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The Road to Ukraine: "If we want to live, we must win"

Export Maker had the honour of supporting a shipment of hospital supplies to Ukraine. Read our brief story about it.

Tuomas Metsola and his childhood friend Jupe took on a heartfelt mission for Apua Ukrainaan ry in Jyväskylä. This month, they transported a load of hospital supplies to a sanatorium near Dnipro. Mäntykoti Ry from the Oulu region generously donated items like hospital beds, wheelchairs, and medical supplies. Using a light truck and trailer, the journey took 10 days and covered just over 5.000 kilometres.


The men decided to embark on the trip to Ukraine because they were frustrated with the slow support for Ukraine coming from the West.

"We don't think of ourselves as tough guys, far from it. Our trip was like a Sunday school outing compared to what Ukrainians face every day. There's a real danger that the war there is slipping into the background, and people are losing interest. There's talk of 'war fatigue' in the West, which I find incomprehensible. We can't get tired of a war that isn't happening here. We don't have to fear air raids, missiles, or the possibility of a loved one dying on the front line."

Life in the midst of war

They met wonderful people, civilians and soldiers alike. Finland and Finns are highly respected there for our selfless aid to Ukraine. The need for assistance is constant. The soldiers are weary and supplies are scarce. Yet, morale remains high, and Ukrainians are by no means giving up. They can persevere if given enough help. While military aid is the responsibility of nations, civilians can play their part too.

Local aid worker Vadim shared that he works for the sake of his children and grandchildren, so they may live in a free country. The longing for freedom and patriotism felt palpable there. In the market, when the national anthem played on the radio, everyone stopped in their tracks to listen, then resumed their activities afterward. Similarly, when a military funeral procession passed through Lutsk's centre, people halted, getting out of their cars to pay respects to the fallen soldier.

"I encourage anyone who's interested and feels capable to go there themselves and deliver aid first-hand. It gives a different perspective on the situation when you're on the ground, talking to people. A touch of adventure is worth packing, but patience and humility are equally essential. The experience was unforgettable for us, and personally, I'll likely go back there again," Metsola concludes.
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How to help

There are various ways to help almost everywhere. A large number of people and organizations participate in assembling aid shipments, from collecting supplies and acquiring transportation documents to borrowing trailers for the trip and obtaining other important items. One way to help is to contact a local organization supporting Ukrainians. In Jyväskylä, there's Apua Ukrainaan Ry (Help for Ukraine Association)

Apua Ukrainaan Ry has a valid fundraising permit. You can donate money to account FI06 4765 0010 0572 45. The fundraising permit is RA/2023/173. Funds raised are used solely for humanitarian purposes.

Tuomas and Jupe's aid trip was self-funded, meaning all fuel and travel expenses were initially borne by the drivers. The trip costs were supported by companies: Nordic Drones Oy, Export Maker Oy, Finn-Savotta Oy, and Kuljetusliike Taipale Oy.