When news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hit last week, we at the Magento Association (MA) were scheduled to announce a new membership program and the next step in the elections process. Out of respect for our international community, we have paused those initiatives.
Magento Association’s Ties to Ukraine
Some of you reading may not know this, but Ukraine is the fourth most common country that MA members call home, behind the United States, the Netherlands and India. Furthermore, the Vice Chair of our Board of Directors, Slava Kravchuk, hails from Ukraine.
Another fact that many may not know: Magento’s history — and especially its code, in many ways — began in Ukraine in 2007. The company that eventually became Magento, Inc started as a consultancy named Varien. Varien opened a development center in Kyiv, Ukraine, where the original Magento 1 code was written. Varien-then-Magento-now-Adobe maintained an office and development presence in Kyiv until fairly recently, when the office was closed as Adobe’s acquisition of Magento wrapped up. While many staff from that original office have found their way to other countries in Europe and the U.S., including a sizable number who ended up in Austin, Texas, if you look through the Magento ecosystem on Twitter or GitHub, you’ll eventually trace your way back to someone from and still living in Ukraine.
How the MA Community Can Help
The Board and I have heard from many of you in the community who want to know how to best support our friends and Magento family in Ukraine. At first, we imagined we might organize a caravan from all of our Meet Magento locations in Europe to Ukraine and back, to help our community members escape the invasion and find a place to stay. Since, we’ve heard inspiring reports that many of you in Europe have self-organized efforts exactly like that. Some good news: Poland and other countries surrounding Ukraine are working with experienced aid organizations to help people fleeing the conflict. So, with that covered, what can we do?
First and foremost, if you’re located nearby in Europe and able to help, you can join your local efforts to support those escaping the violence into neighboring countries. For instance, many cities in Poland have established locations where you can drop off things like blankets, sheets, pillows, towels, toothpaste, ready-made meals, etc. Here’s one example of those efforts from the city of Poznan, Poland. As you can see from what is outlined, items are being split and distributed to Ukrainians who have taken refuge in Poland, to Ukrainians arriving at the Ukraine-Poland border, and even to Ukrainians sheltering in place, where the invasion has effectively shut down grocery stores.
Second, if you’re located nearby in Europe, are already involved in volunteer efforts like these, and need specific support, we encourage you to reach out to each other on Twitter or LinkedIn to share what it is you need and rally any members of your local Magento community who might be able to help. The hashtag #StandWithUkraine is being used globally to show support and help organize efforts.
And, finally, for those of us who are further away from the conflict, the best and fastest way to help is to donate to any of the many humanitarian organizations that are providing assistance. A few organizations the Board recommends include:
As we continue to hope for peace, I want to remind everyone that there are also members of the Magento community from Russia, including many Russian citizens who may disagree with the actions their government has taken. Please show respect to everyone in our community during this time.
We are all hopeful for a swift end to the invasion, but even if that comes to pass, there will be substantial rebuilding ahead for the citizens of Ukraine. MA will continue to delay Board elections, as we want to make sure that any community members from the areas impacted by this conflict who are interested in participating have the opportunity to do so.
As an organization, our hearts are with every member of the Magento community who is affected by this, whether directly or indirectly. As news unfolds, we will continue to update the MA community.
If you are involved in a local relief effort that you would like to share with the MA community, direct message MA on social or email us at email@example.com.