„YMCA Europe is a working fellowship to strengthen movements where people grow in body, mind and spirit.“

BRIEF UPDATE ON THE STATUS AND INVOLVEMENT OF SEVERAL LOCAL YMCAS IN UKRAINE

4th April 2022

We are able to present a very brief update on the status and involvement of several local YMCAs in Ukraine.

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The information is directly received from the General Secretary of YMCA Ukraine, Viktor Serbulov, in connection with his Board and local leadership.


YMCA Kharkiv 

As a result of shelling and bombing of residential areas of the city, many people were left without a roof over the head, in need of food, medicine, evacuation to safe places.  

In this situation, YMCA Kharkiv volunteers provide helping the elderly, families with children, to those who have animals, who are unable to evacuate by themselves.

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Since the start of the war, the Kharkiv YMCA has helped about 200 families staying in Kharkiv, and has helped to evacuate about 50 elderly people by picking them up from their apartments and transporting them to evacuation points and safe places outside the city.


Lviv YMCA (Western Ukraine).

From the very beginning of the war the city of Lviv became a center for the reception and transit abroad to Poland of refugees from places affected by hostilities, and at the same time one of the safest large cities in Ukraine.

City provides both assistance to those fleeing the war and support for the Armed Forces.  Additional benefits include proximity to the border and the availability of mobile volunteer groups.  It is likely that the city will continue to be a host and transit point. 

YMCA Lviv has created a place in Lviv for temporary shelter and support for young people and activists working with youth centers.  

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Youth volunteer center of eight young people is working at the YMCA Lviv office

YMCA-based young activists have set up their volunteer team, which studies the basic needs of refugees in Lviv, mainly women and children, and organizes primary humanitarian aid for them, distributing clothes, food, hygiene stuff, medicines, delivering psycho-social support to children and youth in this crisis situation.

From the start of the war the Y’s volunteers reached and helped around 500 children and youth in need.

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To receive in Ukraine humanitarian aid, coming from abroad, a storage is organized in Lviv and a team of volunteers is created.

The first 2 minivans with humanitarian aid have arrived during the first days of March from Germany. This humanitarian aid was collected and sent by Berlin YMCA, with active participation of the YMCA Ukraine National Board member Marta Huretska, who has to stay in Berlin because of war. 


YMCA Lutsk (Western Ukraine)

Leaders and young people of this local YMCA are actively involved in volunteering.  

The organization works in three areas: collecting humanitarian aid for refugees and humanitarian convoys, material and physical assistance to territorial defense and weaving camouflage nets.  The premises of the YMCA became a center of volunteer activity.

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The YMCA is actively helping the Department of Social Services for Families, Children and Youth of Lutsk administration, which focusses on meeting the basic needs of internally displaced persons.  

As a result of cooperation, the YMCA identified the need to provide children with basic necessities, and started creating children's boxes with basic necessities to ensure a comfortable stay in refugee assistance centers.

170 such boxes have already been produced and distributed among internally displaced children.


YMCA Karpaty (South West Ukraine)

The local YMCA has already received more than 300 refugees, some for only one night on the way to the border, some stayed to live in a hostel for the second week. Together with the local community, the YMCA provide food for all, and the hostel has everything needed for comfortable accommodation (common areas, showers, warm rooms, wifi, tea, etc.), refugees sleep in rooms with beds, and in the halls on mattresses and mats in sleeping bags.

The YMCA leaders are volunteering as well, offering support to those in needs. They are also running first aid workshops for volunteers and students.

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March 9th YMCA Romania crossed the border and meet the YMCA Karpaty team, including the President, with a van full of goods received from the YMCA in Sweden. On March 18, the second shipment of goods was delivered into the Ukrainian territory, the goods being purchased on the basis of the list received from the Karpaty YMCA, their procurement being possible with financial support from the YMCA Europe.

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YMCA Poltava is currently provide different activities for refugees and local population, conducting courses in home care, tactical medicine in cooperation with other NGOs and local authorities.

Classes are being held twice a day for 2 hours on the basis of secondary school and the hall of the NGO "Warrior" in Poltava. The classes are divided into subgroups of 20 people, each subgroup works for 30 minutes at each station (in total there are 9 stations). The courses are held every day from Monday to Friday, for about 1300 people so far.

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In addition, YMCA volunteers help to find and purchase the first aid kits, clothing, medicine, food for the refugees from other regions of Ukraine. Number of participants: 200-250 people in each class.

Part of the humanitarian aid received by YMCA Poltava from YMCA Europe through YMCA Ukraine was transferred to their partner - Poltava Church "Christ for All".

Now, the church members are hosting IDPs from Kharkiv, Sumy, Okhtyrka and Chuguyev. At least 100 people have already lived there. Many families stay for a longer time to figure out where to go next after their lives have been ruined. Several families need special medical treatment, which can be received in Poltava hospitals.

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Currently, 23 IDPs live in the church building. Volunteers and members of the church also deliver humanitarian aid to people of retirement age in neighboring villages of Poltava region.

The rest of the humanitarian aid was transferred to the Poltava City Multidisciplinary Lyceum 1, where 50 IDPs are hosted.


YMCA Kropyvnytskyi

YMCA provides here different kinds of assistance for refugees and local families in the city of Kropyvnytskyi, who are in difficult economic and psychological situations.

The YMCA here provided financial assistance to 50 children with disabilities and 30 families in difficult situations after the evacuation. UAH 35,000 was used for products and household goods within the framework of the Humanitarian Aid 2022 project with financial support from YMCA Europe.

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YMCA - Kids Kropyvnytskyi accepts refugees and organizes social and pedagogical activities for their children. Children make applications, modeling, watch cartoons and movies. Families receive grocery kits, wash and dry clothes.There were 3 master classes for refugee children at their place of residence, 3 films/ cartoons for children and adults. A total of 46 children and adults took part in 6 events and 3 volunteers were involved.

Kropyvnytskyi is a relatively safe city, where refugees come constantly. Some travel only to spend the night, some stay longer. The city authorities allocate premises for refugees: dormitories of educational institutions, hotels, schools and kindergartens, hostels free of charge for accommodation / accommodation.


YMCA Uman organizes a number of social projects in the village Palanka of Uman district: to repair a kindergarten, a school damaged by explosions in military warehouses. Also food support for affected by war families with disabilities in the amount of up to 25 people is provided.


YMCA Kremenchuk received financial support for the implementation of the project "Humanitarian Aid 2022" with financial support from YMCA Europe.

Their goal is to make the YMCA in Kremenchuk a safe space capable for providing a variety of services to the local residents and refugees from other cities between the ages of 2 to 50.

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"The Resilience Project", was launched here, an initiative of Alina Revenko one of the leaders of Ymca Kremenchuk in Ukraine and participant of our Roots Peace Work Institute. The project aims to provide psychological support groups for children and young people, individual psychological consultations and assistance for mothers with young children, group meditations (online and offline), and yoga classes. Everything is provided by volunteers, free of charge.

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YMCA Rivne 

Korniy Demidyuk (YMCA Rivne) conducts charitable theatrical performances for children together with Rivne Academic Regional Puppet Theater. The YMCA accepts children from Kyiv and other regions in the theater. 

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YMCA here also runs its own project "Where did the war find me" on Facebook, where they tell about people, what they are doing now and how they perceive the horrors of the war.


YMCA Ternopil

Ternopil is a relatively safe city, where refugees come constantly. Some travel only to spend the night, some stay longer. The city authorities have allocated dormitories of educational institutions, a hotel, schools and kindergartens, and hostels free of charge for accommodation.

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YMCA volunteers gave assistance to more than 100 people aged 2 to 30 years old. Number of volunteers involved - 14 . Tasks: organization of children's leisure time during the day, informing parents about the organization of the YMCA, psychological assistance, psychological relief, relieving anxiety, involving families in joint activities.


YMCA Odessa is one of the local YMCAs across Ukraine doing their best to offer support to those in need.

"Many people need help and we thank God that we have the opportunity to support those in need! Thank you, Mark (volunteer at YMCA Odessa) for your awesome job and service to these people! We continue to help!" is the message of our friends and colleagues from Odessa.

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"These two brave ladies are opening psychological help at ICF Bydgoszcz in Poland for kids and moms who escaped the war. One is from Odessa and the other is from USA. We're still sending buses with help to Ukraine, give out food and clothing in Bydgoszcz but also we're looking for new ways to help in the long run' said Michal Wlodarczyk, the representative of the organisation.

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YMCA Zdolbuniv

More than 50 IDPs have received humanitarian aid in Zdolbuniv from the local YMCA with the support of YMCA Europe

Adults and children who escaped from the hotspots of Ukraine - Kharkiv, Kyiv, Bucha, Zaporizhia received not only food, hygiene products and other necessary things, but also warm care from the volunteers of our organization.

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YMCA Zdolbunov provides classes in the children's club and on March 1-16 held 11 online meetings for everyone. 55 children took part. We played together, took interesting quizzes, motorbikes, had fun learning English and drawing. It greatly improved the mood and calmed the children, parents and leaders themselves! Yoga classes are held online for everyone.


Zaporizhzhya YMCA (Eastern Ukraine)

The YMCA of Zaporizhzhia Region, located in the East of Ukraine, in the area of hostilities, actively collects and provides various humanitarian aid to those suffering from the war, namely: various necessities, food, medicine, toys for children and food kits for animals. Each volunteer of the YMCA of Zaporizhia region undertook to take care of homeless and abandoned animals in order to further find their owners or put them in "good hands".

Elderly patients also receive practical and charitable assistance. Separate assistance from YMCA volunteers in Zaporizhia Oblast is provided to carers of many abandoned animals, and a special support group has been set up, led by a YMCA volunteer.

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YMCA volunteers visit hospitals and provide all possible assistance to family doctors and patients, help sick people get to hospitals, search for necessary medicines for chronic patients, as it is very difficult to find necessary medicines for elderly people due to their shortage.

To deliver aid, volunteers work in difficult air-raid conditions, use bicycles or carry backpacks in hard-to-reach areas, and there is a lack of fuel and vehicles for all. A separate important area is the delivery of aid to elderly people who remain in the villages of the region in a humanitarian crisis under fire without food, medicine and water, but can not leave these places.

YMCA volunteers pack large family food kits for IDPs and help with evacuations to safe places, as well as care for families with children who are temporarily staying in Zaporizhia. YMCA of Zaporozhye region on the occasion of a month-long war withRussia held an exhibition "PEACE BY THE EYES OF CHILDREN"!

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In total around 1,500 people were reached by the YMCA of Zaporizhia region activities since the war started. Photo materials available here.

Y-space “Spirit. Mind. Body." Zaporizhia plans to create a hostel for refugees with a capacity of 30 beds on its own premises and organize humanitarian aid, social and psychological support for civilians, especially among vulnerable categories of children and youth from among: orphans, semi-orphans, low-income, low-income, disabled people, internally displaced persons from technogenic zones, volunteers from among the members of the YMCA.


Guest House "SargoRigo" / YMCA Nyzhnie Village organized a camp on its base for children from destroyed by Russians villages.

Volunteers try to organize leisure time so that children do not think about war. Older teens make a list of skills they can share with each other and with younger children. Meanwhile, adults are setting up a bomb shelter ...


YMCA Boyarka (near Kyiv)

Due to the sharp increase in hostilities in the Kyiv region, this has led to a shortage of many products and medicines. For the Boyarka community, YMCA Zdolbunova facilitated the purchase of UAH 10,000 worth of medicines. Cooperation and mutual assistance between local YMCA units is more important than ever.

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YMCA of Luhansk region

President of Luhansk region Olga Pechenyuk is currently in Lviv and is helping to distribute humanitarian aid to IDPs in Lviv and Kyiv.


Many of us have had the honor of shaking hands with Father Yevgheny at some point. A model, an example of simplicity, kindness, and peace. We are glad to know that he is safe in Kirovohrad - doing what he does best - helping people in need.

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The following donation channels are open:

917,818 €

Funds received up to June 23rd in response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

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