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Round table “Integration of internally displaced persons” was held in Lviv

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Scientists, authorities and representatives of the public sector held a round table “Ways to help IDPs on the path of integration”. Initiators of the event, Lviv Polytechnic National University and charitable foundation “Caritas Ukraine”, analysed theoretical advances and practical solutions to IDPs’ inquiries and their integration to communities. Polish consul in Lviv, Rafał Wolski, joined the discussion, as Polish experience was used in many projects for IDPs in Ukraine.

The round table included two blocks: coverage of pressing challenges of IDPs integration and presentation of integration model using the example of three social projects. Organizers of the discussion emphasized the urgency to systematize available recommendations and create new ones, develop efficient ways to help IDPs for the fourth year of humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

According to the updated data, there are 1.7 million of IDPs in Ukraine. When in 2014, assistance to IDPs included provision of immediate and basic humanitarian aid, in 2018 integration, enforcement of rights and guarantees and social protection are of top priority. IDPs extremely need assistance with psychosocial support of families and spiritual guidance. As a participant of the discussion, Auxiliary Bishop of Lviv Archeparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, said ‘The Holly Family were also displaced persons at their time’.

Caritas Ukraine also presented preliminary models of public sector. This year, the foundation commenced implementation of a three-year innovative social project ‘Creation of family support centres as an integration model for IDPs and local people in Ukraine’. The project is cofinanced under development program Polish assistance’ of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

The project has been running in 8 cities in Eastern and Western Ukraine, where IDP families and local families, in particular ATO participants, cooperate with specialists: family counsellors, psychologists and case managers – experts in social and psychological support.

‘It is extremely important for people to find themselves in a new place and be able to support their family without a constant assistance. In the light of this, family support and reconnecting with family are the basis for resuming the dialogue, acceptance and forgiveness. These are not problems of a particular family, this is the issue of development of the society in general though local communities. What it would look like? This would depend on acceptance of local people and eagerness of IDPs to contribute’, summed up Maksym Bondarenko, the author of the project and Caritas Ukraine National Coordinator.

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