As Ukraine is being devastated by the Russian enemy, we stand together as a united front and reach out our hearts and helping hands to people in need. In this regard, Symphonians are amazing people who never give up in the direst of circumstances. They not only stay on top of their projects but are actively involved in the life of the community. Everyone’s fight is different. While our brave warriors are keeping a stronghold on all fronts, we can secure them from the back and take care of one another. Every soul is precious, every life is sacred. It is our duty and mission to find our place in the turmoil and make a personal contribution, however big or small. Little strokes fell great oaks. Let’s hear from our Symphony Heroes in the Rear, doing their part on the rear front for the sake of Ukrainians and the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The long drive to war The unprovoked and senseless war was something that we never wanted to expect, we couldn’t let ourselves believe that this is a possibility until the early morning of February 24th. Yet Russia’s aggression must have felt different for the many military families of Ukraine. Maryna Shulga, Release Manager at Symphony Solutions, shares her perspective: I grew up in a military town. Ever since I was a little girl, I was surrounded by people in uniform. I’d wake up to the sounds of soldiers marching to a battle song. A year ago, my father, who has been retired for the last 16 years and worked in Poland as a driver, suddenly returned to service alongside his friends. I think he knew. Now, they are all at war, and supplying the Ukrainian Armed Forces with medication, ammunition, tactical medicine kits, or even driving cars over from Germany for them to use - I believe that this is part of my duty to protect my family. For as long as UAF stand, they need to have a secure rear and know that we can get for them anything they need. Defending Ukraine in the rear While some Symphonians joined the military or were drafted into the army, many didn’t lag behind and became part of the local territorial defence forces. Oleksii Tretiak, Service Delivery Manager at Symphony Solutions, is one of such heroes in the rear: I helped the territorial defence forces first and foremost. Transporting food to an orphanage. For the most part, I helped out as a driver for those who needed help. It’s our part to save our home The theme of unity is what helps many get by and have the strength to face another day. Everyone's contribution counts towards victory. Everyone helps in their own way. Tetyana Slezinska, Service Delivery Manager at Symphony Solutions, tells her story: This is my country. Lviv is my hometown. Our power is in unity and care for one another. Everyone needs to do something to bring our victory closer and make life easier for refugees, who come to Lviv in thousands every day. Drive people to the border, help sort out humanitarian aid at the warehouse, pick up and bring people whatever they need and what is hard to get by right now, even helping out with information. And money, of course. They need literally everything.We all want to support the army, transport bulletproof vests and sniper scopes. Personally, I don’t have any experience with that, so this should be handled by those who know what they’re doing and have their ways around it. Supporting the Armed Forces of Ukraine While we take care of the people displaced by the war, we never forget about our brave warriors who are fighting off the vicious attacks of the Russian army. In whichever way we can support them, whatever equipment or aid we can find and provide. Oleksandr Vilchynskyy, Lead DevOps Engineer at Symphony Solutions, tells how helped his friends set off for the front: The first thing that I’ve decided after the war started was that I’m staying put in Lviv and first help all my friends who at the time were already packing to go fight for Ukraine - some to Kyiv, some to Mykolaiv. Since the early days, I started grabbing whatever I could find for their battalion - helmets, radio transmitters, drones, tactical gloves, cartridge belts, cleaning rods for rifles, warm clothing, food that you can eat on the go (e.g., M&Ms). Not everyone can pick up a rifle though. Yet there are so many other ways we can help without necessarily launching into battle. Oleksandr’s fight continued on the information front: Because I’m a lousy military guy, I’ve decided that the best thing I can do is to teach others to hack and DDoS Russian websites, which is exactly what I was doing right until Russia still had any semblance of the internet left. Still, the job of a volunteer never ends. From evaluating people to purchasing equipment and weaving masking nets - all this is done alongside regular work. Is it hard? Of course! But Oleksandr finds the time and resources to do what he needs to do: At the time we started hearing more and more about people in need. My brother asked to evacuate his pregnant wife, who was 37 weeks along, from Kyiv to Poland. Then we organized the production of inverters and masking nets, bought earphones for our guys in the frontlines, changed the firmware on transmitters, improved mobile and internet networks in places with destroyed cell towers. While I was driving around buying stuff, at home I had set up a volunteer storage where my friends would bring and leave backpacks, equipment, care packages for our mutual friends. Can this be done alongside regular work? I’d say no, because it’s hard and time-consuming, and it’s better to take a day off for when you need to do volunteer work. Should you do it though? Definitely, yes! While Ukrainian warriors are fighting off the intruder, they maintain their high spirits and a good sense of humour, Oleksandr shares: And of course, it’s always awesome to hear back from our guys:“Hey guys, the cars are here!” They are excited just like little kids."“Thank you all for your help and support.”“I have some good news for you. Yesterday our first squad successfully positioned artillery at the enemy's equipment that was hidden in the woods near Kyiv.” While the fight is continuing on the frontlines, all we have left to do is to keep a strong and secured rear for our army. And then again we can think about supporting the economy and our life after the victory: Now that all my friends have packed and set off, I no longer do much volunteer work. I only handle small tasks, but for the most part, I’m back to work. The reason for that is very simple, although I’d argue if that is the right reason. Supporting the normal way of life in our city and reviving the economy of Ukraine, in general, is of course a very important task. And we the ones working in IT are among those who can do it and, I believe, should do it through simply going about their life, shopping and supporting business, just like in times of peace. Family is all that really matters There is so much that Symphonians are doing right now, and still, so much more we can do. But at the end of the day, we all think about reuniting with our families and going back to the time when we can once again live under the peaceful blue sky of Ukraine. Dmytro Gaviuk, Senior Go Software Engineer at Symphony Solutions, is brief and precise in his words, but we can all agree with his sentiment: What we’ve done:tactical flashlights, thermal imaging cameras, radio transmitters for the military special units,helping the 80th Air Assault Brigade,driving a parcel to Yavoriv,helping set up a car to Volnovakha,purchased a drone for Azov special unit (the whole team pitched in),medication and humanitarian aid from friends abroad.I think that at a time like this no one can stand aside, everyone needs to help, especially since we have such an opportunity to work and handle the most urgent needs of our army and volunteers. Personally, I’d like to get back with my family as soon as possible and see my children grow up and not through video chat. Friends in need Symphonians’ stories are truly inspirational in showing how everyone can find their calling and be an important part of our community, of this battle for the good. And all this goes way beyond Ukraine, as we have friends and family from around the globe responding to our urgent calls for help and just being there for us. Marta Khoma, Training Management/Onboarding Specialist at Symphony Solutions, found her own way to volunteer and contribute to Ukraine’s fight for freedom and she has some good friends helping along the way: I’m driving cars from Poland to Lviv, and later our guys take them to the hot spots. I also coordinate volunteers from China who supply the frontlines with tactical medicine kits.I have a lot of friends in the US so I send them lists of what we need right now (the needs of our military).It’s important to me to be of any help, so I found a way to apply myself by being a woman who drives a stick, speaks English, and has a ton of friends all around the globe. These are just some of the stories of our amazing volunteers here at Symphony Solutions. The bottom line is that we stay united and do whatever we can, whether it’s staying close to our families and friends, helping out strangers who have found themselves in difficult circumstances, being the mediators for our foreign friends who want to send help, or providing for the needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. There is so much that we do or still have yet to do. Together we are strong and persistent! Stay tuned for more stories from Symphonians.