You build your future by caring for others. These simple words may sound like an advertising slogan, but it has become the truth to live by for millions of Ukrainians.

CHI Software is a company with Ukrainian origins, meaning this year impacted us greatly. Most of our employees appeared in a frontline city one February morning, and our lives have changed since then.

Our CSR report is full of memories and heavy emotions. It is a short story about everything we had to experience. And no matter what, we are still here, providing outstanding service and helping whoever needs our help.

War Resistance

CHI Software developed its contingency plan back in 2014. Nevertheless, you cannot be fully prepared for the sounds of shelling and the sudden emergence of life-threatening danger. The first days were the most stressful and uncertain, but we got through them together.

Shelter and relocation for employees

These are the only things we had in mind when the full-scale invasion started. Our top management and employees in relatively safe locations helped others relocate abroad or to safer Ukrainian regions.

Read more: How CHI Software copes with business risks and challenges during the war

In February, the company just opened an office in Lviv, preparing for the worst-case scenario. Only a few days later, it became a shelter and fortress for our employees and their families from all over Ukraine. Our office provided necessary accommodations, including a fully equipped kitchen and bathrooms, and turned into a home for our teammates for several weeks.

Anton Priadko and his wife Anastasia in the CHI Software office in Lviv

Anton Priadko and his wife Anastasia in the CHI Software office in Lviv. Photo by Emile Ducke for The New York Times

Some families arrived at the shelter with their pets, so our office quickly became pet-friendly. Cats and dogs were allowed to freely walk around the space, be it meeting rooms or open space locations.

Read more: The New York Times about the Ukrainian IT Sector

This experience is by no means the most stressful for our team, but, at the same time, it is the most insightful. The phrase “being a family” is not just words for us anymore. Dozens of our employees lived together under one roof during the most horrific times. It impacted us in many ways and taught us to cherish simple things in life.

Psychological assistance for employees

As a business, we had to take care of smooth working operations even in stressful conditions. Ukraine was and still is a reputable provider of software development services, and even war cannot change that.

Oleg Chernyak at CHI Software’s Lviv office

Oleg Chernyak at CHI Software’s Lviv office. Photo by Emile Ducke for The New York Times

On the other hand, we are also humans who lost their inner stability and had to give up their plans for the future. When the relocation process was almost over, we started offering psychological assistance to our employees. Each of us copes with the situation differently, but our teammates should know that we are always on their side and do our best to provide them with the necessary support.

Financial support of the Ukrainian army

Millions of Ukrainian citizens and businesses realize that the country has successfully confronted the aggression for months thanks to the unimaginable bravery of our defenders. They include the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Joint Forces Operation, territorial defense, the Security Service of Ukraine, Defence Intelligence, State Emergency Service, and others.

Not only does it inspire us to work harder for our future, but it also unites the Ukrainian nation. Helping our defenders is a matter of our survival, and both kids and adults clearly see that.

CHI Software consistently supported the Ukrainian army throughout the year and continues to do so. One of our initiatives is called “Day Off for the Victory”. All Ukrainian state holidays are postponed during the martial law, so we decided to transfer all the funds earned during the holidays to our defenders.

This is what we have provided so far:

  • Necessary equipment for the Kharkiv military hospital;
  • Military equipment for our soldiers: tech tools for a signalman, tactical unloading equipment, army boots, etc.;
  • SUVs for the military in Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia regions;
  • Financial assistance to the Charity Foundation “Khartiya” in Kharkiv.

Volunteers among us

Volunteering has become a unique phenomenon during the war. People of any age and profession help their country in the best way they can. While soldiers are fighting with the enemy at the front, volunteers are building up a solid rear.

Most of our employees actively support the Ukrainian military and victims of the war. But some of them have gone further. They communicate with soldiers and charity foundations directly and establish their own charities. We admire their dedication and help them cover urgent expenses.

A group of Ukrainian soldiers

Ukrainian soldiers

Thus, we helped our colleague Viktoriia Gorishnia raise 120,000 UAH to buy an SUV for Kharkiv defenders. In the same way, we helped Mariia Luchaninova, co-founder of the Help Ukraine Today organization, raise 100,000 UAH for uniforms and a Starlink device.

Also, Maxym Safronov, our Android developer, provided the pets of Kharkiv citizens with free food while the city was under regular shelling. Maxym, with his friends and family, organized an aid station where volunteers accepted food requests and set up food delivery logistics from the railway station up to receivers.

Be with UA: Mobile app to support Ukrainian defenders

We are happy to have many proactive specialists in the CHI Software team. They are willing to help in every way they can with their skills. The Be with UA app, aimed to support our defenders, was launched in May thanks to their incredible commitment.

The idea behind Be with UA

The app is available for iOS and Android and has two basic features inside: teaching users something new and helping our military. As of December 2022, Be with UA offers Ukrainian users to learn Lvivska Gvara (one of the Ukrainian dialects) or Ukrainian grammar. Foreign users can pass quizzes based on interesting facts about Ukraine.

Between rounds, learners help the armed forces by watching static and video advertising. All income earned with these ads is given to military needs.

Charity Care for Children

They say kids are our message to the times after we are gone. CHI Software wants every kid to be happy and healthy, especially during shattering historical events. We cannot take care of everyone, but we can make a difference in our own way.

CHI Software transferred 100,000 UAH to the charity foundation “Volunteers: From Adults to Children”. This money was spent on 50+ food kits for the children studying at Kharkiv Special School No. 2 for children with special needs. Also, ten large families who were not able to leave Kharkiv received the necessary food supplies.

Presents for Saint Nicholas Day

In 2021, we started a new tradition in our company. On Saint Nicholas Day, we give presents to the kids from the Kharkiv Regional Center for Support of Children and Families “Harmony”. Every employee can pick a present to give to a particular child. In 2022, when all of us hoped for miracles, over 60 kids got what they dreamt of.

IT Community Development

It is widely known that IT is a driving force of Ukrainian exports with well-adapted remote work policies. The industry quickly got back on track after the first wave of shock caused by the hostilities.

Moreover, many people are now switching to IT from other spheres because of the massive economic crisis. The Ukrainian IT community is developing no matter what, and CHI Software continues to be an active contributor to its growth.

In September, Volodymyr Bilokopytyi, C++ Developer at CHI Software, took part in the event organized by STEM IS FEM and shared details about the developer’s career path. This lecture aimed to educate and support teenagers who had to leave their homes during the war.

Volodymyr Bilokopytyi at the STEM IS FEM event

Volodymyr Bilokopytyi at the STEM IS FEM event

The same month, Bogdan Steblyanko, CHI Software CEO, participated in the longest YouTube podcast ever, discussing international grants and projects for IT companies. The podcast was organized by the online university Dotli and Ukraine IT Association to raise funds for armored cars and send them to Ukrainian soldiers.

Bogdan Steblyanko at the longest YouTube podcast

Bogdan Steblyanko at the longest YouTube podcast

In November, our company held an online lecture for Ukrainian students as a part of the “Learn IT” project from the Dnipro IT Community. Kateryna Faichuk, HR Manager, told students about CHI Software, its employees, and a career start in the IT industry.

Collaboration with Kharkiv IT Cluster

Kharkiv is one of the biggest Ukrainian IT centers counting 511 IT companies. But at the same time, the city appeared to be one of the most dangerous locations after February 24. Despite all the difficulties, Kharkiv IT Cluster has restored its activity in the online format.

In October, Kateryna Faichuk, HR Manager, held a lecture for the Junior Club about soft skills and their importance in the profession compared to hard skills. Junior Club was founded to help ambitious students and young specialists find their place in IT and develop their soft skills.

The same month, the Cluster in collaboration with the IT STEP university and Odesa IT Family, organized the “Hack4UA” hackathon. The event was dedicated to the problems of Ukrainian refugees and ways to solve them with mobile apps and other web tools.

Read also: CHI Software CSR Report 2021

CHI Software was represented by developers Andrii Bakutin, Sofiia Bykovska, and Maksym Spasybin, along with Kyrylo Khimenko, UI/UX Designer, and Kateryna Faichuk. Sofiia’s team won the competition.

In November, we focused on marketing in IT. Alina Smirnova, CHI Software CMO, talked about the specific traits of IT marketing, various marketing specializations, necessary skills to obtain or upgrade, useful resources to learn from, and more.

CHI IT Academy

It is an educational project initiated by our company to make IT accessible to people of any age and work experience. The academy focuses on both technical and non-technical specializations, including iOS development, business analysis, manual software testing, HR management, recruitment, web design, and others.

This year, CHI IT Academy celebrated its first birthday. It took us one year to organize nine courses completed by 104 students. We continue to move forward by expanding the list of courses and lecturers. In 2023, our educational programs will be complemented by project management on AI projects, AQA Java, and others.

Waste Sorting in the Lviv Office

Despite the war and all the stressful factors, we do keep in mind eco trends. We cannot change the world globally but can make our small contribution to global changes. Therefore, our Lviv office is now equipped with waste sorting bins.

Also, the company is developing its own eco policy to implement with all our representatives and development centers. Climate issues are another reason to think of the mark we as human beings leave on the planet. How will we be remembered and for how long? The answer is in our current actions.

Moving Forward with High Hopes

The war has shown us the real cost of continuing support. CHI Software has helped its employees, Ukrainian military forces, and dozens of civilians. We spent 2022 surviving and learning a lot. Now we are ready to move ahead.

CHI Software has always been open to the world and those who need our support the most. In this regard, nothing will change. But we became stronger and wiser, so we can offer even more to people, clients, and the global IT community. Born in Ukraine, tempered in Ukraine. May the kindness in our hearts win!

About the author

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Polina Sukhostavets Content Writer

Polina is a curious writer who strongly believes in the power of quality content. She loves telling stories about trending innovations and making them understandable for the reader. Her favorite subjects include AI, AR, VR, IoT, design, and management.

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