Steelmakers Call for Joint Effort in Helping Refugees
Košice,March 14,2022 – Ukrainian students at the Technical University of Košice were the first to convey their concerns about the threatened lives of their mothers and younger siblings. In response, immediately after the outbreak of the war, U. S. Steel Košice and its employees also joined the move to provide aid to the refugees. “Nothing is more important than human life. We immediately mobilized our financial,material and human resources to help our neighbors in the war,” says USSK President James Bruno. “We want peace, and that is why we must help those who are attacked,” he adds.
“We are communicating with charities, civic associations, local government, as well as the state administration,and at the same time we are calling on other businesses to contribute and to overcome this difficult period together,” said Vice President Miroslav Kiraľvarga addressing business entities. “According to our information,there will be a shortage of beds in Košice in the near future. U. S. Steel Košice will provide the first 350 beds within one week. We will make it together,” M. Kiraľvarga appeals.
We enclose an overview of activities by U. S. Steel Košice to help refugees
We donate thousands of hot lunches
One of the first initiatives was a call for employees to voluntarily donate any number of lunches to people fleeing the war. By March 14,727 ironworkers had donated a total of 7,751 lunches. They go mainly to mothers with children who have arrived at the dormitories of the Technical University of Košice (TUKE) on Jedlíková and B. Nemcová streets. Lunches are cooked in the Eurest canteens,which provide meals for USSK employees, and the catering company also helps with lunch deliveries. Distributing hundreds of lunches a day is not logistically easy,so individual steelmakers are involved in the deliveries too, as well in the purchasing of food,fruit and hygiene items according to the real needs and specifications from the dormitories.
We have sent a truck full of food to Ukraine
“I was contacted by Jegor Ponomarenko,who was the purchasing manager for the procurement of mining and metallurgical equipment at Metinvest, our long-term business partner in Ukraine. Now he serves as the coordinator for the provision of humanitarian aid,” says Andrea Egryová,Strategic Raw Materials Manager at U. S. Steel Košice. “We immediately formed a team of people from Purchasing,who arranged the purchase of food and materials according to the list from our Ukrainian partner. We were in contact almost constantly,we exchanged information over the weekend,in the evenings,so that it would take place as quickly as possible,” adds A. Egryová. Durable foods such as flour,oil,milk,sugar,salt,tea and rice weighing a total of 17 tons were stored on 32 pallets. The truck then proceeded to a terminal in the Polish city of Slawkow,where all humanitarian aid is collected and distributed to people in need in Ukraine.
We cooperate with Ukrainian students
Assistance is also coordinated in cooperation with TUKE and Ukrainian students studying there. Since the invasion by Russian troops,they have been taking mothers and children away from the borders,as they seek permanent or temporary refuge in Slovakia. Through the support of the Slovak Red Cross,U. S. Steel Košice will also help these students with fuel costs,because the boys have already exhausted all their financial resources.
Electrical appliances arrive at the dormitories
Together with the donation of lunches,we have dealt with the equipment of kitchens for food storage and heating. A van came to Jedlíkova Street with us,bringing five microwave ovens and 20 electric kettles bought by U. S. Steel Košice. The second stop was the TUKE dormitories on B. Nemcová Street, where we brought four refrigerators, 22 kettles and seven microwave ovens. The third delivery ended at the dormitory of UPJŠ in Košice at Popradská Street, where we brought four TV sets, 30 kettles and eight microwave ovens.
Women from Ukraine need advice on safe phone lines
We are coordinating several forms of assistance with the Greek Catholic Charity. We helped create a call center for women with children. Within a few hours,we provided the first 15 smartphones used by Ukrainian-speaking girls to provide useful advice to refugees. Another two hundred were delivered in the following days. We also provided several dozen smartphones to the city of Košice. The phones are intended for volunteers who work in the field.
We buy power banks and chargers
The Košice steelmakers,in cooperation with the Slovak Red Cross,help the refugeesstanding for long hours at the border crossingsto stay in contact with their loved ones. They distribute power banks and chargers bought for the occasion by U. S. Steel Košice.
We update the list of ways of helping refugees on a daily basis
"Our company has offered our Training Center in Medzev, which can accommodate and provide meals for almost forty mothers with children, " says Ján Bača, USSK Director Public Affairs, complementing the range of forms of assistance. “We are constantly communicating with trusted organizations that help refugees. Based on this, we have set up several specific options and lines where our employees can participate individually and outside the company,” adds J. Bača.