A platform called Ukraine Take Shelter matching Ukrainian refugees with their potential hosts from neighboring countries and elsewhere was created by two Harvard University students.
This is an independent secure platform that allows refugees to search for the nearest available hosts, while hosts can sign up to offer space and provide further details, such as availability of transportation, first-aid, spoken languages, childcare, disability support, legal support, etc.
The idea emerged after Avi Schiffmann, one of the co-creators, attended a protest against the war in Ukraine and felt the urge to give a hand.
“The whole point of the website is just to connect [hosts] to refugees, to make that discoverability even possible in the first place. And make it really easy,” Schiffmann said, adding that further communication between parties can be facilitated through services such as WhatsApp, Geekwire reported.
As of 5 March, an estimated 1.2 million refugees had left Ukraine, according to the UN. More than half of them evacuated to Poland; others departed to other neighboring countries, including Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova, and Romania.