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From “refugees" to agrarians. A story of a family from Makiivka. Part 2

From “refugees" to agrarians. A story of a family from Makiivka. Part 2

“We are full of optimism and we are not going to stop”

The Roschupkins are full of optimism and they are not going to stop at where they are now.

“We count on ourselves only. If we won one more grant we would have created more work places for other internally displaced persons. I know how to grow tulips and lilies, we used to do that back there, in Makiivka. Now, my husband and I are students at the Department of Practical Psychology, we are first year part-time students”, says Nadiya.

As a future psychologist, she recommends all the residents of the occupied Donbas not to be afraid of changes in their lives and to try move out of the zone which is not controlled by the Ukrainian government.

“In my opinion, if you do not have to look after bedridden relatives who you cannot leave on the occupied territory, you should definitely leave it. Firstly, you will not be a human shield as it is clear now that they (terrorists) will not just go away from our land and this conflict will last for one, two, three years. And, secondly, if you start working on Ukrainian territory, it will boost the economy of our country as we are all tax payers. When we say “the state”, it sounds like some mysterious institution, some unknown office. But we are the state ourselves — people who live here. Vain hopes just paralyse everything”.

“We are an answer to a definite problem”

The story of the Roschupkins family proves that each person has a chance to change everything and begin a new life. The most important thing is to act and then you are sure to find people who will help you.

“Martin Club” launched a project “Life goes on: integration of internally displaced persons into village communities” this February. Eight regions of Ukraine (Donetsk, Luhansk, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhya, Sumy, Poltava) joined in”, says Viktoria Fedotova, head of NGO “Martin Club”.

According to Victoria’s words, the target group of the project are internally displaced persons who moved to the country and IDPs who have children.

“We provide them with legal and psychological support. This is urgent help in various difficult situations”, says Victoria.

Head of “Martin Club” told us about several examples when the organization had to give urgent help to internally displaced persons.

“Currently, we are working with the following case. A woman was not on the “SSU list” (list of people who registered on the territory controlled by Ukraine to get welfare payments from the state, but continue living on the occupied territory), but she has not got any allowances since January. She lives in a village and there is no one who can help her. She lives with her retired father who does not get a pension. We are trying to help her to compile all the necessary documents and we will help her submit them to court later. We can also allocate some urgent financial aid to her till she starts getting the welfare payment and is able to live on her own”.

We also helped another woman whose husband is a servicemen in the Anti-Terrorist Operation Zone. She is a mother of three and she had to deliver a baby in another hospital, not in the one she is registered at. She was demanded a huge sum of money for medicines. She had to buy them and we bought the medicines to her”, says Viktoriya Fedotova.

Besides this, “Martin Club” helps internally displaced persons who have nowhere to live.

“We provide them with temporary accommodation, but for some people it can turn into permanent one. We have launched a programme “Human rights protecting hotels for children” some time ago. Currently, we have six hotels and we are going to open two more, in the Sumy and Poltava regions”.
A person who comes from the east of Ukraine can stay in these hotels free of charge and get minimal food. While staying here, they can look for accommodation and work. Or, for example, a person moves from one region to another one and while he or she is solving the problem with the documents, they have nothing to eat for two months and this is where we can help”, continues the Head of “Martin Club”.

“The help we provide is mostly practical. We are not intermediaries between different programmes and we do not provide people with systematic advice. If a person addresses us with a definite problem, we help to solve this problem. We are an answer to this problem... Our main mission is to unite NGOs and to help internally displaced persons, to help IDPs and village communities establish contacts with each other. The mission of all the organizations which cooperate with is to help children... We are financed by the European Union”, sums up Viktoria Fedotova.

Andriy Kyrylov for Informator.lg.ua

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