Millions of Ukrainians are still fleeing the horrors of war following Russia’s brutal attack on their homeland. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians arrived in Sweden early this spring. The need for shelter quickly became acute. In March 2022, the non-profit site swedesforukraine.org was launched. It is a platform that connects Ukrainian refugee families with Swedes who have room to spare and who are willing and able to provide housing.
The initiative for Swedes for Ukraine was taken by Ebba Lindsö and Dan Olofsson. They began the work of getting the service up and running immediately after the outbreak of the war. The site was developed in a very short time by Ukrainian engineers and web developers at Sigma Software. These engineers remained in western Ukraine but wanted to help their compatriots who had been forced to flee, and therefore worked around the clock to get the service up and running.
The swedesforukraine.org platform was the first of its kind. And it makes it easy for Swedes with available rooms or other accommodations to have direct contact with refugee families. The idea is that after contact via phone or e-mail, the parties meet. If they come to an agreement, the accommodation is made available for three months, or another period of time set by the parties. This timeframe can later be extended if the parties agree. The site is available in Ukrainian, Swedish and English. So far, more than 500 refugees have found accommodation through Swedes for Ukraine. This is more than most municipalities in Sweden have managed to house.
In addition to providing accommodation, Swedes for Ukraine helps to give Ukrainian refugees accurate guidance when they need to get in touch with various authorities and aid organisations. And anyone who wants to help in other ways can sign up as a volunteer on the website. These volunteers serve as support for one or more refugees.