In Ukraine there is tremendous poverty, and the ongoing heath legacy of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Increasingly there is also displacement and fear following the fighting of late 2014 and early 2015 which has devastated communities in the east of the country. We’re supporting locally-run initiatives like drugs-awareness projects, youth groups, orphanages, schools, and hospitals. We focus on the area around the city of Chernihiv (“Chernigov” in Russian), which is just a few dozen miles east of Chernobyl.
Our convoys have supplied medicine, educational equipment including computers, and supported the re-equipping of the Berezna residential school for children with mental health problems, including the construction of modern, hygienic toilet facilities which replaced medieval-style open cesspits! There is much more similar work to be done at many almost forgotten orphanages.
Currently we are working most closely with the youth group “Our Generation”. Their projects include HIV-awareness theatre, a music club, and a newspaper for young people. We’re supporting other micro-charity projects as well; for example, we’re keenly seeking Scottish and Irish bagpipes for a cultural exchange education project!
Our first partner in Ukraine was the “Chernihiv Region Charity Organisation Aratta”, with whom we have supported a number of children’s homes, clinics, schools, and foster families, amongst other projects run by the local groups. Local volunteers ensure secure distribution of the aid once we have come home. They work with a number of international charities.
Learn more about our work in Ukraine…
- More photographs of our convoys to Ukraine are available in this gallery on flickr.
- Our newsletters from the time we began working in Ukraine form a narrative about our work there; a good beginning is with the September 2002 edition which includes details of one of our visits to the Zamglai orphanage.
- You can read a blog entry from one of our volunteers about a trip accompanying young people from the Our Generation youth group to a cultural festival in Russia. It shows not only the kind of enthusiasm and creativity displayed by the youth group, but also the sort of activity our volunteers can enjoy, while helping!
The video below is from our visit to a memorial for the workers killed during the initial attempts to avert the disaster. This is in Slavutich, the city built to house everyone evacuated from Pripyat, the city which served Chernobyl.