A club run by volunteers for the children of families dislocated from Donbas began its activity at the end of May, 2014. Currently 350 children, who as a consequence of events in eastern Ukraine have ended up in Kyiv, are under the care of the volunteers. Special needs children are cared for, as well.
All through a very difficult summer the Kyiv volunteers were able to house and feed the children in a camp set up as temporary accommodation in an environment conducive to learning and individual development. Working on projects designed to provide maximum socialization for the children, encouraging growth and improvement, and providing emotional and psychological therapy for both the children and their families who have been dislocated from eastern Ukraine are the goals of the camp. It is apparent that government agencies are not geared or prepared to act swiftly in response to the events taking place in the nation. Most of the dislocated people who have ended up in Kyiv have found themselves in an unfamiliar city, with no jobs, no shelter, no friends, and no money. The club is facing the challenge of supplying them with the most basic items and of establishing a place where a peaceful summer break filled with a routine set of activities for the children can be offered. The club is indispensable because it frees the adults to look for someplace to live while the volunteers at the club take care of the children.
Evhenia Piroh, a writer and community activist from Kyiv, and Maksym Potapchuk, Director of the Center for Ukrainian Spirituality and Culture “The Source” (in the city of Krasnomaisk in Donetsk Oblast), spearheaded the volunteer group “Kyiv-East-Children.” Little by little, the club grew and developed under the stewardship of an experienced organizer and psychologist, Kyivite Iryna Popova. People who care, librarians, writers, artists, teachers, psychologists and actors contribute their time to organize a variety of exciting events for the children to help bring the joys of childhood back into their lives. Excursions to Kyiv’s Old Town, practical classes in personal development taught by qualified personnel, folk festivals, new friends and a cozy environment that is safe for respite are offered by the club to help replace the memories brought on by the horrors and terror of war. Many residents of Kyiv provide help by donating furniture, electronic equipment, dishes, craft supplies, games, etc. Some of the things the club lacks currently are warm clothing, underwear, fruits, vegetables, toiletries and items of personal hygiene. Luckily here at the club these families do not face isolation and exclusion. Both the children and the adults are surrounded by people who care. Every Sunday various forms of family recreation are organized by the club, such as visits to cultural institutions and hosting guests and social gatherings. Vital and helpful information for the dislocated families is provided by the club.
The doors of the club are wide open to friends of the folks who have been dislocated from Donbas and who find themselves in Kyiv in tough circumstances.
The club greatly values each volunteer and is grateful to all its partners. The club welcomes new friends. There is an urgent need for all of us to share an honest exchange of ideas.
By helping the dislocated fathers and mothers get back on their feet we are helping their children feel a renewal of joy and hope in their young souls.
Nothing stands still. Life moves on. The future of our children is in our hands.
Please contact Maxim Potapchuk, coordinator of “KYIV-EAST-CHILDREN”, on issues related to help and assistant: firstname.lastname@example.org +38099 140 50 29
Find KYIV-EAST-CHILDREN on Facebook