As the conflict in Ukraine continues, Israeli companies with Ukrainian employees find themselves challenged, both logistically and as humanitarians.
One such company, transcription technology platform Verbit, has so far raised $22,000 to support those affected who are still living in the war-torn country.
The movement began when Verbit’s employees urged their employer to donate to needy people in Ukraine.
The management appreciated the workers’ initiative, and has begun collecting donations and distributing them to various organizations that support and assist Ukraine, such as the international humanitarian aid organization IsraAID.
“From the beginning, we stood by our team in Ukraine, and their families, during such a difficult and complex period,” said Ruth Ben Asher-Lavi, vice president of human resources EMEA at Verbit.
“When our employees came to us with great desire and passion for helping, we could not remain indifferent and immediately decided to coordinate fundraising and donate a significant amount on behalf of the company. That’s a volunteer spirit I have not seen anywhere else.”
She pointed out that this giving spirit is not unusual at Verbit, as employees have also been known to donate “to the needy and Holocaust survivors, initiating dozens of small and large activities.”
Even in the weeks leading up to the war, Verbit looked out for its Ukrainian employees. At the beginning of the year, the company’s management formulated courses of action to protect its dozens of Ukrainian employees based in Kyiv, such as financial support for the migration of working families to the west of the country, paying salaries sooner and mental health assistance.
Another company with Ukrainian workers, the localization platform BLEND, also began creating contingencies in the weeks preceding the conflict. “When we see things happening today, obviously the first question that people ask is how it’s going to affect the business.
But just before we dive into the business, those are our friends; we care a lot about what’s happening in their lives,” said BLEND CEO Yair Tal in the days leading up to the war.
“If I had employees close to the borders with Gaza, and there was an issue in Gaza, I would care for them first as humans and as my family,” he added. “This is the same case.”
Said one of Verbit’s Ukrainian employees: “I appreciate the fact that I work for a company that emphasizes the crucial things and sees the needs of each of us. I thank from the bottom of my heart my co-workers who volunteered and raised money for this vital cause.”