Today in Ukraine quite a few community and charitable organizations help vulnerable categories of the population (the disabled, elderly, orphans, and dysfunctional families). They work closely and effectively with relevant ministries and establishments. Their work is often hindered by bureaucratic obstacles. For this reason, community organizations in Ukraine are today urging the government to implement regulations which would legislatively formalize all the aspects of their activity. In the sphere of social assistance community and charitable organizations don’t compete with the government; they are the government’s partners.
This very issue was the topic of discussion on 24 February when Prime Minister Mykola Azarov met with the leaders of the nationwide community social-political association National Assembly of the Disabled in Ukraine, the International Charitable foundation Caritas Ukraine, the international charitable organization For Every Child, the charitable organization Place for Lucky Children, the nationwide community organization Coalition for Protecting the Rights of the Disabled and Mentally Challenged, and the community organization Care for the Elderly.
The Prime Minister promised that the relevant ministries will develop a legislative base so that community organizations could help the vulnerable members of society without obstacles.
Additionally, after considering the recommendations of those who came to see him, Mr. Azarov promised that the government will improve the coordination of work with charitable and non-governmental establishments. According to him, practically all ministries will take part.
Simultaneously, the Prime Minister urged all community organizations that provide social services, to create their own consultative body to work with the Cabinet of Ministers—a certain association that would allow closer cooperation with the government to resolve issues of socially deprived groups. In his opinion, this would significantly ease cooperation, especially in reforming the system of social protection of the population.
At the meeting they also discussed financial aspects of the non-profit sector in Ukraine. We note a paradox, that Caritas Ukraine which for over 20 years has been providing social services across Ukraine, advocates for the rights of the less fortunate members of society and works to develop civil society, receives over 90% of its financing from abroad.
Community representatives emphasized that it would be beneficial to implement a system of bidding to provide social services by non-governmental organizations. The Prime Minister assured them such a system of cooperation and a way to fund it will be developed.
Mr. Azarov asked community organizations to strengthen their control over governmental social establishments (orphanages, and geriatric homes). Additionally he asked them to help find an effective way to delegate and allocate government funding for the disadvantaged members of society: “Sometimes we cannot get money to those who need it the most. Here the community can help us.”
At the very end Mr. Azarov promised that workers from the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers will thoroughly analyze all submitted proposals and will then prepare a plan on how to implement them. He also instructed relevant ministries and leaders of governmental administrations to help community organizations do their work. “Let’s meet again in 3-4 months for you to report how and what has changed,” said the Prime Minister.
To view the meeting between the Prime Minister and Community organizations click here.