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Ukrainian volunteers

'EASTERN BOARDERS' DEDICATED TO INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER'S DAY

Just a few years ago Ukrainians didn’t really understand what volunteering is and why it is so important. They were asking 'for free? Really?', 'what do you get from that?' or 'why do you waste your time for nothing?' But even if people didn’t understand that, when time came and they felt need in coordination of sources to provide help to those who are in extreme situation and is really in need – people of different professions were united, from different social and material statuses and now they are doing great job: helping soldiers from ATO, their families and IDPs.

Since spring 2014 Crimea was annexed from Ukraine and military of Russian Federation entered territory of Ukraine. Due to previous “reformation” of military system in Ukraine it was not ready for fights at all. From the firsts days there was need in coordinating forces and help of citizens. To avoid chaotic behavior of those who wanted to help and to establish the process of help to provide its effectiveness – civil activists started to create volunteer’s canters. Mostly there were movements of different topics, who could combine their spheres of work, putting own contribution to huge mechanism of help.

About such centre of volunteers – Kherson foundation soldiers’ help – there is movie 'Eastern Borders'. It is shown the trip with volunteer Natalia, who is bringing necessary things to soldiers, who are situated on the southern border of Ukraine. Because after Crimea was annexed Kherson region became bordering region and was under huge risk of expanding by occupant’s military.

But all the territory of Ukraine is involved in this process. There were volunteers of Volunteering Centre in Chernihiv, who took speech about their work on XI International traveling festival of documentary movies about human rights Docudays.ua.

- Volunteering movement in Ukraine has started since activities in Maidan. Than non-governmental organizations started to provide initiatives to support people with food and cloths. Now they continue to work and helping soldiers from ATO and their families and for IDPs with not only food, but also it’s about protection systems, weapon etc, – said Tetiana Opryshko, representative of Volunteering Centre in Chernihiv.

There are two sides of this situation with volunteers in Ukraine. One – is good that people activated for voluntary work inside country. Because earlier it was popular just for youth who was participating in projects abroad, mostly in Europe, where volunteering movement is very popular. Now, at least, if you ask someone on the street what is voluntarism – he will say few words about that. But other, not very positive side of this is the reason. War, annexation of Crimea, problems with democracy – such hard moments, which woke up people to understand importance of helping each other and being human.

But it’s better now, than never.

So congratulations to all the volunteers all over the world!

Let your work be helpful and thankful!

About The Author

Iren Broh

Iren Broh

Iren Broh is a freelancer journalist from Slavutych, Ukraine. Currently main topic to discover and work in she chose human rights and its defence. She is working in the area of NGOs and non-formal education.