The International Federation of Exhibition & Event Services (IFES) team has united to support those suffering as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Behind the scenes, several member-driven initiatives have been collecting funds and resources to deliver supplies to those affected and to transport and house people displaced by the conflict.
Torsten Heinz, MD of event management company Czarnowski GmbH in Germany, has been collecting ready-made food, baby food, water, single-use bed linen, blankets, sleeping bags, camp beds, and basic medicine at the Czarnowski warehouse for delivery to Przemyl at the Polish-Ukrainian border.
Eric Grossmann, Owner of Z3 Live Communication in Switzerland, was able to connect Heinz with Sarah-Johanna Hamera, also of Z3 Live Communication, who is co-ordinating assistance and storage facilities on the ground in Przemyl. She has been able to advise first-hand on day-to-day requirements.
At the same time, Sebastian Bernat, CEO of Sound and Lights Service in Poland, has been using his company vehicles to bring refugees from the border and assist families with accommodation in temporary hostels and hotels, and with private families who are able to host.
Lucasz Jerzmanowski, Chairman of Smart Design Expo in Poland, is transporting displaced mothers and children from the border and buying food and clothes. He has also opened his own home to a Ukrainian refugee family.
A vast IFES help network now stretches from the Asia-Pacific to Africa, Canada, the Middle East, the US and across Europe, where members are rallying to support those directly affected by the unrest, either financially or in person.
“Of course, we are a collection of planners and project managers by trade, so co-ordination of effort is something that comes naturally, but this absolute generosity of spirit is something one does not often encounter. We celebrate this trait of the IFES community and salute the efforts that are being made by selfless people around the world to assist in this time of crisis,” says IFES President Justin Hawes.