Locals to locals – People in Need supports local non-profit organisations directly in Ukraine

Published: Mar 28, 2022 Reading time: 3 minutes
Locals to locals – People in Need supports local non-profit organisations directly in Ukraine

Exactly one month has passed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Three million people—mainly women, children, and the elderly—have already fled the country, seeking refuge in surrounding countries. However, Ukrainians are not only looking for help abroad—many are unwilling or unable to leave the country and hope to return home soon. Up to 24 March, PIN has provided donations totalling €1.015 million to 90 Ukrainian NGOs.

People in Need was one of the first organisations to respond immediately to the outbreak of war. We began immediately to organise urgent material aid. In addition to assistance at the borders and in the Czech Republic, we identified a need to respond quickly to the sharp increase in internally displaced people and identify what specific areas within Ukraine lacked basic necessities such as water and food. PIN established cooperation with local organisations in contact with the Ukrainian government and has efficiently transported aid to the most vulnerable people—and we will continue to do this as long as necessary. At present, it isn't easy to get certain goods, such as power banks, sleeping bags, fuel, etc., directly in Ukraine. Due to the paucity of urgently needed aid material, international support is crucial for local organisations.

What does direct financial support look like in Ukraine?

To receive financial support from PIN, local organisations must meet specific criteria, such as logistics and staff capacity, and whether the assistance provided agrees with PIN's principles. The amount of the donation depends on the needs of a particular locality and the organisation's capacity to ensure the transport and distribution of aid.

Supporting local people is an integral part of our work. In the long term, PIN works to contribute to building an active civil society and mutual support of local people through local associations. PIN financially supports organisations that provide material assistance in regions where fighting is ongoing. Food parcels, water, baby food, and hygiene supplies are mainly distributed here. However, we often aid local organisations in procuring shelter facilities and the equipment necessary to run these shelters. Additionally, local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that procured collective centres for internally displaced people in Ukraine after the invasion are being funded. These shelters provide much needed safe places where people can stay for several days, get rest, and seek psychological help.

They used to have to leave their home alone, but now they help others in need

DOM4824 is one of the organisations financially supported by PIN. It is an association of people who fled Donetsk in 2014. Until recently, DOM4824 has supported social entrepreneurship, promoted women's rights, and fostered art initiatives in the space they rent from a local business. Following the invasion, their activities have changed dramatically, and now, they offer their space to internally displaced persons from regions where fighting is still ongoing. People in Need has provided the organisation with funding to cover its operations and rent for two months. We have equipped the centre's facilities with washing and dryer machines, fire extinguishers, microwaves.

The STAN organisation also operated initially in eastern Ukraine. In 2014, it moved from Luhansk to the west and began to organise development programs for local people in addition to artistic activities. Nowadays, staff members and volunteers help directly at the railway station – assisting with finding temporary housing, arranging administration, offering food and water. STAN has used PIN funding to support five community centres for internally displaced people in the Carpathian region.  

Author: Karolína Šugarová

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