1 June, 2022
The AZEVEDOS Group, aware of its social responsibility and a major partner of the health sector in Portugal, could not remain indifferent to the humanitarian catastrophe that Ukraine is experiencing with Russia's invasion. Four days after the Russian troops invaded Ukraine, the Azevedos Group started its efforts to contribute and help hospitals and health delegations with essential medicines for the populations of a country with which the Azevedos Group has had excellent commercial relations for a long time.
In a few days, the AZEVEDOS Group managed to organise the lengthy and difficult logistics of inventorying, collecting and packing 61,848 boxes of Azevedos medicines, representing 1,073,668 units of medicines, worth a total of EUR 52,805.31.
Logistics that implied a great effort and dedication of many AZEVEDOS employees, a task that involved countless requests for authorisation and special licences from different national and international bodies
This humanitarian mission was supported by Helping With Satya, a non-profit association, which, thanks to a network of hundreds of volunteers spread throughout Ukraine, managed to get the AZEVEDOS medicines to those who needed them most, especially the soldiers on the battle fronts.
We spoke with Ana Domingues and Telma Bicho, from Helping With Satya, who explained to us how this delicate and dangerous process of transport, storage and distribution of medicines in a country at war unfolded and how this action by the AZEVEDOS Group is helping so many people who are living their daily lives at the limit.
We founded Helping With Satya to continue the work that was started by Working With Satya and that Satya has taken as her mission since day 1 of the conflict: to help as many victims of the war in Ukraine as possible, both those who decided to leave their homes to find refuge elsewhere and those who had to stay within borders or decided to stay to defend their country.
Our focus was to create an organised structure with several areas that would ensure the greatest possible dignity to all people going through one of the most difficult moments of their lives, for which we counted on several partners and more than 400 volunteers.
We were among the first associations to bring war victims to Portugal (3 caravans and a humanitarian plane with 470 people). We have developed, in partnership, a platform to provide free or low-cost accommodation to those in need. So far, we have sent 800 tonnes of essential goods, clothes and medicines, and we are starting a free emotional support project for victims of war.
Helping With Satya is an extension of Working With Satya, which is dedicated to the evolution of consciousness. It is a living example of who we are and what we believe in: that spirituality should be lived out in practice, that we are ready to serve other human beings with respect and dignity, as if they were our own family. That is what we have done and that is what we will continue to do.
Over the past 10 years, Satya has worked extensively in Ukraine, where he has created a solid and extensive community. It was from these contacts that, obviously, the first requests for help arose, which quickly spread to their families and then to strangers. Requests on an individual level, but also to help the community and the military, for seeing in us the dedication and integrity with which we undertake this mission.
We received numerous requests for help, and eventually established contact with organisations that ensure the collection, identification and secure arrival of goods to the most urgent places, including military corridors created for this purpose. Medical Corps, the Charitable Organization - Healthy Universe Charitable Foundation and Social Movement, which includes a network of 80 orphanages, are three of the organisations we are still in contact with and sending essential goods and medicines.
The associations we are working with receive the medicines we send in professional trucks, close to the border in Poland. These are stored in a secure location and then placed in smaller vehicles that make it easier and more convenient to transport them to their final destination.
These associations define where the medicines should be sent, according to the needs reported either by social and public health institutions or by contacts in the places of greatest conflict. The associations' own networks of contacts have enabled all Helping With Satya's donations to reach their destination and with the least possible risk for those who put their lives in danger to help save others.
Yes. Donations are reaching hospitals and other institutions that remain committed to saving lives. We have internal reports through videos, photos and emails that assure us that the medicines have arrived at their destination and are being used properly. Each piece of information that reaches us gives meaning to the mission to which we devote ourselves wholeheartedly. Without the partnership of companies such as the Azevedos Group this would have never been possible. We would like to thank you in advance.
One of the factors that distinguishes this association from others is that it has a very clear objective for the destination of the donations raised, such as the military at the front. I imagine that the needs are many... What can you tell us about the route, delivery and the reaction obtained by the locals with this donation of medicines by Azevedos Group?
The needs are countless, especially with regard to hospital supplies and medicines... the fact that we have close contact with those in the war zones gives us a very raw insight into what they are facing and, from the outset, it was very clear that we wanted to support those who are fighting to defend their country.
Getting goods to these places carries an added risk and is only possible thanks to the strategic vision and, above all, the courage of those who have taken on this transport as a mission. Those who receive are the ones who have the most need to thank, as each donation is also a new dose of hope.
Azevedos Group was the first Portuguese company to make a donation on medicines and together with the help of other companies, who offered professional transport and other goods or monetary donations, we have been able to meet the requests that keep coming in.
Our solidarity partners, who have provided support in the various areas of Helping With Satya's work, include: Transfor, Krest, Quinta do Arneiro, Vila Galé Hotels, Compal, Terra May, Real Hotels, Santa Casa da Misericórdia da Ericeira, Orange Space Sintra, NOS Escola, Bertrand, Margem Eléctrica, DS Smith, Real Estate Consultants by Ukraine, Casafari and Womenempoweredbyforever.
Continuity in responding to calls for help has led to Helping With Satya's initiatives being recognised by the Ukrainian government, for which we may thank you, because you are also part of this mission.