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07 Oct 2022

In Ukraine, we help residents forget the horrors of war

As part of the psychosocial support program, various support activities are held in Ukraine every month with our help in the communities. They focus on the integration of internally displaced people who came to Transcarpathia. The events help them integrate into local life, culture and education, but they are also aimed at helping Ukrainian men and women recover as quickly as possible from the trauma caused by wartime experiences. The activities are also meant to help them regain a sense of security. In September, we helped organize two such events in the Rachiv district.  
Lyceum students in Veľky Bočkov on the finished bench

In Veľky Bočkov, residents improved their environment

In the village of Veľký Bočkov, the locals, together with internally displaced Ukrainians, made benches for the park near the lyceum, where the outcasts currently live. The goal of the activity was to improve the quality of leisure time and improve the environment. Lyceum students and internally displaced people polished the wooden boards, painted them, and experts helped them make the metal structure for the benches. Among the participants was Maryna Chumachenko, who came with her family from the Luhansk region. Maryna has been living with her four children in the lyceum dormitory for 5 months. She is enthusiastically involved in all activities organized in the community. This time, together with her eldest daughter Sofia, she participated in the bench-making event.
“We like it here, but we really want to go home. My daughter dreams of being home for New Years. I explain to her that our home is occupied and even if these territories are liberated, everything will still be mined, our house is gone, everything is looted, we will have nowhere to live, shops are closed, there is no livelihood, nothing works, everything is broken. We are very grateful to be given shelter here, we have free food. There are six of us in one small room, but it’s better than at home with rockets flying over our heads,”
Participants paint wooden boards
says Maryna. Vitaliia Lembak, director of the lyceum in Velky Bočkov, said that around 120 internally displaced Ukrainian men and women from other regions such as Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Kyiv, etc. live in the lyceum’s dormitory. About a third of them are children. Among the displaced are those who have been living here since March, but there are also those who arrived recently. They mostly live in kindergartens and schools, even in the maternity ward there are currently displaced persons. At the same time, the study process is actively taking place in the lyceum itself. Some children from displaced persons’ families also decided to study at the lyceum. Some, on the other hand, continue their studies at their schools, but of course in online form.
“We thank the organization People in Need for the material help in the form of refrigerators, freezers and stoves for our kitchen at the lyceum. Representatives of the organization recently came to investigate the situation of how to help temporary housing for internally displaced persons,” adds Vitaliia.

Solving quests in the village of Yasin

Another leisure activity took place in September in the village of Yasin. It was a competition, quest, whose main idea was to help the participants, both local and internally displaced, to get to know the history of this picturesque village more closely and to establish new relationships with both permanent and transient residents of the community.
Leisure activity in the village of Yasin
Among the participants were a mother and her daughter from Kramatorsk, Donetsk region, who currently live in the village of Lazeshchyna near Yasin. The journey to Yasin took them more than an hour, but they did not regret participating in the competition at all. “I took part in the competition today, I enjoyed the whole day, even though the tasks were difficult, it was interesting anyway. I didn’t know the girls from my team before the quest, but now I got to know them and maybe we’ll meet again. We will definitely keep in touch. I will remember this activity for a long time,” says Nasťa Sokolovská. Her mother, Kateryna Sokolovská, added: “This quest made me forget for a moment that there is a war in our country. This feeling is priceless.”
After the activities, the participants enjoyed pizza
In the last two months, 5 such community events have already taken place in the Rachiv district. According to the local coordinator Svitlana Dzhunzhyk, in addition to the two events mentioned, two excursions were also held, during which the participants learned how shepherds live in the fields and how cheese is made. Another event was devoted to the improvement of the new, little-known Sequoia tourist route in the village of Veľký Bočkov. Tourists were impressed by this activity.