Creating a Coalition of 42 Organizations to Provide 1715 generators

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Summary

In response to the attacks on critical Ukrainian electrical power infrastructure, 1,715 generators totaling a market value of 2.4 million USD have been provided to Ukrainian hospitals, refugee centers, rescue and security operation centers, fire departments and relief stations. In total, over 8,017 kW of energy are being provided for life-critical infrastructure by powering lights, medical, and heating devices.

This project was initiated in August 2022 in anticipation of the energy crisis in the winter months. Friends of Be an Angel formed a coalition of 42 NGOs, charities and donors to work together to be able to obtain high-quality generators at wholesale prices. In late September, the critical infrastructures in Ukraine were attacked. Hospitals, refugee centers and homes lost power, heating and access to water overnight. This resulted in a dire need for non-grid energy sources such as generators, causing an insatiable influx in demand, shortages, and driving the prices of generators to unaffordable levels for Ukrainians who are already struggling in the deteriorating, war-torn economy.

In total, over 150 hospitals and clinics, 80 warming stations, 478 refugee centers, 231 community centers and religious institutions, 238 disadvantaged families with disabilities and medical needs requiring power, 15 orphanages and 34 schools were given generators to continue their life-sustaining operation. The remaining generators were distributed to frontline medics and rescue operations. An estimated total of 20,475 people have been directly helped within the first week of this project.

Background

Problem Statement

On February 24th, 2022, the Russian Federation launched a full-scale invasion onto the territory of Ukraine, resulting in the greatest humanitarian crisis in Europe since the Second World War. More than eight million people have become internally displaced because their homes were destroyed or captured in occupied territories. Moreover, the Russian invasion has disrupted and destroyed central critical infrastructure and supply chains for the distribution of vital goods for the Ukrainian population, including winter clothes, generators, medicine and sanitarian products. These effects have created significant economic hardships for the people of Ukraine, who were already struggling from a global economic downturn.

On the 14th of September 2022, Russia launched a massive barrage of eight cruise missiles onto electrical substations and equipment in the Region of Kryvyi Rih. This marked the first of a series of precision strikes on critical infrastructure all around the country. Shortly thereafter, on the 10th of October 2022, Russia launched a wave of 84 cruise missiles and 24 suicide drones, signifying an increase in intensity The attacks continued almost daily.

By the 23rd of November, nearly half of Ukraine’s power grid was disabled and more than half of the civilian population was left without electricity or heating. The Russian Federation continued these relentless attacks to deprive the innocent civilian population of heat and power in an attempt to defeat their spirit, morale and will to protect themselves. Hospitals, refugee centers and homes lost power, heating and access to water overnight. Many were injured and lost their lives, millions were left in economic hardship and out in the cold, resulting in one of the most difficult humanitarian situations of this war.

To further exacerbate the crisis, inflation was at an all-time high in many countries within the European Union. Thousands were scrambling and rushing to purchase generators and other auxiliary power solutions in an attempt to mitigate the crisis. This resulted in an insatiable influx in demand and shortages, driving the prices of generators to unaffordable levels for Ukrainians who were already struggling in the deteriorating, war-torn economy. Millions of Ukrainians were left with nothing and were struggling severely to survive in the harsh winter months.

It is estimated that between the September 2022 and January 2023, the Russian Armed Forces launched over 600 missiles and 700 suicide drones.

Solution

Goals & Objectives

The objective of the campaign was to provide hundreds of locations and thousands of Ukrainians suffering from missile attacks on critical infrastructure with auxiliary power options in the form of generators as fast as possible. Due to the harsh winter conditions, speed and quantity was of the essence. In order to achieve this, a coalition of NGOs and organizations was formed to expedite this process. The objectives and goals of the coalition are listed in detail below:

To react timely to developments on the ground, the goal of the coalition was to raise the funds quickly enough to provide immediate power sources for the winter months. Within this objective, a further goal was to provide as many generators as possible by minimizing costs.

Allow for partnerships and cooperations within the coalition to help each other build an extensive distribution network within Ukraine. Many charities and NGO within the coalition work in specific regions and focus areas, thereby allowing this coalition to pinpoint the most high-need locations and providing greater impact and effectiveness within a short time frame for distribution and logistics.

To coordinate efforts and stand in solidarity without wasting precious time and resources. The aim was to provide an avenue for timely acquisition of generators so that other organizations do not have to expend resources

To unite charities and organizations of all sizes to empower them to continue working collaboratively during the time when unity can make a difference between life and death. to go through that same time-intensive and costly process of research and implementation.

Implementation strategy

Friends of Be an Angel anticipated that the Russian Armed Forces would utilize the cold winter months to their advantage and cause a humanitarian crisis by striking critical infrastructure. Already in August of 2022, we began developing a strategy to build a coalition of organizations, charities and donors to provide large quantities of generators at the lowest available cost.

A timeline of our implementation strategy is outlined below:

Needs Assessment, Analysis and Strategic Response Planning

Based on research conducted by our ground teams, nine different sizes and outputs at various quantities would be needed. These output sizes include 2.5 kW, 8.0 kW, 8.2 kW, 8.5 kW, 11 kW, 12 kW, 14 kW, 17 kW and 40 kW generators. Generators with five different max outputs were selected to provide a wider range of use cases. The smallest unit weighs only 44 kg and can be transported by hand quickly to high-risk locations by medics and first responders. The 8.5 kW units provide larger outputs for less mobile support infrastructure such as field hospitals, aid stations and warming stations. The 12 kW, 14 kW, 17 kW and 40 kW units were distributed to stationary medical infrastructure such as hospitals and clinics. These larger units are outfitted with high quality copper coils and voltage regulators, allowing them to generate pure sine-wave electricity flows. This is a necessity for sensitive medical electronics such as cardiograms, since impure sine-waves can result in damage or incorrect data transmission in signal readings. The 8.2 kW units were selected for their diesel fuel type, which is the most accessible fuel source in frontline regions, and sound dampening function. Reduced sound transmission is crucial in keeping a low sound profile, both for safety and comfort reasons, as they are being used in refugee shelters and field hospitals where civilians and medical patients in close proximity are resting.

Sourcing of Generators

Due to the high inflation costs, limited supply of generators in the EU market and already growing demand for generators prior to autumn, it became quickly apparent that purchasing generators at EU market prices wouldn’t be efficient or affordable. The decision was made to identify manufacturers of generators and close a deal with them in order to minimize costs and produce generators to our specifications. After extensive negotiations and research, a pre-order of 1,715 generators was made with two different manufacturers. These units could then be purchased and provided to the coalition for the cost of manufacture of each unit, thereby circumventing the spikes in market prices found on the EU market. This cost saving strategy would allow the coalition to provide a great number of high quality generators for the fraction of the cost.

Forming the Coalition

While these units were being produced, Friends of Be an Angel used that time to finalize the coalition of NGOs and raise the funds. Dozens of organizations, charities and potential donors were contacted individually and offered to join this coalition to acquire generators at low manufacturing costs. In addition, cooperation agreements were met with large scale organizations such as Rotary Club International which provided donations and funding to the coalition. A focus was placed on inviting local charities and partners within Ukraine, since these charities were struggling the most economically. In total, 42 organizations, donors and charities joined the coalition to give power and hope to the Ukrainian people.

Delivery and Distribution Implementation and Monitoring

By the end of January, the first shipment arrived, followed shortly after by the remaining containers. In total, over 8 containers of generators arrived to our distribution warehouse in L’viv. Coalition members were notified weekly of the status of the shipments and were contacted again shortly before their arrival. Upon arrival, a timetable of logistical overview was established and distribution commenced. Each coalition member works in specific regions of Ukraine with different use cases, allowing for a vast distribution network in virtually every region of Ukraine. By the end of April, the final shipments had left the warehouse and distribution was concluded.

Documentation, Operational Overview and Evaluation

The documentation process was conducted throughout all stages. Signatures, documents, photographic evidence and lists were compiled in the form of bills of lading, customs documents for import/export, inventory protocols and acceptance with the receiving parties. These are stamped and signed by distributors and recipients and stored safely and appropriately in accordance with international and Ukrainian laws. Together with photographs/videos of the humanitarian aid arrival, storage, and delivery, these documents serve as proof of COC and distribution.

Impact Assessment

Coalition Participants List

List of Organizations and Charities within the Coalition:

  • 1019.ch
  • Agir Ensemble pour L’Ukraine
  • American Friends of Anatevka
  • Be an Angel e.V.
  • Be an Angel Moldova
  • Be an Angel Ukraine
  • Berlin to Borders
  • Blau-Gelbes Kreuz
  • Briggs & Stratton
  • Ukrainischer Verein e.V
  • Congregation of Sisters of St. Josaphat
  • Create an Impact Charitable Foundation
  • Daar Foundation
  • Democratic Youth Initiative
  • Federation of Jewish
  • Communities of Ukraine
  • GNL Group
  • Historically-Cultural Center Uman
  • House of Ukraine
  • ICF Veronious
  • Landbell Group
  • Liberty Ukraine Foundation
  • LNOB Civilfleet Support e.V
  • Mountain Seed Foundation
  • Naoula Holdings Sp Zoo
  • Ogala Kreuzberg e.V.
  • Foundation
  • Project Aid & Rescue
  • Project Kesher
  • Protéger. Sauvegarder. Développer
  • Rotary Club International
  • Rotary Club Lviv – Leopolis
  • Rotary Club Milwaukee
  • The Small Projects Fund
  • Ukraine Freedom Project
  • Ukraine TrustChain
  • Ukrainian Medical Association of North America
  • Vadym Melnychenko Foundation
  • Vilni Liudy
  • White Stork Operation
  • Women’s Movement for the Future
  • World of Connections
  • Yellow Blue Bus – Israel4Ukraine

Inventory

Below is a detailed table that provides information on the generators distributed throughout Ukraine. The table contains essential details about the generators, including the number of units, weight, unit costs for manufacturing, and their market value at the time of the crisis. The map above showcases the major regions where the generators were distributed to. Recipients of the generators include first responders, hospital, community centers, schools, religious centers, refugee centers and more. In particular, a focus was placed on providing auxiliary power solutions to the Donetsk region where the highest concentration of IDP movement is taking place.

Distribution

In total, over 150 (9.5%) hospitals and clinics , 80 (5%) warming stations, 478 (28%) refugee centers, 231 (13%) community centers and religious institutions, 238 (14%) disadvantaged families with disabilities and medical needs requiring power, 15 (1%) orphanages and 34 (2%) schools were given generators to continue their life-sustaining operation. The remaining generators were distributed to frontline medics and rescue operations. An estimated total of 20,475 people have been directly helped within the first week of this project. As time passes, this number is expected to increase steadily as new patients come into the hospital or new displaced persons arrive at the warming stations.

Each type of generator was produced for a specific use case. The larger units were distributed primarily to hospitals and clinics and other larger, stationary need locations. There, they are providing auxiliary power for surgical equipment, ventilation equipment and monitoring equipment. The generators provided through this grant most notably reached the National Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery. This is the largest and most well-known children’s cardiology hospital which provides life-saving heart surgeries for children. In addition, generators were provided to regional and hospitals in Kyiv, Lviv and Volyn. These regions, although still under risk from long-range missile and drone strikes, are regions with high concentrations of overlapping air defense capabilities and are therefore considered green zones. Many Ukainian civilians and soldiers who are suffering from severe injuries are brought to these hospitals because of their safety and more stable power situation. There they can receive more advanced treatment which is not available in frontline hospitals. Nonetheless, the strikes on critical infrastructure were nationwide, and auxilliary power sources for these hospitals were of the utmost importance.

Throughout the energy crisis, the Emergency Services of Ukraine placed hundreds of warming stations in cities, towns and villages which were heavily affected by power outages and shortages. They were named “Points of Invincibility” by the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, because they are locations where the general population can regain their strength, mood and morale to feel invincible again. These locations offered heat, warm food, clean water, a place to charge your phone, sometimes even a starlink system for Wi-Fi access. Through the expansive logistical reach of our coalition network, hundreds of our generators were distributed directly to these points. These locations gave shelter to thousands of internally displaced persons and particularly vulnerable Ukrainians in frontline regions.

Hundreds of generators were distributed to community centers and disadvantaged families. In particular, one of our partners focused on families that required a ventilation system at home for disabled or ill family members. Through our large coalition network, they were able to rapidly find families that required electricity for life-support equipment and was able to distribute effectively to their region through this newly formed network.

Mid-sized units such as the 8 kW and 12 kW units were delivered to community and refugee centers. Once there, they served a wide range of purposes, such as powering water pumps.

The way it works is that they hook up a generator to a water pump and that runs for a couple hours and fills the cistern. Then they move the generator and hook it up to power tools that they're using for repairs and at some point they set it up so everyone in the village can charge their devices

Between powering medical equipment, lights, water pumps and any other crucial life-sustaining devices, this project has impacted thousands of Ukrainians who were facing the most brutal winters of their lives. These generators gave hope and a sense of normality for innocent children, women, disabled and eldery who are victimized from the indiscriminate attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.

Thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Be an Angel, we managed to survive the coldest and deadliest winter of our lives, we managed to bring light where there was darkness and save the lives of those who were on the verge of death. From the bottom of my heart and the Ukrainian people, I want to thank you for your help. And may there be light and peace in the world again.

Future Outlook

Our coalition has set a new precedent for unification of NGOs and charities within Ukraine for cheaper and efficient sourcing of humanitarian aid, but also for networking, logistics and distribution.

A unified front was formed through this coalition, giving way to continued partnerships and collaborations among dozens of different NGOs and set an example of partnership and collaboration under dire circumstances to other NGOs working in the area. A logistical network of various distribution centers from our partners within the coalition was identified and continues to be utilized to this day. With the winter months approaching again and renewed difficulties being awaited, the coalition is already beginning the process of collaborating to provide more generators to areas in need. The first meetings have already been held in July 2023 and the coalition will begin making preparations for this coming winter.

This project was awarded Gold at the 3rd annual Anthem Award for the category: Humanitarian Action & Services – Partnership or Collaboration

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