The Power of Compassion: How Four Friends Created a Lifeline for Ukrainian Refugees in Georgia
In the early days of the war in Ukraine, four friends in Georgia felt the overwhelming desire to help. As they watched the news flood their social media feeds and witnessed the suffering of Ukrainian civilians, they knew they had to do something. And so, in March 2022, Natia Anastasiadi, Ana Kebadze, Teona Chkadua, and Eka Chumburidze founded DOPOMOGA, an online platform designed to provide Ukrainian refugees in Georgia with all the information they need to start their new lives.
At first, DOPOMOGA was just a Facebook group where the friends could collect offers of aid from Georgians eager to help their Ukrainian neighbors. But as the offers poured in, the group quickly realized that they needed a more comprehensive platform to help refugees access the assistance they needed. With the help of a grant from USAID's Civil Society Engagement Program, they launched a full-fledged website on April 2, 2022.
Since then, DOPOMOGA has become a lifeline for Ukrainian refugees in Georgia, providing them with everything from housing and employment opportunities to medical services and educational courses. The platform has attracted more than 50,000 users and shared over 850 initiatives in its first year alone. Through DOPOMOGA, more than 500 refugees have received personal assistance to find the support they need.
But DOPOMOGA is more than just an information platform. It's a testament to the power of compassion and the human spirit. The founders, who have poured countless hours and their own resources into the project, wanted to make a difference in the world and fill a gap in their own lives. For Eka, who had long felt a sense of helplessness in the face of war and displacement, DOPOMOGA was a chance to finally make a tangible impact.
As the founders note, DOPOMOGA has become the main source of reliable and up-to-date information for Ukrainian refugees in Georgia. It's a beacon of hope for those who have lost so much, and a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there are people who care.