By Odarka Bordun, Caritas Ukraine
Caritas Ukraine organised last September a study visit in Dnipropetrovsk to share practical experiences on interventions during crisis situations. Representatives of Caritas Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Austria, Germany, Catholic Relief Services (CRS, USA) and Caritas Europa joined Caritas Ukraine in this event.
During the visit, there were presentations of implemented projects that aimed at overcoming humanitarian crises based on experiences of Caritas Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Kramatorsk and Mariupol. In addition, the participants discussed activities implemented by eastern European and Caucasus partners. Eventually, they defined challenges and perspectives for future work.
The participants had the opportunity to meet with the internally displaced people (IDPs) that Caritas Ukraine is helping in Dnipropetrovsk. They visited the module town where the displaced people live and the existing centre of social and psychological help that is in place for children. In addition, they attended a distribution of humanitarian help for the most needy displaced persons in the module town.
Hryhoriy Seleshchuk, Caritas Ukraine coordinator of IDPs assistance projects, pointed out that “this meeting was especially important in order to have a look at the situation in Ukraine from different perspectives: firstly from a geographical one and secondly from the scope of the response to the humanitarian crisis.” He also noted that the meeting became an additional impulse for the development of cross-border cooperation in assisting people affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Lalida Rajsrima, representative of Caritas Germany, said that “the study visit brought fruitful results, in particular because it was an opportunity to share practical experiences on the implementation of emergency projects, and it can be useful in extending the activities further and in the network development.”
Pilar Cuesta, Humanitarian Aid Officer at Caritas Europa, appreciated the event. “The study visit was an excellent opportunity to share working experiences among different countries from the same region and to learn from each other. The commitment and dedication of Caritas Ukraine in Dnipropetrovsk was highly remarkable. Discussions among participants in the study visit also allowed to reflect on the potential scenarios for the way forward,” and she added that “the site visits were the best way to understand the intensive work that Caritas Ukraine is doing and the key role that they are playing in the current Ukrainian context. The beneficiaries’ testimonies made the difference to illustrate the challenges, constraints and distress that many Ukrainians face on a daily basis.” According to Pilar, further technical support and capacity-building will provide Caritas Ukraine staff with the necessary tools for implementing future projects.
Photos from the study visit on flickr