The uaSOS.org app connects refugees looking for accommodation with individuals, institutions, NGOs and companies offering accommodation. Unlike other initiatives that collect similar data, uaSOS.org automatically combines ads from people in need with help offers to help as many people as possible. Thanks to the platform, people in need do not have to browse hundreds of available help packages but get the best and most up-to-date help packages tailored to their needs. Registration on the platform is not anonymous, which ensures the security of both sides.
Since the beginning of the war, one million refugees (women, children and men) from Ukraine have crossed the Polish border. Thanks to the platform, they will be able to find a place to stay for a few nights or months faster. uaSOS.org is accessible from any device with internet access. Other functions will be added in the coming days, including transport options or job offers.
“After a few days of running the website in the basic version, we are releasing a fully automated version to help – announce Jagoda Trela, ID Advisory and Alina Bieniek of Clevsoft, the initiators of the platform. The app was scheduled to launch in early March, but the developers decided to go beyond the original plan. - The situation is dynamic and unpredictable, and in recent days we have understood that we need to prepare for long-term support, hence expanding the scope of the platform with additional features. Since the entire community has worked on the application and the goal is humane, it will work on an open-source basis. Work is underway for the project to be taken over by a completely independent foundation, which will take over the management of the app. This will make the work even more transparent and open to all who want to help. Many thanks to everyone who has already contributed to the development of uaSOS.org by donating their talent, their time, their skills and their zeal. So far, all the people and companies involved have been completely non-profit-making”, adds Trela.
How does uaSOS.org work?
uaSOS.org is a free platform available in four languages: Polish, Ukrainian, Russian and English. Anyone willing can provide detailed information about the accommodation offered, including the number of places, the location, the availability time and the gender of the hosts. The platform also enables direct communication between those in need and accommodation. It can also be used by informal organisations and groups that help refugees find temporary or long-term accommodation.
“We have taken in the first large group of refugees from war-affected Ukraine, but we all know that this is just the beginning. At the moment, it is crucial to organise aid for those fleeing war as efficiently as possible, and for this, we need intelligent instruments. Through cooperation with many foundations and organisations, we have succeeded in providing the platform with databases already created by them on the people who offer help. People fleeing from Ukraine can secure accommodation before crossing the Polish border and know where to go”, says Łukasz Rey of Boston Consulting Group, partner of the initiative.
The developers of uaSOS.org plan to bundle existing similar initiatives to reach as many people as possible waiting for help. The app will soon be expanded to include the possibility to provide support to people outside Poland.
The platform was founded by dozens of volunteers and is based on an advanced engine that allows you to add new features. The initiative is supported by Polish and Ukrainian non-governmental organisations, local authorities and many companies that not only ensure the use of the best technologies but also reach hundreds of thousands of people on both sides of the border. The platform was fully legally protected by the law office ID Advisory (including GDPR issues). It also has several technical security measures, including personal data being processed in Google’s cloud, the data set is limited, the log-in is done via Facebook and Gmail, which increases security.
Source: Poland Daily 24, uaSOS.org