Ukraine’s infrastructure is still under hard pressure because of the war of aggression started by Russia. The winter is a challenging time both on the battlefront and among civilians on the home front. Even a mild winter is lethal, if there is no heating available.
Omri ry association and local businesses in Salo; sheet metal manufacturer Stremet Oy and metal component manufacturer Metalli Piiroinen Oy; started in November 2022 a joint project the goal of which is to manufacture and ship to Ukraine as many stoves as possible. This winter, the project continues, and the goal is set at 10,000 stoves.
Port operators want to support Ukrainians and help the people in distress. This year, help is provided in the form of warmth, as the Port of Turku participates in the stove collection project together with Baltic Line Finland, Finnlines, Finnsteve, Mann Lines, Stevena, Turku Stevedoring, Turku Free Zone Company, and UPF Finland.
The stoves are designed primarily for outdoor use, but they can also be used indoors, as the chimney can be connected to the duct work system. Indoors the stoves act as heat sources and allow for cooking food. In areas suffering from electricity and gas shortages, a stove may be the only heat source in homes, schools, kindergartens, and e.g. care units.
The stoves are made from SSAB’s carbon steel, the sheet metal parts are machined by Stremet Oy, and the stoves are welded at Metalli Piiroinen Oy’s robot welding stations.
“We conduct a lot of co-operation with the port operators at normal times, too, and this matter is no exception. The need for assistance in Ukraine continues, and we feel that it is our obligation to help. The idea of participating in the stove collection was received well, and soon we had collected nearly 40 stoves. With this donation, we want to support not just Ukrainians, but also work done in Southwest Finland. We hope that the stoves will bring warmth to homes in Ukraine and make life easier at these hard times”, says the primus motor of the idea, Tomas Uschanow from Baltic Line Finland.
The port operators collected together 36 stoves, and other items to be shipped to Ukraine including toe and hand warmers, camping mattresses, and firelighter blocks.
The stoves will be transported to Ukraine by truck. Among the transport staff, there are also actor Martti Suosalo and Ekku Raikamo, operations co-ordinator of Teatteri Sirkus Suosalo, who will transport stoves to the Polish-Ukrainian border. The truck driven by Mr Suosalo and his colleague is departing on 16 December. You can follow their trip e.g. on Youtube.
Text and photo: Aija Kallio