(CNN) – Vladimir Bondarenko spends most of his day in his apartment in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. Between listening to air raids sirens and feverishly sending family messages about updates, he exchanges messages with a flurry of Airbnb guests booking his one-bedroom apartment in the heart of the Ukrainian capital.
Sometimes he sends crying smileys. Other times smileys that pray. It’s his way of thanking those who book his apartment, even if they don’t intend to show up at his door.
The owners of Airbnb in Ukraine are full of bookings from people from all over the world who do not plan to visit. It is part of a creative campaign on social networks to transfer money to besieged Ukrainians who need financial help when Russian forces bomb their country and cut off services.
The idea gained momentum. According to an Airbnb spokesman, on March 2 and 3, guests from around the world booked more than 61,000 nights in Ukraine. More than half of those nights were booked by Americans, a spokesman said.
CNN spoke to people in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia who had booked a Ukrainian rental on Airbnb in recent days.
“More than 10 orders have been received today. It was amazing, it’s very supportive at the moment, ”36-year-old Bondarenko told CNN early Friday. “I have told many of my relatives and friends that I plan to use this money to help our people who need it now.”
The call for guests to book Airbnbs in Ukraine began online, where supporters urged people to book rooms as close as possible to the date of arrival so that hosts could get paid quickly. Airbnb usually issues a payment approximately 24 hours after guest registration.
The organizers of the campaign also urge people to make sure that the rent is managed by individuals and not companies.
New Yorker Anne Margaret Daniel saw Airbnb messages on social media and took action.
A New School literature teacher has booked two nights in an apartment in Old Kiev, a charming and historic neighborhood known for its Orthodox churches and bizarre animal sculptures. Photos on the Airbnb list show immaculate wood floors, a gray sofa and a sloping mirror. The two-bedroom apartment is almost completely taken away for the next few months.
In his booking, Daniel included a message for the host:
“I hope that you and your beautiful apartment are safe and that this terrible war is over and Ukraine is safe,” the statement said. “I will come and see you one day, please count on it, and I will stay with you when we visit you. God bless you and God be with you, your city, your country. ”
Soon her presenter Volha Zviryanskaya responded.
“We will be glad to see you in the peaceful city of Kiev and hug,” she said.
Zviryanskaya lived in the capital with her three children. After Russian troops stormed the city and destroyed it, she packed her children and several items in a car and fled to a region near Cherkasy, a city in central Ukraine. The 100-mile journey took nine hours.
Now Zviryanskaya allows people who do not have to leave Kyiv to stay in their apartments. Messages from strangers provide comfort as she adapts to a new reality.
“We are alive, but we want to live as before,” she said. “It is very scary in Kyiv. Every word of support is valuable, not necessarily money. “
Someday, when the conflict is over, Daniel hopes to book Zviryanskaya’s apartment again. This time she intends to visit.
People all over the world book Airbnbs in Ukraine, but do not plan to register
Source link People all over the world book Airbnbs in Ukraine, but do not plan to register