Help for more than half a million people while the situation in Ukraine worsensPublished: Oct 20, 2022 Reading time: 10 minutes
The situation in Ukraine is worsening significantly as Russia continues to attack civilians and civilian infrastructure in major Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv. Regardless of Russia's actions, we at People in Need will continue to help the most affected. We are focussed on humanitarian aid, delivering food and drinking water, and conducting small and medium repairs to houses to help people survive winter. At the same time, we are also focusing on education and rehabilitation of schools in the Sumy Oblast. In the last month alone, we have fixed the water system in several settlements, including recently liberated areas where people did not have access to water, electricity, gas, communication, and other essential services for many months.
Since the start of the invasion, we have provided aid to more than 500 thousand people worth more than €40 million, and we have 264 colleagues on the ground.
We are still providing direct assistance to Ukrainian refugees in ten regions of the Czech Republic. In September, we supported 3,079 people and served another 849 at the Ukrainian helpline. More than 1,300 participants have already joined our language course for Ukrainian teaching assistants.
Please read the latest summary of our assistance in Ukraine and the Czech Republic over the past month.
ContentsAID IN UKRAINE
AID IN CZECH REPUBLIC
- Fixing windows and rooves and providing long-term solutions to water supply problems
- Delivering food to people in Zaporizhzhia oblast in Ukraine
- Psychological support in schools, collective centers or local administration
- Shop according to one's needs
AID IN MOLDOVA
- We provide employment counselling and protect refugees
- In cooperation with partners, we have newly helped thousands of refugees
- The helpline team has resolved hundreds of more complicated requests
- We tutor Czech and school subjects. We recruit volunteers
Aid in Ukraine
Fixing windows and rooves and providing long-term solutions to water supply problems
€22,5 MILLION WORTH OF AID
Cold winter months, where the temperature will drop below zero, are approaching fast in Ukraine. Our team is now focused on light and medium repairs of the houses in Sumy, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Kyiv, and Zhytomyr Oblasts. We are fixing the windows and roofs of damaged homes, and more complex repairs will follow in the coming weeks. At the same time, emergency shelter kits with tarpaulin, wood, and plastic sheeting that enable basic repairs are being distributed in Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Dnipro Oblasts, and as newly liberated areas of Donetsk Oblast.
In Zakarpatska Oblast we've reconstructed three buildings that will accommodate 36 internally displaced people (IDPs) from around Ukraine. The repaired buildings are equipped with furniture and kitchen appliances. By the end of October, we hope to repair another five buildings for 207 people. Altogether, we plan to reconstruct 14 buildings to house 528 people by the end of the year.
“In several settlements where the water system was heavily damaged and was not operational for several months we are offering long-term solution. In newly liberated Balakliia, Derhachi or in Eshar and Alkhivska hromada we delivered pumps and necessary equipment that was installed and ensured centralized water system running,” says Sergey Saienko, East Region Director for People in Need Ukraine.
Additionally, we continue to deliver bottled water to newly liberated areas such as Balakliia and Izium in Kharkiv Oblast and Sviatohirsk or Lyman in Donetsk Oblast. People in these areas were supported with food and hygiene kits, and likewise in Kupiansk and Borova. Furthermore, water has been delivered to Pokrovsk and Myrnohrad in Donetsk Oblast.
"There is no running water, no heating or electricity, and people are on the verge of starvation. We have no medicine; we are still in shock," says Victoria from Izium. Her town was liberated on 11 September, and People in Need immediately sent aid to help the neediest with drinking water. "During the occupation, there were 22,000 people left, 89 in our house, among them seniors, children, and diabetics. We had no medicine; we had nothing to eat; we heated our food over candles. We drank rainwater, which we drew from a well," she adds. When asked what she would need most now, she replies: tarpaulins and protection from the cold. And, of course, water.
Besides these cases, we have provided a lot of help across the country in the last month. For example, in the east of the country, we delivered food to more than 13,800 residents of Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv and Donetsk Oblasts. Food aid was also given to 9,100 people in Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv Oblasts. Basic hygiene supplies, which cannot be bought in these places, were also needed, and we supplied them to 18,000 people.
For many people, collective centres are still the only safe places where they can rest, warm up, and children can learn or even just be children and play for a short while. We support soup kitchens in ten collective centres in Lviv Oblast, so more than 500 people can have two hot meals daily. We also regularly deliver hygiene supplies to the collective centres.
We recognise the need to focus on restoring children's education. That is why we will make temporary repairs to schools in the Sumy Oblast and provide teachers with psychological support for the children and themselves. We will also repair schools or provide other assistance related to education in the Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast.
Psychological support in schools, collective centers or local administration
€101,000 WORTH OF AID
Eight months of war have traumatised millions of Ukrainians. We understand that we need to treat this trauma, which is why we continue providing psychosocial and mental health support to children and adults via a telephone hotline and our mobile psychological teams. Individual and group counselling is offered to people in collective centres, schools, or in local administration for the staff and visitors.
The psychosocial hotline works nationwide, and our teams regularly visit people in Lviv, Vinnytsia, Dnipro, and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts. We have also built and equipped child-friendly spaces in many centres. Here children can play and learn again.
Shop according to one's needs
€13,5 MILLION WORTH OF AID
In just the first three weeks of September, we, together with our partners, registered 1,184 people for cash distribution in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and another 1,264 people in Lviv Oblast. The most vulnerable families receive the equivalent of CZK1,700 in hryvnia each month for a quarter of a year; this cash enables them to shop according to their needs.
Aid in Czech Republic
€3,2 MILLION WORTH OF AID
We are still directly assisting Ukrainian refugees in ten regions of the Czech Republic. In September, we supported 3,079 clients and served another 849 on the Ukrainian helpline. More than 1,300 participants have joined our language course for Ukrainian teaching assistants. We also continue using the SOS Ukraine Emergency Appeal funds to help partner organisations nationwide.
Our assistance to refugees includes cooperation with schools and municipalities, support for community activities, adaptation, education, social work and counselling, humanitarian aid, a pilot social housing project, and analysis and feedback from the field necessary for decision-making in crisis management. We continue our cooperation with the Consortium of NGOs working with migrants and meet with the management of the National Assistance Centre for Ukrainians.
We focus on the most vulnerable—people with health or mental health problems or other particular needs—for example, Olena, a mother of a four-year-old and a fourteen-year-old son. She works two jobs to provide for her family and plans to start a business. "We helped them find a more stable home than just a room in a hostel so that they could breathe more freely again after the trauma they had experienced," says Svatava Havelková Svobodová, coordinator of field workers at our Central Bohemia branch.
We provide employment counselling and protect refugees
We continue to monitor the situation in the hostels where many newly arrived Ukrainians are still housed. We are helping twenty people, including children, in the Olomouc region. While they have become accustomed to the local kindergarten or school and their parents have gained employment, they are at risk of eviction. We are also continuing to support a modular social housing project in the town of Pečky, which should primarily be used to house Ukrainians. Time is running until 29 October to submit proposals.
We are providing job counselling to job seekers while also trying to protect refugees from abuse. Natalia was employed through an agency that also provided her with accommodation. After six weeks, she lost both. Not only did she need a new roof over her head, but with our support, she could deal with the fact that her employer had not paid her wages. Sisters Olga and Tatiana had a similar experience. The cleaning company they worked for owed the women three months' pay. "In a difficult psychological state, they turned to the police and our office in Ústí nad Labem. We offered them psychological and legal support, help with processing humanitarian benefits and material assistance. Now we are helping them to find new jobs and overcome the feeling of abuse and disappointment," explains Helena Mourečková, the fieldwork coordinator of the Ústí nad Labem branch.
Very often, we mediate medical care. We continuously update information in Ukrainian on our main website. We continue to organise and coordinate help centres for refugees, supporting their integration. For example, our Pilsen branch prepared an event focused on the lives of foreigners, especially war refugees from Ukraine, during which people could learn about the stories of Ukrainian women or taste Ukrainian specialities.
In cooperation with partners, we have newly helped thousands of refugees
We have established cooperation with the Volunteer Centre in Ústí nad Labem to support Ukrainian refugees. In the framework of our partnership with the online Medical Advisory Service for Refugees ulekare.cz, 8,289 inquiries/consultations were handled from June to September, mainly in general medicine, pediatrics, gynecology and dentistry. And in cooperation with the Hlavák Initiative, we supported 5,826 clients in September; initially with assistance at Prague's Main Station in light of the crisis caused by the overloaded Labour Office in Holešovice (now in Prosek) and in monitoring the situation at offices in other Prague districts.
The helpline team has resolved hundreds of more complicated requests
As part of our work on the Ukrainian Helpline (+420 770 600 800), we deal with more complicated requests beyond the usual queries handled by the back office team. Callers are often looking for accommodation, specific material assistance, requiring legal analysis, or requesting crisis interpretation. Since the launch of the helpline, the team has registered 630 cases, most of which have been resolved. Requests are dealt with for hours, days, or weeks until they are resolved. It also involves multiple organisations in the solution.
"My colleague Anna was looking for employment for a blind gentleman who is a trained masseur. In cooperation with the municipality and an organisation helping the blind, within three months, they managed to arrange employment in a sheltered workshop, move the whole family to another region for this, and arrange all the necessary documentation and other related matters," says counsellor Alena Čorna.
We tutor Czech and school subjects. We recruit volunteers
In education, we also respond to individual needs; for example, Nikita, a seven-year-old first-grade pupil, has a severe visual impairment. He needed to be examined at the eye clinic and a special education centre by a typhlopedist. Our support resulted in the confirmation of an individual education plan and the provision of special treatment.
We continue to organise adaptation groups for Ukrainian children. We focus on supporting adolescents 15+, helping them prepare for entrance or matriculation exams. For students in a poor socio-economic situation, we offer the possibility of a scholarship programme. We provide the necessary technology for online studying and home preparation and distribute donated textbooks and dictionaries.
We organise, arrange or facilitate Czech language courses. We have started tutoring through a virtual branch that connects volunteers with families in an online environment. Those interested in volunteering can apply at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also held the first meeting of a regular focus group of Ukrainian teaching assistants, primarily graduates of our online Teach Me This course. We published the results of a survey on teaching about migration. The work of Ukrainian and bilingual teaching assistants in schools was also one of the main topics of the conference with teaching assistants for better schools.
Aid in Moldova
€651,000 WORTH OF AID
In Moldova, we support families who have provided shelter to people fleeing war. At the same time, we help run a helpline in Ukrainian and Russian. As part of a new pilot project on Education in Emergencies for Ukrainian Refugee Children in Moldova, our team is completing the preparatory work for opening a digital education for children.
Many places in Moldova have been transformed into refugee centers overnight, including a social canteen. Mothers with children, in particular, find accommodation there for short and more extended periods. Local volunteers have prepared a program of activities for the people in the refugee center, such as cooking classes for local specialties.