UNHCR supports Peaceful Co-existence Projects throughout Ukraine

60 projects in eastern Ukraine and 20 projects in the rest of Ukraine are only a small part of successful local initiatives aimed to support both displaced and host communities to help each other build their future together.

One of the key objectives of peaceful co-existence projects is to help those forced to flee their own homes for various reasons (from military conflict, persecution, overall danger in their homeland, etc.), to restore their habitual lifestyle at a new place of residence, as well as to support local community to welcome new members of the community as comfortable as possible, to help them integrate in a mutually beneficial way in terms of not only economy, but socially and culturally. Below please find some of the examples of such projects:

On December 10, an opening ceremony of the House of Arts was held in the city of Oleksandriya, Kirovograd region. There are over 10,000 people residing in “Peremoha” (Victory) district, out of which 2,000 are children, teenagers and youth. There was no other social space except of local library. After the successful completion of the roof renovation and repair of rooms inside the House of Arts, there is a place in Oleksandriya to promote the spiritual, cultural and intellectual development of children and young people in the district “Peremoha”, to instill a healthy lifestyle and self-improvement through the use of modern educational programs and hobby clubs.

On 17 December we held an opening of modernized Central Library of Desnianskyi district in Kyiv.

Over 12,000 people visit this library regularly throughout a year. Besides of its core task – to give readers access and possibility to dive into the world of literature – it has also been 10 years since the library has been serving as an Integration center for refugees and asylum seekers as well as local residents due to its active role in mobilizing and engaging both communities in their activities, such as: art classes, excursions to the museums, educational lectures, and events dedicated to promoting cultural traditions of the counties of refugees’ origin. Since 2014, the library has been providing its premises for the Ukrainian language courses and the Ukrainian speaking club for refugees and asylum seeker as well as community meetings. The program of events by the library is developed in a way to involve diverse social groups of people: children, youth, adults and elderly.

Providing the library with additional furniture, equipment and tools for conducting various socio-cultural and educational events will make this public space even more attractive and convenient for families with children attending activities of the library.

We thank our partners Charity Fund NGO “Rokada”, State Migration Service of Ukraine and the Library itself for making this project happen.

On December 18 an IDP Сcommunity Сenter in Irpin celebrated its third anniversary marking its great achievements. On the day of the anniversary, the internally displaced persons from Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea and Irpin local population gathered together in a friendly environment to mark their common achievements with the help of this Center.

Three years ago, with the support of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) as one of the Quick Impact Projects, the first Community Center for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) was opened in Irpin, Ukraine. The project was initiated by the Service for Children and Family of the Kyiv Oblast Administration and the Charitable Organization “Foundation for Good Deeds”, led by Mrs. Nadezhda Filimonova-Skrypka. “We do not stand still, we are developing and we still have plans for many additional projects promoting inclusive society and inclusive community. Therefore, today we thank all the supporting people and express our special gratitude to UNHCR,” stated Ms. Filimonova-Skrypka. During these three years, the Community Center has become a special place for displaced people and host community representatives of all ages.

On December 19, together with our partner NGO “10th April” we opened PCP implemented in Odesa school #85. The school is the nearest to Temporary Accommodation Center (TAC) for refugees, thus all children from TAC attend it. The Project aims to create an enhanced educational environment so to facilitate the interaction between Ukrainian and refugee children, as well as facilitate catch-up classes and smoother local integration. To help local school to accommodate additional students, UNHCR has supported school with provision of additional study supplies, including installation of multi-media equipment in school. This approach replies well the new standards of the concept of the Nova Ukrainska Shkola (New Ukrainian School).

On December 21, our colleagues from UNHCR Office in Sievierodonetsk held the opening ceremony of newly renovated local library of Komyshuvakha village, in Popasna district, Luhansk region. It was suffering from shelling since the beginning of the conflict until the middle of 2016. Moreover, the library had no heating, which prevented the local community from proper use of the library services in winter time. The local community wanted the library to become a modern cultural and information center providing access to various services. During the opening ceremony, UNHCR also handed over to the library the books collected by a volunteer in Cherkasy (a city in the central part of Ukraine).

As a result of the performed repair works and provision of furniture and equipment by UNHCR, the residents of Komyshuvakha village and IDPs can now enjoy improved conditions and enhanced services provided in the library. The people have received access to information, online counselling and administrative services via Internet.