Made for people: Metinvest’s Saving Lives Humanitarian Hub marks its first anniversary

Metinvest’s Humanitarian Hub at Central GOK marks its first year in March 2023. A year ago, dozens of the plant’s employees had no doubt to join the newly established distribution centre every time after their shifts to help sort, collect and pack humanitarian goods for the Ukrainians who were in dire straights because of the full-scale war in the country. The hub has become a main base the Saving Lives project implemented by Metinvest in cooperation with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation.

Over the year, employees have processed 1,143 tonnes of essentials, baby food, hygiene items, and warm clothes for the military. The volunteers made 135,000 food packages for the vulnerable in Kryvyi Rih, as well as 14 communities in Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad, Kherson, and Donetsk oblasts. The hub also sent a convoy of baby food for the newborns in Odessa. In addition, the volunteers at the hub prepared 7,000 backpacks with warm clothing for Metinvest’s mobilised employees.

“The war has been going on in Ukraine for more than a year. And every Ukrainian does whatever it takes to bring victory closer in a joint effort. Since the early days of the Russian offensive, I have been active in supporting the territorial defence of Kryvyi Rih. Together with my friends, we loaded sand, brought warm clothes, blankets, and food. When Metinvest deployed the humanitarian hub on site of Central GOK, I joined the volunteer movement without hesitation. There were many people like me willing to help among the plant’s employees. More than 50 Central GOK staff members from various workshops and departments made and shipped humanitarian food packages every day. Together with my colleagues, we made every effort to help the displaced, our defenders, and war veterans. Everything was done as quickly as possible, because we knew that people were waiting. First, we made a kind of a conveyor, using ordinary tables. We grouped, assigned processes to these groups, and worked diligently. In the first months alone, we packed and sent more than 100,000 sets to victims of Russian aggression. Currently, the humanitarian hub carries on, bringing our victory closer,” said Pavlo Bazhenov, Deputy CEO for Technology and Quality at Kolachevskyi Ore Mine.

The employees recall that they never worried about working extra hours. Everyone understood how important this assistance was for Ukrainian people.

“When Central GOK was chosen as a humanitarian hub site, all those engaged realised the level of responsibility. Many employees and services of the plant were engaged to help run the hub and make food packages. The major task was to quickly form humanitarian food packages, as many as possible. During the first months, Central GOK volunteers worked without days off. Every day staff of the storage and shipping shop, where the hub was based, received tonnes of food, and volunteers made survival kits. This was a great challenge for all of us: large quantities, tight deadlines, and lack of experience with food products. Still, we understood why we were doing this. So, all participants were fully motivated and committed to their work. Everyone cared, so the hub ran smoothly. It still remains a reliable pillar of support for everyone who needs our help and support,” said the head of Central GOK Social Affairs Department Anastasia Hayevska.

“Since the start of the all-out war, volunteering and helping at the hub have been more than just a way to help people, this has been a way to ease pressure. When you understand that you are contributing to the victory, that the weak or people in need rely on you, it warms your heart. We did not know what to do and how to do it. But everyone understood their function and everything ran smoothly just after several days. We have become one big team, we started talking more and made friends with our colleagues from other production shops. I believe that each of us must help the country: the military are helping on the front lines, and we are helping at the humanitarian hub. The hub keeps working and has become a pillar of support for the Ukrainians most affected by the war. We can resist the enemy only if we join our efforts, remain humane, and provide selfless support. This is what we are doing,” said a specialist of Central GOK Social Welfare Service Maksym Yefremenko.

The team of Central GOK volunteers is totally united and committed, and they will keep working as long as Ukrainians need their assistance.