trying to use modern technology to make a boots-on-the-ground difference for traumatized families in Ukraine.

In 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, setting off what turned out to be the largest attack on a European country since World War II. The invasion – an escalation of a conflict that has been raging since 2014 – has left an estimated 500,000 military members and civilians dead on both sides, a number that has grown increasingly difficult to confirm as the war continues.

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What is certain, however – according to Hope for Ukraine – is that a desperate need for humanitarian aid endures. And new technology may be able to play a crucial role in that battle, advocates say.

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On Tuesday, the Roseland-based nonprofit announced that it’s launching a partnership with The Gadfly Project to create a new web application that can be used by people in Ukraine.

Similar to ridesharing and food delivery apps, the application will provide real-time notifications to users about upcoming aid distribution events in their area – leading to reduced wait times, increasing transparency, and creating a more “humane” experience for people already struggling with uncertainty. Ukraine families will also be able to verify their need for aid and receive support from local non-governmental organizations through the new app.

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Meanwhile, the app will provide a centralized platform for groups to access information about aid deliveries, enabling them to pick up aid immediately after delivery and reduce administrative burdens, advocates said.

Hope for Ukraine isn’t the only aid organization that will benefit from the new technology. After the app is launched, it is expected to be used by groups such as Paths of Hope, Lviv Charitable Organization International Charity Foundation Frontline Volunteers, Kyiv Charitable Organization Charitable Foundation of Development City, Kryvyi Rih Charitable Organization Charitable Fund We Are Near.ua, Chernivtsi Give the Community a Little of Myself, Volyn Region International Charitable Fund, and “House of Good Hearts” – Charkiv Region.

The effort is getting a boost from an in-kind software development grant, Hope for Ukraine noted.

“Among a pool of high caliber grant submissions, Hope for Ukraine’s project premise, follow-through and potential for transformative impact for thousands of beneficiaries made them an obvious grant awardee choice for us,” said Ryan Johnson, Chief Executive at the Gadfly Project.

Yuriy Boyechko, CEO of Hope for Ukraine, said the new app will “transform how humanitarian aid is delivered” and empower people to make a tangible difference in the lives of those in need.

“As we commemorate the second anniversary of the war, this collaboration with The Gadfly Project and the generous support of the in-kind software development grant mark a pivotal moment for Hope for Ukraine,” Boyechko said.

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