Ix Shen’s non-profit organisation provides medical supplies to hospitals in Ukraine, Latest TV News - The New Paper

Ix Shen’s non-profit organisation provides medical supplies to hospitals in Ukraine

Former actor Ix Shen’s non-profit organisation has provided medical supplies to five hospitals in war-torn Ukraine since it was registered in March 2022.

Together with two friends, one of whom is also a Singaporean, he set up a Singapore-based non-profit organisation to deliver items such as surgery equipment, specialised eye bandages and ventilators to hospitals in the war zone.

The organisation is named Ppabota, a Ukrainian word that roughly translates to righteousness or the right action, according to Mr Shen.

Speaking to The Straits Times, he explained that his motivation to help the war relief efforts stems from his gratitude to the Ukrainians who helped him when he was evacuating from Kyiv.

“Having evacuated to a place of safety, I am not capable of just shrugging off the experience,” the 50-year-old said. “I cannot be so selfish and ungrateful.”

Though he had helped deliver food and clothing to Ukranians with other groups before founding Ppabota, he decided to focus on providing medical supplies because his wife, a Ukrainian doctor, knows many doctors and medical staff on the ground.

When some of them asked the couple if they could supply bandages or medicine, Mr Shen realised he could contribute by connecting hospitals in need to donors.

Since the aid available in Ukraine is not as well organised as international efforts to help Ukrainian refugees elsewhere, he decided to focus their efforts on rendering aid to hospitals in the country.

Through his contacts in Ukraine and tedious legwork, Mr Shen verifies each hospital’s request to ensure they are legitimate before he matches them with suitable donors, such as the Singapore Red Cross.

By tapping pools of volunteers, who have organised themselves in each city through online chat groups, Ppabota has sent medical supplies to hospitals in Uzhhorod, Kyiv, Chernihiv, Odesa and even Kherson, which is still under attack.

After the donations are delivered, he heads to the hospitals to ensure the requests are fulfilled properly and the items are in working condition.

About 20 more hospitals have reached out to the organisation with requests for medical supplies, Mr Shen said.

He noted that much of the medical equipment in hospitals in recently liberated areas have been damaged or looted during the conflict.

“There are trained medical professionals with years of experience but without tools and equipment, they become spectators,” he added.

Mr Shen returned to Singapore this month for the first time since the Russia-Ukraine war broke out in February 2022.

For now, he is taking things one step at a time, starting by sourcing for radiation-protection tools for radiologists at a hospital in Ukraine.

He will also be speaking at Total Defence events to share his experiences with humanitarian aid and rescue efforts, as well as his expertise on how to deal with crisis situations.

“We have to learn not to take peace and independence for granted because they can be fragile,” he said.

Mr Shen is also working on his memoir about his experiences in the Ukraine war. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the books will go towards supporting Ppabota.

Organisations that are keen to donate can e-mail Ppabota at info@ppabota.com for more information.