On 18 December 2022, two mini-vans filled with generators, sleeping bags, powerbanks, outdoor equipment etc, funded by donations to Friends of KSE, left Stockholm on its journey to students and academics at Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) in Ukraine. On December 20, all things were safely delivered in Ukraine.
About the Friends of KSE Initiative
Torbjörn Becker together with associates started the Friends of KSE initiative on 19 April 2022 to support students and academics in Ukraine with special focus on friends and colleagues at KSE under the fantastic leadership of people like Tymofiy Mylovanov (President of KSE) and Nataliia Shapoval (Head of KSE Institute and Vice President of Policy Research at KSE).
The Friends of KSE initiative got off to a great start with a 500k € donation from the Tetra Laval Group that recently sent 10M € worth of generators to Ukraine. Since then, other companies and individuals have added more than 100k € to support students and academics in Ukraine through the Friends of KSE initiative.
“The simple message of this story, together we can do some useful things for our friends and heroes in Ukraine at a very marginal cost to ourselves and if you plan it well and bring good friends and family for your trip it can be a great journey that you will remember and something to talk about over the holidays.”, says Torbjörn Becker, Director of SITE and co-founding member of the Friends of KSE initiative.
The Journey to Ukraine
Thanks to your donations via the Friends of KSE, you made it possible to buy two vans, generators, power banks, sleeping bags, etc. Outdoor products were donated by Primus Equipment! Even a bag full Christmas candies for the younger students.
With a van full of important necessities to keep our Ukrainian friends and colleagues warm, it was time to make the delivery. Torbjörn and his companions drove all the way from Sweden to the border between Poland and Ukraine.
From left: Raoul Grünthal and Torbjörn Becker enjoying a coffee as the journey begins.
After clearing customs, thanks to the help the Friends of KSE team received from the Ukrainian embassy in Sweden and colleagues at KSE with preparing the needed documents and proof of donations, they drove to the first open gas station in Ukraine. The gas station had their own generator and could keep lights, heat, (and coffee machines) going despite the blackouts around the gas station, again, emphasizing the importance of sending generators to Ukraine.
Lights and hot drinks as they waited for Tymofiy Mylovanov and his companions to arrive from Kyiv.
While Torbjörn and his brother Magnus and brother-in-law Svante were waiting at the gas station, our friends from KSE were driving all the way from Kyiv the same day to meet up Torbjörn at the gas station.
Plenty of smiles despite their long trip, Tymofiy Mylovanov and his companions are the true heroes!
Once Torbjörn delivered the cars with the rest of the supplies, the journey back home was less dramatic and less hectic. Michal Myck (Director of the Centre for Economic Analysis, CenEA), our Polish colleague and friend, had arranged a ride back to Krakow from the border.
On the way back to Krakow from the border, they passed Rzeszow and the airport from where President Zelensky had left for the US earlier the same day!
Many Thanks for Your Support
Thanks to your support, the Friends of KSE initiative have been able to help a number of students and researchers in need for a safe shelter to continue their academic journey during difficult times. Your concern for our friends and colleagues in Ukraine, and the freedom of academics, is above and beyond.
Want to Make a Donation?
If you want to be part of our small effort to help students and academics in Ukraine and support the future of Ukraine, please visit Friends of KSE (friendsofkse.org) to make a donation.