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The Helpify Community blog

Helpify Ukraine: Learnings & next steps (part 2)

Things started to happen on the platform yesterday. New missions started appearing and getting accepted. Following media exposure in Ireland we have plenty of helpers there - Irish missions get snapped up in seconds. There will be thousands more missions everywhere though so to our Irish friends please do keep registering if you haven’t already! Meanwhile, we are focusing on building a broader helper network across Europe as well.

In my blog post yesterday I discussed some of the challenges we have with getting missions created on the platform by people who have complex needs and are in very stressful situations. Today I would like to write about our approach to do something about it.

Here are our plans for the coming days.

Short term:

  • Following persistent feedback that the forms are too complicated or hard to use, we are making the mission creation form and registration form easier.

  • We will make a helper map, showing offers of help available on the site.

  • We believe we need phone lines and/or chat capability. When we speak to people we are able to understand what they are looking for and create missions on their behalf. We are thinking about the best way to do this. One idea we are floating is to build a call center somewhere like Moldova which we can staff with paid Ukrainians or volunteers. We have not yet focused on getting external funding so we would need to start by paying for that out of pocket.

  • We will likely engage a full time software developer — unless someone volunteers! The platform needs persistent love to evolve in functionality, implement new languages, etc.

Medium term:

  • We may well change the ID check process so that when a person joins the site, they can look around, see the mission map (with no personal data) and decide whether they want to help. When they accept their first mission, the ID check will take place before they get access to personal info.

  • We would like to publish a Useful Information page with links to websites e.g. border crossing times and others. We also are aware of a multitude of country-specific website resources and we need to publish those somewhere.

Longer term:

  • We want to create means and functionality for helpers to coordinate their efforts. We are thinking about the best way to do this. A discussion board within the site for ID-checked users?

Overwhelmingly our bandwidth for management is challenged. Despite our roles we are all doing a little of everything at the moment. We need strong leaders to help us, as workstream leads, to rally volunteers and organise their work – for example for call center set up, or with the mass of translation work we need for all European languages.

Do you want to help us with any of the above? Reach out through our Contact Us form.

Our mission is to connect people in need with people who can help -- on a large scale, in a difficult crisis. With your help we are achieving this.

We welcome your thoughts and suggestions below in the comments.

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