TalkToLoop, the feedback platform for recipients of humanitarian aid, is launching in Poland to support Ukrainians displaced by the Russian invasion.
Based in Poland, and with both Ukrainian and Polish team members, the new service has been set-up by the charity to support Ukrainian refugees anywhere in Europe, as well as displaced people still within the country, and Polish communities who are helping refugees.
Users will be able to freely tell their stories and to request help, using Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and on the charity's web platform.
Launched last year in Zambia and Philippines, the TalkToLoop platform was particularly active during Super Typhoon Odette. It is also launching in Somalia and Indonesia.
The Ukrainian service has been set up in record time in response to the crisis situation, but the charity intends its service to remain active in the region for the long-term.
TalkToLoop is free for individuals to use, and designed to be easily accessible and safe. Stories can be posted anonymously if users want to protect their identity, and all posts are moderated before going live on the platform to ensure safety.
Users of the Ukraine service can relate their experiences of the war and their displacement, as well as asking for specific help or information, or giving feedback on the services they have received from humanitarian agencies.
TalkToLoop is unique in giving Ukrainians affected by the crisis a safe, independent, and accessible outlet for them to share their experiences.
Aid organisations are notified when they are mentioned in stories posted on the platform, so that they can respond directly to the individual. Organisations can also view data about trends in particular needs and issues, so that they can alter their service provision to deliver more effectively.
Users can also post concerns about exploitation and abuse, including stories about trafficking, sexual exploitation, gender based violence and corruption. These sensitive stories are passed to a Case Manager in the field who can involve the relevant authorities if required, or pass the user's concern to the most appropriate source of help.
The TalkToLoop team covering Poland and Ukraine will initially consist of a Case Manager and three Moderators.
The organisation is simultaneously launching a fundraising campaign to help resource the Ukraine initiative.
Users can access TalkToLoop via WhatsApp on +48 888 880 017 or via Facebook Messenger on either of the charity's Polish or Ukrainian Facebook pages @talktolooppolska and @talktoloopukrayina. Alternatively stories can be posted directly on the web platform at www.talktoloop.org.
The charity Loop, which created the TalkToLoop platform, was launched in 2020 by long-standing humanitarian activist Alex Ross, formerly International Director of Projects and Partnerships for British Red Cross.
Alex Ross said:
It's been a huge effort to set up our platform to serve Poland and Ukraine in such short time, but we have an amazing technical team who have made it possible. Once the service is live we are hopeful that further funding will be forthcoming, and we really need individuals and organisations in Poland working with people affected by the crisis to spread the word about the platform, so that people know how to get their stories heard. We are also urging aid organisations to sign up to Talk To Loop so that they can hear and respond to feedback.
TalkToLoop is supported by Humanity United and UK Aid, as well as by local partner organisations in its countries of operation, including Zambia, Philippines, Somalia, and Indonesia.