top of page

Repair Together: young people rebuild destroyed villages

Illustration: #OleksanderShatokhin


Being a volunteer in Ukraine is stylish and sometimes even fun. At least, that's what you think when you look at the Repair Together project, where representatives of the creative industries and Kyiv bohemians travel to the destroyed villages of Chernihiv region to help the locals rebuild their homes.

Repair Together gathers hundreds of volunteers for the weekend, takes tents and sleeping bags and sets off for the villages of Yahidne and Lukashivka. There are already lists of people who are in dire need of help: these are families and lonely people whose houses have been damaged by enemy shelling. Volunteers also provide targeted assistance — the Russians stole a lot of equipment and things from the residents, so many were left without the most basic necessities.

The removal of debris and the restoration of houses takes place in the format of a toloka, an ancient Ukrainian tradition, when the whole community was called together to help with difficult work. For example, it was difficult to build a house on your own, so all the neighbors were involved in the process. Now this format of toloka has become relevant again, when thousands of Ukrainians were left in the ruins of their homes.

As evening falls, a cultural program begins in the Repair Together tent city. Among the volunteers are famous Ukrainian musicians and stand-up artists who organize performances. And once Repair Together even organized a rave during the removal of rubble in the Chernihiv House of Culture.

Locals have already gotten used to hipsters from Kyiv, who come to them every week on weekends to help. Residents of Yahidne and Lukashivka treat the volunteers with everything they have: from preserves and potatoes to fresh mint and garlic from the garden, in addition to sharing funny and tragic stories from the occupation and inviting volunteers to their homes.


bottom of page