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Commitment beyond borders
Commitment beyond borders



Help for the people in Ukraine

Solidarity unites. The unprecedented humanitarian effort for those affected by the war in Ukraine illustrates just how strong these ties can be. Immediately after the start of the war, private and public actors around the world committed themselves to supporting refugees and the people who remained in their home country. Syntegon helps aid workers to alleviate the humanitarian emergency.

Ninja Taprogge
Done watching
A day in early March 2022, shortly after the escalation of the war in Ukraine: Ninja Taprogge, who was employed by CARE at the time, can no longer just watch the news; her job is to help. Together with colleagues, she drives from Berlin to the Polish-Ukrainian border by car. The things they witness leave a mark: in her memory, Ninja Taprogge still sees the volunteers who built the first soup kitchen and tents on the Polish side. But she also remembers the women and girls who were left out in the cold, and the injured, traumatized by their terrible experiences.
“Meeting the people and talking to them about their experiences is so different from watching the news,” she says. “It was clear to us that these vulnerable groups urgently need additional humanitarian aid.”
Within the first few months, especially the area around Lviv, but also the Ukrainian-Polish border saw many people arrive who had left everything behind – families, friends, their jobs, and their future.
This is where Taprogge and her team came into play: “We evaluated the situation: what services were already available, and which did CARE urgently need to provide?” she explains. Taprogge connected with local fellow helpers, explored support options, and acted as an intermediary. In addition to supplying hygiene articles and medicines, the protection of women and girls played an important role. “Women and children need safe retreats, for example for breastfeeding, playing, or to warm up in cold weather,” she says. CARE quickly set up the required support together with local women’s rights organizations.
A few months later, the front had shifted, allowing CARE to access some areas in the east and southeast of the country. Another reason for the organization and its local partners to help the affected communities. Together, they rebuilt damaged houses and ensured the supply of water and other urgently needed relief goods. “I am impressed by the commitment of people who have been through a lot and still haven’t lost the courage to carry on. We must continue to support these people by maintaining cross-border solidarity and life-saving assistance.”
Mathias Krug
An impulse as initial spark
For Mathias Krug, it all started during a dinner: “In March 2022, I was talking with friends about the terrible war in Ukraine – and we decided to do something,” the co-founder of Lift Ukraine and Sales Director at Syntegon recalls. Without further ado, they chartered their first bus in Poland. The welfare organization Caritas had told them about stranded women and children at train stations near the Polish-Ukrainian border. “These people didn’t know where to go. So we drove buses to the platforms, offered our help and brought the first refugees to Germany.”
He spent most of the trip on his cell phone. Thousand kilometers later, Mathias Krug had found a first place to stay for all of them thanks to the efforts of many volunteers. The cell phone remained his constant companion. Founding Lift Ukraine and coordinating shelter with the host families became a very time-consuming activity, especially in the first months.
Mathias Krug also received substantial support from his work colleagues: nine buses brought more than 400 women and children to the German Syntegon locations in Crailsheim, Waiblingen, and Remshalden, where they met their host families. “Countless colleagues helped us organize accommodation, kept the canteen running, and donated money or goods. This saved us time and enabled us to work in a highly professional way,” says Krug.
The 47-year-old and his organization are still arranging bus transfers and further aid projects. But thanks to the growing number of helpers, he no longer needs to be on his cell phone every single minute. “As nerve-racking as it sometimes was, every second was worthwhile. Many women have lost their husbands, and children have lost their fathers. If we can support these people just a little bit with our work, this fills me with joy.”
Ninja Taprogge

Ninja Taprogge

Former co-head of Communication and Advocacy at CARE Germany e. V.

“Meeting the people and talking to them about their experiences is so different from watching the news.”

CARE packages

Founded in the U. S. in 1945 to help people in devastated post-war Europe with 100 million CARE packages of food, clothing or tools, CARE now works to alleviate hardship in 100 countries worldwide.

Donations for crisis intervention

CARE provides emergency aid in different areas in Ukraine – from Lviv in the west of the country to Luhansk and Donetsk in the southeast, where most of the fighting is currently taking place. After about a year, the organization has a team of more than 45 employees on the ground with offices in Lviv, Odesa, Kyiv, and Dnipro and has already implemented 20 aid projects together with local partners. For example, CARE supplied a hospital near Kyiv with medicines and medical equipment with the help of Ukrainian partner organizations. As a supporting partner, Syntegon donated 38,000 euros to CARE last year.

Mit dem Bus in Sicherheit
The road to safety

Since the start of the war, millions of Ukrainians have fled their country. The non-profit association Lift Ukraine was founded in March 2022 to help them escape the embattled areas and reach safer ground. Lift Ukraine focuses on chartering buses to transport refugees, including orphans and disabled people, from the border regions to Germany. Thanks to the growing commitment and after more than 25 bus transfers, Lift Ukraine has been able to provide shelter in private homes for more than 1,000 refugees in recent months.

Mathias Krug

Mathias Krug

Co-founder of Lift Ukraine 

"Many women have lost their husbands, and children have lost their fathers. If we can support these people just a little bit with our work, this fills me with joy.”


The mission of #liftUKRAINE is to support refugees from Ukraine and to help reconstruct the Ukrainian society and infrastructure.

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