Warming Centers for Vulnerable Ukrainians During Winter Months

Nova Ukraine Partners with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and Ukrainian Railways (Ukrzaliznytsia) on Warming Centers for Vulnerable Ukrainians During Winter Months

A USD$2.3 million grant from the Buffett Foundation will fund warming centers, Фортеці Незламності, at railway stations and include emergency internet, hot beverages and water provided by the Coca Cola Company. 

Nova Ukraine recently announced a grant of USD $2,349,147 from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to construct at least 20 mobile warming stations to offer humanitarian relief to vulnerable Ukrainians this Winter.  Ukrainian Railways (Ukraliznytsia) will provide additional logistics, facilities, and resupply support. The joint effort will offer essential services to local and evacuating civilians in areas where critical infrastructure – water and electricity – have been disrupted by Russian military strikes.

These warming centers will operate exclusively during the day, with nighttime hours used for maintenance and resupply.  Each station will give civilians access to:

  • Generators and charging stations for personal devices
  • Secure internet (such as Starlink) and cellular access
  • Heated shelters for temporary use and additional individual supplies of blankets, disposable dishes, etc.
  • Hot tea and coffee, and select stations will also provide meals     

The Coca-Cola Company has also agreed to provide thousands of bottles of clean drinking water each day.  

Some warming stations will utilize existing Ukrzaliznitsia stations, while others will be located in cities that have been identified as having high need, but do not yet have operating rail traffic.  Collaboration with Ukrzaliznitsia is vital to achieving the project’s key objectives: serving as many civilians and evacuees as possible by being located near central transportation hubs, and remaining mobile, to enable rapid redeployment to other cities.  Most of the stations will be located in frontline cities and service areas that have only recently been liberated.

Stations will be operated by Nova Ukraine’s volunteer staff, who will take on a wide range of tasks including the logistics of supply and procurement, coordination of daily activity, volunteer engagement, partner management, as well as emergency response and risk mitigation.  Nova Ukraine project managers will be in charge of station staff and equipment, and will coordinate with other local volunteer networks and partners to ensure safe and sustainable operation.

Given the numerous internally displaced people and the increasingly dire humanitarian situation in Ukraine, Nova Ukraine expects these stations to service from 500 to 3,000 people daily for the next three months as they relocate to safer areas of the country.  

About Nova Ukraine

Nova Ukraine is a nonprofit organization established in 2014 in response to the Russian occupation of Crimea and the initial invasion of Donbas.  Dedicated to providing aid to Ukraine at this time of conflict and hardship, Nova Ukraine engages a driven team of volunteers on the ground in Ukraine and in the United States.  Their work touches all aspects of the humanitarian crisis, including the procurement of important medical equipment, delivery of supplies and food stuffs, and the coordination of efforts to help Ukrainians who were forcefully and unlawfully deported to Russia to return to Ukraine or allied countries.  Tens of millions of dollars have been raised to support these projects, with more than 98% of the funds going directly to humanitarian aid.

For more about Nova Ukraine, to learn, donate, or to see how you or your organization can get involved, visit www.novaukraine.org or contact us at [email protected].

About the Howard G. Buffett Foundation

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation is a private family foundation working to catalyze transformational change to improve the standard of living and quality of life for the world’s most impoverished and marginalized populations. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Foundation has donated nearly USD $150 million in humanitarian aid and food security assistance, and recently established a local NGO, The Ukraine Foundation, to oversee its work in-country.

About The Coca-Cola Company:The Coca-Cola Company is a total beverage company with products sold in more than 200 countries and territories. Our company’s purpose is to refresh the world and make a difference. Since the war in Ukraine began, The Coca-Cola Company, its global bottling partners and The Coca-Cola Foundation have committed to contributions totaling more than $19 million to support its colleagues and humanitarian relief efforts.

Your donations and support for Nova Ukraine and Ukraine’s people come at a critical time. With your support, Nova Ukraine and its partners can keep providing vital equipment to those who continue to suffer the most from Russia’s unconscionable war.

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