On October 8, 2019, UKRINFORM hosted a press conference themed “7 million euros for community development in Ukraine: grants from German government agencies”.
Speakers were: Fr Andriy Nahirnyak (Vice-President of Caritas Ukraine), Hryhory Seleschuk (Head of the Department of Advocacy and Lobbying of Innovations of Caritas Ukraine, Ksenia Buhanka (project Manager of Caritas Ukraine).
The international Charitable Foundation Caritas of Ukraine received three grants from the government of Germany totaling about 7 million euros, aimed at the development of communities, their sustainability and the ability to solve social problems on their own territory. The grants are distributed throughout the country with a special focus on the East.
“Today we want to present the work, which is carried out by Caritas Ukraine as one of the powerful charitable networks in Ukraine thanks to the help of partners from Germany,” father Andriy Nahirnyak opened the event.
Hryhory Seleschuk added that for 5 years Caritas has provided assistance to more than 600 thousand people who suffered from the war: “But at the same time we realized that this assistance is not long-term, it does not allow a person to improve his life, change it and get out of the situation in which it found itself. One of the key problems was that a large number of immigrants who moved to local communities, changed those communities, changed the circumstances in which these cities are located. In order for people to really get long-term help and adjust their lives in new circumstances-we must help those people and communities to find joint solutions that would allow them to solve issues from the point of view of the future.”
Project Manager of Caritas Ukraine Ksenia Bukhanets noted that in Mariupol, Kramatorsk and Zaporizhzhia the innovative “spaces of support” were created to improve social services that are needed on the ground. Also in Severodonetsk, Ukraine, Sloviansk, Izyum, and Lozova local centres of social cohesion were created. In addition, 14 regional teams are functioning throughout Ukraine, designed to increase the level of social responsibility of the UGCC religious communities and promote their participation in solving social problems in the local community.
“7 million euros allocated by Germany will be spent on projects that started in 2019 and will last until 2021. During this time, we plan to strengthen local communities in the direction of understanding their own needs, advocacy and provision of necessary social services and benefits for communities by the communities themselves. Since 2014, when the war began, the German government have actively supported our state, in particular, through Caritas-Ukraine. We are now implementing humanitarian projects in the East of Ukraine with million-dollar budgets, said Ksenia Bukhanets.
At the end of the press conference, Fr Andriy Nahirnyak added that on October 12, 2019, the international exhibition center will host the all-Ukrainian community Forum “Social service of the family” with the participation of about 250 delegates. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the essence and possibility of developing the social potential of the family, in particular, family volunteering, social service to the family and for the family and social activity of families, in the circle of experts and practitioners.