UA IT Hub specializes in bringing IT projects to Ukrainian engineers who need flexibility to balance work with the realities of war.
Most of the international relief efforts for Ukraine have focused on charitable giving and humanitarian aid. Some brands have ceased business relations in Russia as a show of solidarity with Ukraine while others have expressed support in more symbolic ways. One Ukrainian company, called UA IT Hub, is seeking a different kind of relief: patronage. It’s reaching out to companies in Europe and North America asking them to hire Ukrainian tech talent for their contract-development work.
Before the war started, estimates said as many as 200,000 computer programmers lived in Ukraine. Some worked for Ukrainian tech companies. Some worked as contractors for foreign companies. Some worked for large firms specializing in recruiting talent for tech projects. Many have lost work as a result of the war and are trying to survive on what little savings they have left, says Ivan Kosyuk, the 22-year-old Ukrainian expat who cofounded UA IT Hub and acts as its CEO.
The idea behind UA IT Hub, which now comprises a network of 1,200 programmers, designers, and other specialists, is to find project work for Ukrainian techies who need extra schedule flexibility due to the realities of war. While the group does have full-time workers, it also has many who can’t work full time because of family obligations and volunteer work as part of the war effort, says Kosyuk, a first-year grad student at Cornell University. Some engineers also need time to work on tech projects for their government—developing both defensive and offensive cybersecurity systems, for example.
“Even small tech projects can help us give jobs to people, [to] pay taxes to our country and keep volunteering,” says Kosyuk.
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- Come Back Alive is one of the largest charitable foundations that supports Ukrainian soldiers, founded by the IT specialist Vitaliy Deynega. The organization collected more than 210 million UAH (more than $7M) in 2014. According to Na chasi, the Patreon page Come Back Alive is in the top ten projects by the number of financial donations.
- Army SOS, which develops drones;
- Everybody Can, an organization that supports internally displaced people;
- Help on the Ministry of Defense website.