Joint actions with local communities for the sustainable results

Published: Jan 10, 2022 Reading time: 2 minutes
Joint actions with local communities for the sustainable results
© Alberto Lores

The protracted conflict in eastern Ukraine has negatively affected millions of lives. Thousands of families were separated by a 427-kilometer contact line. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the situation, adding problems in communities where access to food, health services and transportation was already limited.

In this context People in Need continues to provide humanitarian assistance to residents of eastern Ukraine. Active civil society members together with PIN colleagues with generous support from USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) are doing their best to build the capacity of local communities for the development of the region.

One of the project participants, a member of the public organization "Zolotyi Dyvosvit" Olha Cherkashyna says: “These steps are the first experience for us. Our success is already inspiring and cannot even be compared with what we had a year ago. We believe in our strength because we are convinced that we can solve problems if we make decisions collectively together with the authorities and partners".

The creation of a social laundry in Marinka is a great example of the involvement of the active community members in the implementation of the idea that is very much needed for the society. Local people are forced to save resources at every stage of washing, cooking or hygiene. Water supply in the settlements on the contact line has been problematic for many years. The project allowed the elderly and people with low-income to start using the laundry for free in order to wash oversized linen.

I only have an old washing machine,"Maliutka". It is not designed to wash blankets or outerwear, and I am already weak to wash with my hands and carry water in buckets. It's good that we have a laundry. It saves water and energy,” says a pensioner Valentyna Tretiakova.

Despite difficult situation in the region, each community has activists who are ready to take responsibility and generate great ideas for the benefit of their community. With the support of PIN specialists who coordinated the exchange of experience between public organizations from neighboring settlements, local activists succeeded in the project implementation. Besides, a communication platform has been created that allowed the activists to achieve broader goals.

Rita Klevets, co-author of the idea "Social fitness for the residents of the community from Hirske", became an active participant of the project. Her biggest wish is to unite the communities through joint sport activities: “Three times a week people come to our gym to do sports for free, but the support they receive here is even more important for them. Life on the contact line is much better when we support each other. Together we are strong!"

Author: People in Need