It’s been more than three months since Putin’s troops attacked Ukraine. War is still raging, causing further death and suffering.
With time passing and the rest of the world adjusting to “the new normal,” I fear that the people and children in Ukraine may be forgotten. We cannot let that happen.
This war is far from being over. Our commitment to help those in need must remain strong.
Helping is not always easy and takes effort. Humanitarian groups have difficulty in reaching the civilians left behind, who are often elderly or disabled people, or other vulnerable populations who lacked the ability to flee.
To serve these people, Pentalog is working with SOS Attitude, a private agency of unpaid volunteers based in France, to send trucks with food and medicine. Our base is in Isaccea, Romania, where Ukrainians carry the loads into their country.
Our Support Actions for Ukraine
Since the war began, we have helped sent to Ukraine more then 10 trucks loaded with food, water, clothing, hygiene products and powdered milk, as well as two trucks filled with sleeping bags.
Our plan has been to sustain a humanitarian activity for several months. Nothing would have been possible if it hadn’t been for our partners, SOS Attitude, whose primary mission is to offer emergency humanitarian aid in case of natural disasters.
I have known SOS Attitude since 2017, when we organized a disaster management teambuilding event together, and I knew that I could count on their expertise.
In the early days of the invasion, I talked with John Diska from SOS Attitude to suggest setting up a joint initiative at the Moldovan borders with Ukraine.
People fleeing the war and entering Romania or Republic of Moldova needed a place to stay for a couple of days before preparing to travel west. At the borders, we improvised shelters using tents and sleeping bags, and we offered refugees food, water, and other essential items.
Pentalog & SOS Attitude: The First Convoy
Within a few days’ time from our initial effort, we organized our first humanitarian convoy, which was also the first to reach the Moldovan borders with Ukraine.
The team left from Grenoble, France, early on February 28, stopped in Brasov, Romania, for debriefing, and then headed to Moldova. After a journey of 2,400 kilometers, the convoy arrived late in the evening in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova.
There, SOS Attitude teamed up with a Moldovan Civil Protection team and together they set off for the city of Palanca in the southeast of the country, 70 kilometers from the city of Odessa. Most Ukrainian refugees entered Moldova from Odessa.
Every transport we’ve organized since then has had its obstacles. Recently, it has been getting harder to enter Ukraine and make sure that our donations reached Odessa or Nikolaev, where we knew there were hospitals in need.
But we pushed further and made our way by connecting with different NGOs and state authorities.
We had an excellent collaboration with Hospice Casa Sperantei in Adunatii Copaceni, a commune located in Giurgiu County, close to Bucharest, that sheltered refugees in March and April. Pentalog supported the heating costs with a purchase of 23 tons of wood pellets in addition to providing food and basic items.
Free Apartments for Temporary Relocation
Due to their proximity to the conflict zone, we offered to our Moldovan employees the option to temporarily move to Romania and stay in one of the 20 apartments that we rented in Brasov, Iasi, Cluj and Bucharest.
About 60 families chose this housing offer for a short while, until they felt safe to return to Moldova. We kept those apartments and offered them to refugees needing a place to stay.
Pentalog’s Assistance and Travel Department worked restlessly to secure housing solutions, as well as to find ways to rescue those people who were close to the war zone.
With the help of my colleagues speaking Russian, we were able to quickly move with logistics or transport in a variety of situations.
PentaHumans in Action
After Pentalog donated €10,000, split equally between the Red Cross Romania and Save the Children Romania, two non-profit organizations that supported efforts at the border to welcome families into Romania, my colleagues launched an internal fundraiser for Save the Children and raised more than €3,000.
Every Pentalog delivery center in Romania joined forces with various NGOs and public institutions to gather everything that the refugees needed: food, basic products to make people feel more comfortable, toys and clothes for the kids, quilts and pillows, and even a minivan.
Colleagues remain engaged, planning future donations and other initiatives to help via internal chats. In this way, people post requests coming from various NGOs and our colleagues respond by gathering money, buying what it is needed, and delivering donations.
I want to thank my colleagues for their kindness and engagement. Some have made room in their homes for refugees. Some have donated items for Ukrainian children and families. All have remined willing to help in whatever ways they can.
Stand with Ukraine Indefinitely
Solidarity in times of crisis makes us stronger. Knowing that we can rely on each other, no matter how frightening the situation is, gives us the power to go on.
For a company such as Pentalog, joining forces with a small but agile organization like SOS Attitude shows that it doesn’t matter where you are and what you do; anyone can help.
War must not become a “new normal” that blinds us from our obligations. We must not forget that there are still many people suffering in Ukraine. Pentalog stands with them.