Margo Roi and FinUA Helping Ukrainians To Become Part of Finnish Society

Social impact in action - one woman can make a difference.

September 29, 2023, at 5-11PM
Maria01 Startup Campus, Lapinlahdenkatu 16, Helsinki, Finland
Meet Margo Roi, who is helping Ukrainians who are seeking protection in Finland, by sharing verified information with her charity FinUA. I met Margo earlier this year, and she was one of our speakers at Crush Event 2023 talking about the future of altruism, and corporate social responsibility.  When Margo moved from the Kyiv region to Finland 9 years ago, she was 18 years old. She studied at the university in Helsinki but at first, and had to work three jobs to survive in a new, unfamiliar, country. She was hired as a programmer in a well-known software development company and worked her way up to the position of creative director on her teams, and became a speaker at many IT industry events. Margo was working as a programmer when the Russian invasion of Ukraine started and immediately knew she had to do something to help. She took a leave of absence from her programmer job and founded her organization FinUA to help Ukrainians. She took action immediately, and by the end of February 2022, she already had a fully functioning website, where she shared basic information for Ukrainian refugees in Finland in the Ukrainian language. The language wasn’t the only aspect making communication challenging when the invasion started. The information was constantly changing as the Finnish organizations were trying to keep up and update their relief, immigration and financial aid information to supply help for the changing needs. Sometimes the official information could change as often as three times a day, as the government and other organizations were adjusting to the situation. The FinUA website was supposed to just offer temporary help for the immediate meed for the influx of Ukrainians coming to Finland, and Margo, like all of us, was hoping the war would be over soon.
We all hoped that we will just wait a little longer and that’s it. However, the war continues and continues, and there is an understanding that our project will still be needed for a long time. Margo Roy, CEO, founder of FinUA

Ukrainians Still Need Help

FinUA built software and a website that has reached more than half a million people from different marginalized communities, especially the Ukrainians in Finland (and other European countries). FinUA is the #1 information service for Ukrainians coming to Finland, and they are committed to helping Ukrainians, even those who do not speak Finnish, Swedish, or English, to find work and a place to live. In addition to basic information about immigration, the site has for example a refugee housing section and contains links to other housing projects, such as Host4Ukraine, which places Ukrainians in Finnish families. 

Andriy Sytnyk joined the operations with Margo last year, and together they have invested their own time and money in the project.

They’ve had support from other local organizations and companies. Some of the supporters include Commu, a free mobile app, where you can give and ask for help in your nearby area, Herizon, a charity for migrant women, Opeton, an educational AI startup, and food search app ResQ Club, among others.

However, the project still needs volunteers, partners, and above all: financial support.

Donate or Attend the FinUA Charity Event on 29.09.2023

FinUA is hosting a charity event on September 29, 2023, hosted at Maria01, the startup campus financed by the city of Helsinki. The evening includes a keynote speech and three panel discussions on the most relevant topics of support for Ukraine with experts and key figures in the non-profit and social impact startup scene in Finland, refreshments, and a very special after-party. Speakers include many of the supporters of FinUA, such as representatives from Commu and Opeton.
Often people think in black and white terms about altruism: there are evil for- profits and good helpful non-profits. That is not always the case. The world of altruism is now is shifting. The purpose of the event is to showcase how companies can be high social-impact, how helping people can be a good investment, and how we can use technology for maximum impactas non-profits. During the event, you will get a chance to meet people behind the most impactful volunteer projects for Ukrainians, with whom we worked and who became our friends for life. Margo, Founder of FinUA
One of the ways FinUA keeps its operations and financials transparent is by keeping its accounting public. Anyone can see every transaction on their website page – with receipts attached. FinUA is an example of what non-profits can look like. Get tickets at event.finua.org. Video: Maximillian Heymann / Metropolia Entrepreneurship Society

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