How Zdolbuniv municipality arranges shelters and organises leisure for internally displaced persons
With Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukrainian municipalities have faced new realities of life dictated by the war. In response to the new challenges, the U-LEAD with Europe Programme provided emergency aid to 333 municipalities of Ukraine, including 10 municipalities of the Rivne region: Ostroh, Rokytne, Zdolbuniv, Korets, Radyvyliv, Klevan, Mlyniv, Volodymyrets, Kozynsk and Zoria.
The selected municipalities include those with less than 50,000 inhabitants that are actively involved in the accommodation of internally displaced persons. Since the transfer of aid, most municipalities have already managed to set up shelters for the temporary accommodation of IDPs. This was announced by the Regional Office of U-LEAD with Europe in the Rivne region.
“The selection of municipalities and the list of goods provided to them were agreed with the Ministry for Communities and Territorial Development. Our team at the Regional Office of U-LEAD in the Rivne region coordinated the reception of the aid by the municipalities. Utility companies, municipal institutions and enterprises received goods to facilitate the better provision of basic services to support IDPs. These include camping beds, sleeping pads, woollen blankets, water tanks and generators. Thanks to these goods, municipalities were able to arrange additional accommodations for internally displaced persons,” says Mykhailo Shelep, Adviser on Decentralisation and Local Self-Government of the Regional Office of U-LEAD in the Rivne region.
The Zdolbuniv City Council was among the municipalities that received assistance. 1,535 IDPs have been registered here, including about 200 people living in municipal shelters. Since the beginning of the war, the Zdolbuniv municipality has taken in 2,639 registered internally displaced persons from the Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Chernihiv regions, including 354 people living in 4 organised places for IDPs.
“Preschool educational institutions took the brunt of it. At peak times, there were up to 100 persons in each, with each institution accepting 50 persons on average. In most cases, the Zdolbuniv municipality turned out to be a transit location for IDPs who found temporary shelter from shelling here, rested and moved on to safer places. However, a significant number of IDPs stayed with us,” says Maria Orlova, Head of the Department of Project Activities, Development and International Cooperation of the City Council.
There is a humanitarian aid headquarters at the Territorial Centre of Social Services in the Zdolbuniv municipality. The municipality provides IDPs with everything they need, from personal hygiene products to psychological support. All utility companies take care of creating comfortable living conditions and ensure an uninterrupted supply of high-quality utility services. The Zdolbuniv Administrative Services Centre, together with the Social Guarantees Department of the City Council, ensures the availability of all social and administrative services for community residents and IDPs.
“Thanks to the coordinated work and support of local businesses, ordinary citizens, as well as international programmes such as U-LEAD with Europe, comfortable conditions have been created for IDPs to stay in the municipality, including the provision of 3 hot meals a day for IDPs living in shelters,” says Maria Orlova.
In order to socialise and include IDPs in the life of the municipality, there are cultural events such as a concert of the Rivne Regional Philharmonic, workshops and tours around the city of Zdolbuniv for IDPs. Home’YAK Youth Space regularly holds integration events for local and IDP youth. The municipality also actively helps IDPs with employment.
The generators received from U-LEAD with Europe were distributed among three utility companies. In the period of a relative peace, they are used to facilitate on-site repairs where connection to the power grid is impossible. Such equipment used to be rented, and during active hostilities on the territory of the municipality, it can be used as an alternative source of energy for people who need it, primarily IDPs.
The water tanks are currently of great help to the Zdolbuniv Utility Company, ensuring the water supply to the microdistricts of the city, where water supply is limited for various reasons. Tents and sleeping bags were handed over to the Youth Space for events in the Zelenyi gazON Open Space, which are often attended by internally displaced persons.
“The war made every municipality face new challenges that had never existed before. And it was necessary to respond quickly, including the placement of IDPs and providing them with everything necessary, including psychological support. Support from international partners helped us deal with these challenges and be sure of approaching our victory. This is significant support, for which we are very grateful,” Vladyslav Sukhliak, head of the Zdolbuniv municipality, said, summing up.
The Zdolbuniv municipality handled the challenges of the war and is making plans for the future together with the IDPs. The municipality continues to help the IDPs socialise, and they, in turn, have become active citizens who care about the fate of their new home.
social services war war stories
Громади:Здолбунівська територіальна громада
Програма «U-LEAD з Європою»
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