#SidnetDonations: Łukasz for XMonad and Open Cages association

If you’re wondering how to volunteer or get involved without taking your hands off the keyboard, here are some examples. You could be building a web application for people in debt, helping them settle and pay off on preferential terms, or develop a registration system for the charity event Onkobieg. These are some of the projects that our React Developer, Łukasz Kozłowski, has been working on.

We provide Łukasz with the opportunity to help and ask him to pick projects for the #SidnetDonations initiative in September. By his choice, we will support Xmonad project and Open Cages association in Poland.

XMonad

XMonad is a tiling window manager compatible with any computer operating system. XMonad dynamically and automatically organizes app windows across the screen for easy work and content access. It also provides keyboard support, making workflows smoother without using a mouse.

From the developer’s point of view, quick and easy access to multiple open windows is a huge perk. “I would like to contribute to the Xmonad project, as I use it daily, at work and home. I got my work done in no time, and my wrist pain went away when I fully switched to the keyboard and ditched the mouse thanks to the keyboard support feature” sums up Łukasz.

Open Cages association

We frequently support animal shelters and advocacy organizations in our monthly charity action. September is no exception, and thanks to Łukasz, we support the Open Cages association, which has been making efforts to improve the lives of farm animals in Poland for ten years now.

The organization aims to change the ways farm animals are treated and reduce the environmental impact of industrial livestock farming.

“It is a major cause of the looming climate disaster. The behaviors deeply ingrained in our system cause the most damage to the environment” explains Łukasz. “They include the massive amounts of water used to produce fodder, an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, and forest clearing to make room for forage production and animal grazing. Not to mention the startling amount of misery that comes with it for 70 billion farm animals and more than a trillion fish.”

Mass farming has an unfathomable negative influence on the environment, which is why systemic improvements would be the most effective. The Open Cages organization came to the same conclusion “This is why I wanted to support it” says Łukasz.” To reach and alleviate the suffering animals, the Open Cages organization executes the idea of effective altruism at the source of the issue.”

As Open Cages is an NGO, every animal lover can support the organization by volunteering, fundraising, or donating. 

#SidnetDonations: Grzegorz for Ukraine (through the ZARYS Foundation)

These days one can both work far-off and help effectively while being miles away too. Our Frontend Developer, Grzegorz Marszałek, plays it like a pro. Per Grzegorz’s request, this month we double-support the fundraising for Ukraine held by ZARYS Foundation.

“I would like to aid the ZARYS Foundation in their fundraiser for Ukraine. When the news about the war broke, no one could genuinely believe it. We held our fingers crossed for a fast resolution of the conflict. But despite our wishes, the war rages on, threatening the life of the Ukrainian people,” Grzegorz explains.

It has been six months since the war in Ukraine started. Still, every kind of support is appreciated, especially the medical equipment and supplies for the community hospitals and clinics. ZARYS Foundation provides such help, which we support with a double-donation in August.

“The Foundation consults the Ukrainian Ministry of Health to kit out the hospitals operating in Ukraine. It seems apparent that as long as the battles carry on, such help will be indispensable,” sums up Grzegorz. “My contribution to support this fundraiser has also a personal aspect, as two members of my project team live in Ukraine”.

ZARYS Foundation owns the largest warehouse of disposable medical equipment in Central Europe. This perk helps the Foundation to provide and ship the necessary supplies directly to the war zone and also to raise money to ensure continuous delivery. The Foundation operates worldwide, hence it is possible for the contributors to voluntarily support the cause in any currency they find convenient.

#SidnetDonations: Marcin for SponsorBlock and Kultura Liberalna (Liberal Culture)

In July, we support initiatives that share the same founding principle of unrestricted access—either to source code or to information. This month it is Marcin Szałabski who chooses both the non‑profit and open‑source projects. Marcin is working as a Java Developer in a project for a global e‑commerce company, THG. This is the first time he chooses the projects for #SidnetDonations.

What open‑source and non‑profit projects does Marcin want us to support?

SponsorBlock

SponsorBlock gives users easy access to YouTube content that is free from embedded sponsor segments.

“It is a browser plugin that allows skipping the sponsor spots, intros, and other sponsored breaks in the videos. It compliments the AdBlock extension, which halts the native YT commercials. When used simultaneously, they provide an uninterrupted viewing experience,” Marcin explains.

As an open‑source project, SponsorBlock keeps developing thanks to its community. The users submit sponsor spots to skip. The voted pieces are stored in the extension database, which counts almost 5 million skip segments. They feed the algorithm and train it to improve its accuracy when blocking out unwanted sponsored content. This way users enjoy their favorite videos without commercial breaks.

Kultura Liberalna (Liberal Culture)

Liberal Culture is a non‑profit project brought to life by and for the community of citizens.

“It is an NGO media organization that receives independent funding and is unaffected by politicians. The community warrants its objectivity, merits, and factualism. Liberal Culture focuses on political issues in Poland, minority and women’s rights, and climate change problems. It also promotes democratic and liberal values,” clarifies our developer.

The Liberal Culture weekly journal is available online, but contrary to similar sources, all its content is paywall‑free. Anyone interested in the centric and liberal point of view presented there can easily reach the LC’s vast base of articles, podcasts, and interviews.

Besides the online activity, the Liberal Culture organization publishes books on current politics and culture and organizes events, seminars, and debates.

#SidnetDonations: Gabriel for Ukraine (through the Foundation Ukraine)

The war in Ukraine is not as actively discussed in mainstream media and everyday conversations as it was before, but our willingness to help our Ukrainian friends is just as strong as ever. Gabriel Wołynko, a software tester in our team, has followed the steps of others and decided that this month’s donation will fully support the victims of the Russian invasion. Per his wish, we are making a double donation to the Foundation Ukraine, based in Wroclaw.

As an avid gamer, Gabriel spends his afternoons competing in online tournaments against players worldwide, including those from Ukraine. In virtual worlds the actual boundaries and divides are irrelevant. Yet, Gabriel finds it impossible to stay neutral in the wake of recent events in Ukraine. This is why he decided to double his funding for the Foundation Ukraine which supports the integration of Ukrainians who have relocated to Lower Silesia.

“In Ukraine, there is a war going on. People need help, and the Ukrainian army requires basic supplies like first‑aid kits. I recently met a Russian player online. We had a chat, and I quickly realized that the image of the Ukrainian war in Russian media is far from realistic and that Russians don’t question it, believing it to be true. This is solid evidence that the international community should stand for Ukraine and advocate for a quick end of the war and propaganda campaign”, explains Gabriel.

As crucial as providing immediate assistance to the places devastated by the fighting is assisting Ukrainians who try to recover from war abuse far from home. The Foundation Ukraine focuses on the integration of Ukrainians who have relocated to Wrocław and the surrounding area.

Culture and tradition unite people who left their homeland for economic, ideological, or political reasons. They also serve as a foundation for national identity, allowing people to survive even the most trying times in exile. With this in mind, the Foundation hosts cultural and educational events and assists Ukrainian immigrants in learning about local customs and adjusting to a new environment.

Since its establishment in Wrocław in 2013, Foundation Ukraine has established a reputation within the local community. The charity decided to put its social capital to good use by organizing a fundraiser for Ukraine to aid the country in its fight against the aggressor. The charity site allows visitors to donate or request direct assistance for those still in Ukraine. We encourage you to join us and actively support the campaign, just like Gabriel has.

#SidnetDonations: Wojciech for Ukraine (through the Ocalenie Foundation)

War in Ukraine lasts, and so does our support for Ukrainians affected by it. Wojciech Siewierski–our Full‑Stack Developer and IT Administrator–is yet another Sidnet Team member who won’t contribute to an open‑source venture this time and make a double donation to the Ocalenie Foundation fundraiser.

The media keeps us up‑to‑date with all the traumatic stories about the war in Ukraine. Despite the ongoing fights, Poland is committed to supporting its Ukrainian neighbors, both those that stayed under the fire and the refugees that settled in Poland for shelter.

“In this circumstance, I’d like to contribute as well. Poles are no strangers to blatant violence from neighboring countries. I believe it is difficult for us to stay unconcerned”, explains Wojtek.

It is quite heartening to know that we are participating in this charity marathon thanks to Sidnet employees. This kind of support will still be necessary, even after battles have ceased.

The Ocalenie Foundation, a non‑profit we back in May, helps Ukrainian refugees when they cross the border and stay in Poland.

The scope of the charity’s help to Ukrainians includes the following:

  • arrangements for transit and accommodation,
  • legal, psychological, and mentorship assistance,
  • establishing safe‑haven zones for children at refugee reception centers,
  • integration programs for children and youth,
  • assistance with job search and home rental,
  • material assistance.

#SidnetDonations: Krzysiek for the Foundation for Puppies Judyta

Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, we again won’t contribute to an open‑source venture and make a double donation to the Foundation for Puppies Judyta which rescues dog refugees from Ukraine. It is one of our FullStack Developers, Krzysiek Skarbek, who picked this initiative to support in April.

“Not only do people suffer during wartime, but also the animals. Unfortunately, pets have no chance to help themselves out of this situation”, says Krzysiek. “Judyta foundation is overcrowded with pets taken from the war zone in Ukraine. And more animals in need keep coming”.

The charity’s employees and volunteers look after Ukrainian dogs, they also arrange transportation to the warstruck areas to bring and save as many pets as possible. 

More dog refugees mean more chores and duties, mainly because the pets are wounded due to war. Some of them also need treatment and recovery due to their age and overall poor health. Judyta foundation does a great deal of work to provide them with proper living conditions, but additional support is needed to cater food, medicine, and accommodation.

To keep everyone uptodate with refugee dog rescue actions, Judyta charity updates its website and Facebook page with daily posts. Besides the heartbreaking dog stories and shelter life situations, the charity also links to numerous fundraisers it runs in order to secure the four-legged pensioners with a better life. 

Currently, the Judyta foundation is collecting funds for two shipping containers that will be converted into a cozy accommodation for the refugee dogs.