“Probably no one had visited this place for the last 40 years!” Rostislav Filippenko
“Probably no one had visited this place for the last 40 years!”
When the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv came under attack in 2022, health professionals knew they had to save lives – and medicine.
The nonprofit Mission Kharkiv went searching for a bomb-proof shelter specifically for oncology medicine, including medication for chemotherapy. These medicines need to be stored in a cold-chain controlled environment (between 2-8° C) to be effective.
After six weeks of searching, Mission Kharkiv founder Rostislav Filippenko heard about a basement under a supermarket and, while visiting, saw a neighboring room that was already reinforced and bomb-proof. “It was a former Soviet Union bunker!,” says Filippenko. “Probably no one had visited this place for the last 40 years!”
The space was ideal: 60 square-meters and 3 meters underground, with thick metal doors and strong walls constructed during the Soviet era specifically as a bomb shelter. “The supermarket owner offered us this place for free, but it needed a huge amount of work to modify it for medicine storage,” says Filippenko. Americares provided the funds needed to improve the space.
With a biotech engineer, Mission Kharkiv designed and remodeled the bunker into medicine storage not only safe from attacks, but also from power outages. “We included an automatically run 10kW generator with a fuel reservoir for seven days of independent functioning connected to the fridge chambers and Starlink for online temperature monitoring,” says Filippenko,
Mission Kharkiv has already received a shipment of oncological medication that will fully stock the facility for at least a year.
“The beneficiaries of the project will be the most vulnerable people who have cancer and cannot purchase medication themselves,” says Filippenko. Mission Kharkiv collatoriages with the Ministry of Health and Kharkiv Health Department, and the facility may store medicines distributed by the Ministry of Health. “We estimate that at least 20,000 oncology patients from Kharkiv and the surrounding regions, including people displaced within Ukraine due to the invasion, will benefit from this project,” he says. Read more about our response to the War in Ukraine.
February 05, 2024
For Ehsan* and his family in Aleppo, Syria, the powerful earthquake that struck Türkiye and northern Syria in February 2023 felt like “judgement day.” At first, they thought the jolting was yet another airstrike in Syria’s ongoing civil war but ran from the house when they realized it was a quake.
The Hawaii wildfires, the deadliest in the U.S. in more than a century, killed at least 97 people, displaced thousands and caused an estimated $5.6 billion in damage. The disaster hit especially hard for people experiencing homelessness in Maui, compounding the difficulties they already faced to survive.
January 30, 2024
Stamford, Conn. – Jan. 30, 2024 – Americares has joined CMA CGM Foundation’s Containers of Hope program, which will transport humanitarian aid for the health-focused relief and development organization for one year.
January 18, 2024
Stamford, Conn. –Jan. 18, 2024 – Americares, the health-focused relief and development organization, is pleased to announce the election of Jean-Marc Laouchez to its Board of Directors. His three-year term began Jan. 1.