Shipment term

The first shipment arrives in Ukraine

Valeriy Boyko and his wife Elena Boyko at their fundraising stand on Picton Street.

Two Ukrainian-born New Zealanders have successfully delivered their first shipment to those in need in their war-torn homeland.

Dr Elena Artyukh, a dentist in Howick for 22 years, and Valeriy Boyko, Andriy Boyko’s father and longtime East Auckland resident, started their fundraising campaign earlier this year (TimeApril 19).

The two set up a Givealittle page, approached businesses and contacts and set up a stand on Picton Street, raising awareness and collecting donations for their cause.

So far, they have raised about $30,000 in their campaign, with $2,200 donated at a tea party at the Pohutukawa Coast Presbyterian Church.

Their first shipment of medical and humanitarian aid successfully arrived in Ukraine at the end of May.

Ecological blankets were distributed to forcibly displaced families from eastern and southern Ukraine to the center of the country, such as Poltava, Kremenchuk and Dnipro, as well as to a hospital in the Donbass region.

Tactical medical items were converted into 75 immediate first aid kits (IFAKs) by a group of volunteers from the Poltava and Mykolaiv region, then handed over to emergency medical services operating near a combat zone in Mykolaiv.

“Seventy-five kits can potentially save between 75 and 200 lives,” Boyko says.

General medical supplies were provided to the Kyiv National Medical Clinical Center.

Ocean Bridge Shipping delegated their resources and time and provided them with free airfreight and customs clearance on both sides – local and European.

“It was really overwhelming support,” Boyko says.

The second shipment will consist of food products: baked beans and tomato sauce packed in boxes of 400 to 425 mm.

“It’s easy to eat, easy to open, especially when cooking is difficult or unavailable,” Boyko says.

The total amount will be 20 tons, or 40,320 boxes. Once packed, it will be collected and transported by truck to Ukraine.

To do this more efficiently and cover significant parts of the region, Boyko and Artyukh have partnered with two similar volunteer funds, Andriy, Boyko’s son, and Ukraine Appeal ReliefAid, a Kiwi organization created by Mike Seawright.

“We consolidated all of our funds and split the shipment into three parts,” Boyko explains.

The mailing should be distributed in August.

A third shipment will be a combination of general medical and tactical supplies and humanitarian aid and is scheduled for late September.

Boyko and Artyukh are grateful for all of the community support throughout their fundraising efforts.

For more information, visit www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/medical-and-humanitarian-help-for-ukraine