"Red lines" forever distinguish "there" and "here", divide our lives into "before" and "after". It must be endured, it takes a lot of effort and it is very good when help is found, when life draws a new "red line" in front of you. The goal of the Red Line Ukraine Charitable Foundation, led by Vladimir Shulmeister, is to help people in the Red Line.
- Mr. Vladimir, there are many charitable organizations and volunteers now. You also have a charity fund. Why? Wasn't it worth joining someone?
- I am convinced that today everyone should do what works best for him. You need to unite - unite. It is better to do it alone - do it. I am logistics expert. I have time-tested professionals to help organize processes. Connections, acquaintances, opportunities - all this is present and works. In addition, I understand that today the volunteer movement needs logistical solutions. The current situation can no longer be solved by a single "scout passion" (although this is extremely necessary). Unfortunately, there are months of work ahead to provide everyone who is on the "red lines". And, therefore, we have to establish systematic work. Without cheap PR. Just do what we have to do. And do it at your best.
There is no room for monopoly in this work. We are implementing holistic projects ourselves, and we are ready to help anyone who helps the "red lines" in logistics and other issues. And the results of our work have already shown - this is the best option for organizing activities.
- Where did you start? What's now? What are the plans? Tell us about the work of "RLU"
- I didn't have to invent anything. Logistics is our field of activity. And it started ... It started with "armor". Then, from the first project it became clear that without the established channels we will do everything for a long time and with unpleasant "surprises".
We began to cooperate with the Volunteer Headquarters at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to supply the necessary things to the forefront. This is a job: daily, painstaking. Work without "medals" and "loud" titles, without ostentatious heroism. The Red Lines deserve ony that, the confidence that they got help yesterday, are getting help today and will not be left alone tomorrow. Whatever happens: our channels, our logistics will work. Or find a new one that will work under any conditions. We give confidence there, at the forefront. And, in addition to cargoes we deliver, this confidence helps to live.
- Who can count on the help of "RLU"?
- Units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, journalists and volunteers documenting war crimes and crimes against humanity, Ukrainian communities and volunteers delivering humanitarian aid to "red" Ukrainian cities and villages are the main audiences for the Foundation. This list is not exhaustive. "Red lines" do not divide people into groups. Therefore, the issue of assistance is decided in each case individually. Here we still need to understand: our direction (crisis logistics channels - Ed.) Is needed in any situation, for any group. It doesn't matter if you carry fuel, "armor", food, medicine or, say, special equipment - we have already delivered it many times. The main thing is that the final recipient had this cargo on time and without losses. It is also a psychological, emotional connection there, on the "red lines", with the "big land", with Ukraine. We overcome all the difficulties of finding and delivering goods, and our defenders defeat the enemy there. They feel, they know that their backs are covered. This feeling is expensive.
- You talked about donors who help with the search and delivery of humanitarian goods. Are people willing to get in touch? How do you feel about your work?
- Here are a few points. First of all, they know me personally and many members of our team well. And personal contact is undoubtedly the basis of trust. There are also the results of real work, which in volunteer and charitable activities rule for the best advertising. Our foundation provides feedback, feedback from end recipients. However, we do not mediate in the transmission of these reviews. At each step, the donor can track how his help goes to the recipient or even how it was used by the recipient. Unprecedented transparency and control at all stages open more and more people who are willing to help.
For our part, we continue to work to increase the transparency of all processes. This is a complete automation, and the ability to track cargo online, and even video recording of movement. If necessary, we also organize physical escort of goods. Everything is done in such a way as to prevent any "surprises" along the way and eliminate the corruption component and the "human factor".
- Mr. Vladimir, it may seem that you and your team are such magicians that you do not have difficulties or problems ...
- I will not say for myself, but my team are real magicians. Yes, and we have problems. Bureaucracy is something that often slows down our work. Although, I will say this: today we see that after the war we must come to life with a renewed, radically changed system. There is no place for paper wars or fights, there is nothing to be decided by a petty official (he just has to do what belongs to him). The words "rollback", "bribe" and all others, which, unfortunately, can cost dozens of lives in wartime, should disappear from our circulation. It's all disappearing. People open their eyes, rethink many things. But we must eradicate it completely, once and for all.
And (we talked about it at the beginning) - the thirst for "encouragement". Here "RLU" is not afraid of competition at all. I honestly don't quite understand the word "competition" in our work today. There is a request from people - we satisfy this request. If someone else helps people - very good. We need to help together, help each other in the implementation of joint volunteer projects. But the selfie against the background of a hungry grandmother with a loaf of bread makes me, forgive me, mad. Are you a hero? What did you want to say to those selfies? Do you need an order? Such sticky PR is a shame. I am sure that the war, among other things, will expose true values and society will no longer accept such "PR pranks."
- So you think that it is not necessary to talk about the results of volunteering or charity?
- Not at all. Success in these areas is feedback from the final recipient. People communicate with each other, talk about us. From them, donors learn that help has reached the recipient. Such publicity is a real dream of every decent volunteer or philanthropist. And it is not necessary to refuse advertising: it is necessary to look for new donors somehow. But it is very easy to distinguish PR for the sake of self-promotion from the dissemination of information about the work of the organization. Suffice it to mention the old Roman formula: "Who benefits?". If the obvious goal is to help people, find new contacts and expand connections - that's ok, that's the norm. But if we learn about the "hero", who "saved hundreds of people" and is "just doomed to the love of the people" - you need to show such a man to the doors. But, in the end, people are already feeling well.
I can only add. Every time I receive feedback from people, I feel some special pleasure: it means that "RLU" works properly. And this means that the war will end, and we will not repeat old mistakes. People have already learned a lot. And society will not allow the restoration of "nepotism", "concepts" and other things that can not fit in the head of a healthy person. And today we have to work. Actually it is "RLU" and does: every day, every minute, every second.
The RED LINE UKRAINE Charitable Fund is created to provide humanitarian aid, special equipment and ammunition to those on the red lines of the war who are repelling the Russian Federation's armed aggression against Ukraine:
- units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine: the State Emergency Service, the National Police and the National Guard, whose employees perform their professional duties,
- those who document war crimes and crimes against humanity;
- Ukrainian communities and volunteers who deliver humanitarian goods to "red" Ukrainian cities and villages
Red Line Ukraine logistics system allows to manage deliveries from the moment the goods are received in the warehouse to the final recipient.
Currently, the Foundation employs 18 highly professional specialists who carry out their activities on a volunteer basis.