COMPREHENSIVE ASSISTANCE TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUFFERED AS A RESULT OF THE ARMED CONFLICT
From the very beginning of the armed conflict, humanitarian assistance became one of the main directions of Vostok-SOS’ work. During humanitarian missions, we also analyze the situation in the region, identify and highlight in the media the current problems and needs of people and expand communication with the public.
We support residents and social institutions in settlements along the frontline in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, namely:
• Residents along the frontline territories (local households, internally displaced persons (IDPs), people in difficult living conditions, low-income families with children, elderly people and persons with disabilities etc.) receive food and hygiene products, medicine, rehabilitation products, clothing;
• We provide rural outpatient clinics, ambulance stations and hospitals with modern medical equipment;
• Social institutions such as boarding schools and orphanages, retirement homes receive food kits and hygiene products;
• We provide books, games, sports equipment, educational and multimedia supplies to schools, kindergartens, libraries and other educational facilities. We also assist schools in repairing lavatories;
• Volunteer and activist centers (children’s spaces, rural youth clubs, community centers) receive arts and crafts supplies, office supplies, board games, multimedia and musical equipment, construction and specialized materials.
We collect donations through charity events and campaigns together with our partners in Ukraine and abroad. The collected money is spent on humanitarian aid for the victims of the conflict.
Vostok-SOS lawyers provide free legal assistance to internally displaced persons, as well as to those who have suffered during the conflict in the eastern part of the country. Our specialists are members of several national working groups for drafting laws on various topics, especially concerning IDPs. Contacts of the legal aid hotline of Vostok-SOS are available at all entry-exit check points (EECPs).
Our legal laid team:
- assist in drafting procedural documents (applications, complaints, requests for information, claims, applications for recognition of facts of legal significance etc.)
- run a telephone hotline and online consultations
- operate three legal aid centers (Kyiv, Mariupol and Rubizhne)
- conduct research on legal issues concerning IDPs and people affected by the conflict
At the moment, Vostok-SOS has three legal aid centers operating in Kyiv, Mariupol and Rubizhne.
We provide psychological assistance and psycho-social support to persons who have suffered from the military conflict. Our key priority is to help temporarily displaced persons, relatives of missing persons, former prisoners and civilians living along the frontline.
- Stress- resilience
- Self-support and self-regulation
- Understanding the experience of grief and loss
- Conflictology and non-violent communication
- Effective communication
- Emotional burnout prevention
- Educational measures to strengthen mental health and emotional self-control
Permanent psychological clubs for adults and children operate in the Sievierodonetsk office of Vostok-SOS. Our psychologists also conduct regular outreach in cities and villages along the frontline.
Civil Society Development
For a long time, direct humanitarian assistance to the victims of the military conflict was the flagship of Vostok-SOS, but today we are increasingly looking into the future. We understand the importance of preventive action and the fact that many of the problems that the Ukrainian society faces today could have been avoided.
Therefore, an important direction of our activities is the development of civil society and the promotion of democratic values and human rights through educational, cultural and artistic activities, the implementation of mentor support to initiatives in local communities, etc.
Our work in this area include:
- Development of civil society, network of centers of activity, strengthening the capacity and self-organization of politically active citizens in the conflict zone
- Capacity building and empowerment of local activists to participate in decision-making processes and public control.
- Strengthening the professionalism and potential of government officials in the conflict region through non-formal education practices
- Strengthening the capacity of educational institutions (secondary schools) in the conflict region, the practice of non-formal education
- Informing the Ukrainian society about the humanitarian and socio-cultural situation in the region of the conflict
- Organization of the annual Opinion Festival in Sievierodonetsk with more than 25 discussions, workshops, and seminars on relevant social issues.
Documentation of Human Rights Violations
Vostok-SOS collects and documents facts of human rights and humanitarian law violations committed in the context of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. Those include illegal arrests, unlawful imprisonment, murder, torture, persecution based on political and religious beliefs, shelling of civilian objects, shells from residential areas, etc.
We also monitor and publish a monthly review on the human rights situation in the occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts.
We provide humanitarian assistance, legal, informational and social support to relatives of missing persons, former prisoners and their families.
Vostok-SOS’ advocacy activities are aimed at protecting the social, civil and political rights of internally displaced persons as well as of citizens who have suffered as a result of the conflict. We systematically analyze current state policies for victims of the conflict, current legislation and new legislative initiatives. We participate in several national working groups on draft laws and regulations and we have an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the parliament and relevant ministries on issues regarding IDP’s and people affected by the armed conflict.
Permanent communication with the target audience through the hotlines and personal communication with beneficiaries allow us to have a good understanding of the actual practices of the implementation of regulations in each city and social department. Based on the results of this analysis, we initiate and participate in the development of normative documents and draft laws aimed at improving the situation of groups affected by conflict.
Membership in networks, working groups and consortiums:
We participate in:
• OCHA coordinated general meetings
• Clusters: Protection, FSLC, WASH, Education
Representatives of Vostok-SOS are members of:
• Educational House of Human Rights in Chernihiv
• Reanimation Package of Reforms Coalition – development, promotion, control and implementation of the reforms.
• All-Ukrainian Educational Program “Understanding Human Rights” – on Global and Human Rights education to schools, other educational institutions and the civil society.
• Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas”
• Committee of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Human Rights, National Minorities and International Relations