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Local volunteer initiatives

Illustration: #IliaUhnivenko


The ability to self-organize is indisputably one of the strongest qualities of Ukrainians. Local associations become very influential in moments of crisis and can solve urgent problems much faster than large organizations or the government. Local volunteer initiatives have appeared in most districts and cities since the first days of Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 

Their essential feature is the ability to quickly embrace changes according to the situation. For example, when the Russian military partially surrounded Kyiv, public transport didn’t work, and there was a shortage of goods in stores and pharmacies. Volunteers helped vulnerable categories of the population with food and medicine. They also received humanitarian aid from the west of Ukraine and abroad, sorted it and distributed it according to purpose. The provision of local territorial defense was also often carried out by local volunteer initiatives.

When the Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated the Kyiv Oblast from the occupiers, local volunteers adapted to the new needs of Ukrainians. This included conducting classes in tactical medicine for the civilian population, weaving camouflage nets for the frontline, fundraising for the army, and providing help to liberated territories. Small communities themselves can determine the direction of their work based on the specific requests of society and the military.

It is extremely important for people during the war to gather together and act together. After all, local volunteering activities not only perform useful tasks, but also allow people to find support in difficult times. Therefore, many communities hold charity fairs and communal works, organize concerts, stand-up performances, and lectures.


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