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Emergency services manager & vulnerable population specialist serving as pro bono liaison, consultant, and volunteer
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I spend most of my time in less expensive airbnbs (or sometimes even church accommodations when available, reminiscent of Samaritan's Purse volunteering in America). It can be a great strain month after month, so I tend to take little mini vacations of three or four days at nicer hotel accommodations. I also find very helpful, often knowledgeable English-speaking staff at these better places. This greatly improves my ability to find the help I need. Well worth the price. In particular, was the staff at Loft 7 in Lviv. I spent much more time there, but also made some excellent contacts, including a deputy director for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who remains a contact interested in long-term application of the Resilient Village concept.
Forwarded from UNITED24Media
Russia has created the world's largest minefield in Ukraine

The area of the minefield in Ukraine is 250,000 square kilometers. This is larger than the area of Great Britain.
It is hard to comprehend the great difficulties caused by all the mines in Ukraine. On a personal level, it is making it very difficult for me to find a missile site with an abundance of recycled materials for my work. Very few of these sites have been sappered, professionally swept for an exploded ordinance. I have been unable to get permission to work at any such location.
For anyone reading these messages that has such experience, please consider answering the call by a nation in great need of your skills.
A major development came when a lieutenant colonel in charge of logistics and welfare for the Ukrainian soldiers reached out to me through a chaplain contact to see if I could help design heating systems for dugouts along the front lines. It led to a trip back to Lviv and a nearby training camp to run tests in a dugout for potential portable, easily built heating systems.
Besides the colonel, our team consisted of an engineer and a training dugout with a team of soldiers.
Unfortunately, there had been heavy rains. When we arrived at the camp, we found our team engaged in a bucket brigade trying unsuccessfully to empty about 6 in of water from the dugout.
Forwarded from Patricia Stachew
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Leslie in the trenches...😥
The challenge quickly turned into one of how to effectively remove the water which just continued to seep in from the surrounding soil. This led to the research and work with Ernie Wisner on not only rocket stoves development of which he is one of the world's experts, but also on manual bilge pumps which he was familiar with and had experience with trenches during the war in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the idea of pumping the water out was not well received. Additionally, the idea of simple heating systems that could be built by average people from missile rubble did not seem to gain much traction with our engineer. In the end, the colonel and I decided that the idea was better pursued as a private activity on my part. I promise to send a updates to him and set up a demo site where an army rep could review the first prototypes and we could proceed from that point. Thus I ended up returning to Kharkiv to set up a very low-level R&D lab on a small piece of property belonging to a cooperative local church.
Forwarded from Patricia Stachew
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Before leaving, Colonel Sydorenko shared with me very successful project in need of support:
Forwarded from Patricia Stachew
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Lt. Col. Chaplain Oleg Sydorenko, speaking of the needs of the Ukrainian soldiers to effectively defend against Russian drone and missile attacks. Tanks don't work. Please listen carefully.
Since returning to Kharkiv several weeks ago, I have been able to develop at least partially the heating system prototypes that would work most effectively either in the trenches or for villages in hard hit areas. To get this far, has come had a great cost on many levels, largely for reasons that were stated earlier. For a long time, I have known the need to raise this solo project up to a much higher level. However, I have not been successful in developing the necessary partnerships to do so up to this point. A new tact is necessary. But there is still a great lack of time to devote to this pivot. In a few weeks, I will again face the likelihood of having to leave Ukraine once again for lack of a work visa. To get out into the field and be able to work and share all this hard-won knowledge in an area where troops or civilians struggle to stay alive through winter is my highest priority and remaining great challenge. With the pressures of a new offensive building, I have not heard from my army contacts after forwarding the following report. I have heard from my MFA contact, but I'm not sure there will be any immediate help forthcoming.
At this point, to spread the knowledge as far and as quickly as possible I have already had an interview with a reporter from Euro News and will be reaching out to other publications.
I also hope to reach many of my contacts through LinkedIn posts and articles. Time remains the biggest enemy.
Besides the rebuilding it's increasingly clear that much of the humanitarian response must wait for massive demining operations. Even the recycling of rubble, cornerstone of the Resilient Village project, is forced to wait until missile debris sites are cleared of landmines and unexploded ordinance.
The need for heat in trench dugouts and civilian houses is being replaced by floodwater woes. Now that the heating prototypes are completed (info soon to be posted throughout our social media platform) R&D efforts focus on flooding and demining issues.
Forwarded from Live: Ukraine
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When the trench is flooded, but ammo is needed

These are the conditions in which our soldiers are fighting.
Shelling here in Kharkiv on March 9th not only took out our electricity, heat, phone service, and internet greatly reduced but it also has slowed much of the work.

However, it is giving me a chance to test out some of the survival gear I picked up along the way and survival hacks from my website. I'll be commenting on these when life gets back to something resembling normal and add a few more to the site.