After witnessing the bombing and destruction of his homeland from his home in Australia, Dr Andriy Boyko is travelling to Europe to provide critical medical support to those affected by the conflict.
Boyko, who attended Macleans College and Howick College, told the Times that while the public often saw raw video footage, it is never quite as real as when glimpsing familiar places being bombed and attacked.
“Half of my family and friends in Ukraine are displaced and are in relative safety on the western border,” Boyko says.
“The other is residing in central Ukraine in a city that hasn’t been attacked yet. They’re getting daily sirens.”
The sports medicine registrar has used his contacts and connections in Ukraine to organise a medical supply chain through Europe to bring medicine to those in need.
As he was assessing what was needed and where it’s needed by his contacts, Boyko, along with a friend, set up a GoFundMe page where all funds would go directly to the purchase and supply of medical supplies.
“I wanted to create something where it is guaranteed that 100 per cent of the funding goes to the cause,” Boyko says. “I’m not looking for any financial gain – it’s a personal humanitarian mission to help my home and country.”
Currently, the GoFundMe page has raised A$69,748. With the aid of the Australian Federation of Ukranian Organisations (AUFO), who organised freight forwarding into Ukraine, $20,000 of acute traumatic first aid supplies has just left Australia.
The second shipment will depart in four-five weeks time and will be more general medicine/humanitarian aid.
Boyko is travelling with the shipment to Europe for two weeks. While he’s there, he’s going to assess the situation in refugee situations in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova and give feedback to the Global Medical Foundation Australia (GMF).
Boyko has previously worked in refugee health on Christmas Island and in Australian refugee resettlement programmes.
In his travels to Europe, he hopes to “use the unique set of personal and professional skills to provide most appropriate aid to minimise any further trauma and loss of life to the Ukrainian people who are caught in this unprovoked conflict”.