The beginning of July was marked with a constituent meeting of the staff engaged in a new project “Creation of multifunctional social centers for coping with crisis and self-help for persons and communities affected by the conflict in Ukraine”. The project has been started by Caritas Ukraine and is financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with the support of Caritas Germany.
The project is aimed at provision of assistance to those affected by military operations in Ukraine by improving their social situation and development of self-help and self-organization. It will be implemented on the basis of three Caritas centers of eastern Ukraine in Zaporizhzhia, Mariupol and Kramatorsk and also Kyiv. Under the project, multifunctional social centers will be created to render services for internally displaced people from eastern Ukraine and representatives of local communities in difficulties. Apart from providing direct services, these centers are designed to support local initiatives, volunteer and social projects aimed at development of local communities and enhancement of social adaptation for IDPs. The services will be provided by centers and mobile groups, which will visit residential areas in the buffer zone.
The following types of activities are envisaged:
- the Crisis center which provides crisis and social consulting services for IDPs and local citizens in difficulties. It can be a short-term assistance;
- crisis consulting in tough situations aimed at short-term psychological stability as well as long-term social support in complex crisis environments;
- the Communities development center aimed at inducement of representatives of local communities and IDPs;
- the Resource center, designed to improve the potential of local communities engaged in ensuring civil well-being at the local level and provide advocacy and promotion of advancements for the vulnerable populations.
The scope of the project includes implementation of innovative approaches, such as “Money for work” program, which envisages engagement of project clients to provision of socially beneficial services; the social support service or case management in complex situations; social initiatives to encourage population, such as “Eat and meet” initiative, which foresees creation of a meal center to be used for engaging beneficiaries in a dialogue and motivate them to participate in different activities as volunteers. “Healthy and active” initiative which envisages a minimum package of health care services and organization of meetings for elderly people, etc. Work of mobile consulting groups on psychological assistance of people in the buffer zone and towns at border crossing points is another important aspect of project activities.
During the working meeting, representatives of Caritas Kyiv, Mariupol, Kramatorsk and Zaporizhzhia familiarized with the key tasks of the project, its logic and structural matrix, personnel requirements, project assessment and monitoring systems. Employees of Caritas Ukraine National Bureau provided basic information on operational activity planning, particularities of sharing information about the project, PR, core principles of program and finance reporting, etc.
The project is designed for five years. Caritas coordinators hope it will help people in crisis and provide substantial support for the development of communities’ potential. Now, a workaday life has begun. Its results will be presented later.