Donbas Public TV journalists visited the office of «Vostok-SOS», the organization which helps IDPs. Volunteers spoke about the challenges IDPs face at present. A lot of them who could not settle down at a new place had to go back home on the occupied territory.
Civil initiative of helping residents of Eastern Ukraine and the Crimea «Vostok-SOS» has been helping people who have suffered from hostilities. Volunteers help IDPs with finding accommodation at a reasonable price which is increasingly difficult, says Svitlana Tarabanova, the center coordinator. You are lucky if you rent an equipped flat.
«The flat may be fully equipped, but IDPs do not have enough money. They may not have enough utensils, bed linen, towels. Last year civil initiatives supplied IDPs with them. Now IDPs are trying to settle down, so practically every family experiences lack of money», says Svitlana Tarabanova.
You may hope that the state will help, still help yourself by yourself
If you are lucky to find some accommodation not far from the regional center with a chance to find a job — you have to pay a lot of money.
«Some people think that IDPs will settle down one day and then they will not need our help. However, IDPs are in a stressful situation and it happens that they do not know what to do. The situation is complicated by the high rent», says Yulia Krasilnikova, a volunteer from «Donbas-SOS».
«People do not suffer because of the absence of their belongings, but they suffer because of the absence of food. They may wear the same shirt for a long time, but they want to eat every day. So, food is the main problem», an IDP from the Crimea complains.
A lot of people are disappointed. Some of them went back to the occupied territory. Some of them continue fighting. As a result, those people who are without home for more than a year consult psychologists.
Some people hang a stigma on IDP
Puppet show performances to rehabilitate children-IDPs are planned to be organized by «Vostok-SOS». They also arrange group sessions to help adapt adults. There they can talk to each other as those who experience the same problems will understand each other best of all.
“Those who come often need just communication as the tension of social problems in the country repel locals from IDPs and widen the gap between them», Svitlana explains.
«Donbas-SOS» provides humanitarian aid and renders legal help. The organization helps evacuate people from risky areas.
«People are still contacting our call center. Not all people know how to get to the territory controlled by Ukraine from occupied territories», a volunteer adds. It is difficult to get to the occupied territory too; it is difficult to get a permit for crossing the demarcation line, IDPs and lawyers state.
«As a retired person, I can get help from the Red Cross only if I am 70 and more. I have to help myself by myself», an IDP from the Crimea says.
People who are involved into the conflict, without their will, are hung a stigma on by the society, and this causes their discrimination in the area of work, studies, and accommodation.
The problem solving requires a stage approach, and it is not just humanitarian aid. «Vostok-SOS» plans are huge, even mad. Volunteers understand that there is war, and people feed the army and IDPs, and treat the wounded, and everyone is tired. And it is not only the victory in the war. We should win in some other spheres too and make the country better than it was before the war.
«We would like to believe in the better, to think that the common sense will win. We should think positively», Svitlana Tarabanova adds.
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