By Leah Conway –
Freedom Boxes is a humanitarian mission that was created by Stuart Watkins. Stuart Watkins owns a software company that has offices in Prague and Cambridge. When the conflict in Ukraine began, Stuart, his family and his team started their work to lend a helping hand.
They wanted to deliver help and provide hope to those affected by the invasion. Freedom Boxes is the team’s creation to provide immediate and direct support to those who need it.
The team spreads across the UK and Central and Eastern European regions, including Russia and Ukraine. Together the team pulls together supplies, packs and delivers ‘Freedom Boxes.
The support boxes are delivered across the border into bunkers and warzones by the team’s drivers.
Two of Stuart’s team members are also working on the project in Ukraine. They are helping coordinate getting people across the border and out of areas under siege.
A Humanitarian crisis
Stuart Watkins, founder of Freedom Boxes, said: “During war, it is always the vulnerable who suffer the most. We are dropping off truckloads of Freedom Boxes for distribution to those who need them and bringing Ukrainian refugees to safety.
“As a private company located in Prague and with colleagues in Ukraine, we had the ability to mobilise our assets, people, and connections very quickly to get up and running and begin helping. Larger organisations are less agile and take longer to mobilise, whereas Freedom Boxes provides a way for people to have a much more immediate and direct impact.
“In just two weeks since the war began, we have already delivered over 450 Freedom Boxes and transported over 70 refugees to safety. We will continue to do whatever we can to get essential items into Ukraine while getting as many people as we can out and away from danger.”
“As the humanitarian crisis worsens, bordering countries are filling up with refugees. They are having to travel further afar which can add days onto their journeys. The Freedom Buses are helping solve this problem.”
Stuart and his team have been able to quickly build solutions to utilise their assets for good. This has included QR codes to understand what people need and tracking devices to verify receipt of items.
You can visit the Freedom Box website. There are different options to help. You can purchase a Freedom Bus ticket for someone fleeing Ukraine or choose from a range of tailormade Freedom Boxes.
You can also share messages of hope by uploading them on the messages of hope website, which are delivered directly to Ukrainian families via Freedom Boxes.