Since Russian troops withdrew from the Kyiv region at the end of March, locals have been regrouping and seeking solutions to the shortages they face. Nazar Solomakha, a young man from Chernihiv who has been volunteering in his community since the war began, says the atmosphere in the city is calmer now. “We can see the consequences of their presence here, a lot of people killed. In many areas, people need not only medical but also psychological assistance after the horrors they have been through. We are doing our best now to help people not only in Chernihiv, but also in nearby towns,” the young man says.
Nazar Solomakha is also a member of the Young European Ambassadors Initiative managed by the EU NEIGHBOURS east project, and has kept in touch with his colleagues throughout the war, especially those from Moldova. Throughout the war, he has been telling them about the problems they were facing, including lack of medicines, food and electricity. “The support of all neighbouring states, especially Moldova, is important now, because our countries support the European course and face similar problems,” says Nazar.
This week, with the help of Belgian company B&S Europe, the Young European Ambassadors from Moldova managed to send a humanitarian consignment to Chernihiv.
“We decided to start this collection of aid for our Ukrainian colleagues first of all because it is natural to help, because it is in human laws to be there not only in good times, on clear days, but also in times of hardship. We, in the EU NEIGHBOURS east project believe that, as a result of the actions of the Young European Ambassadors, people should see that concrete things are being done that reach real people,” says Angela Huzun, Regional Coordinator of the EU NEIGHBOURS east project.
The humanitarian aid package they prepared was composed of medicines and pharmaceuticals, two power generators, power banks for phones, and some sweets for children.
“I should mention that, without the help of the Belgian B&S, we would probably have managed less. This company, especially through the direct involvement of Director Vincent Curie, has been very responsive and supportive, and has allocated money from its own revenues at our first call, to stand beside us, beside our Ukrainian colleagues.”
“Our entire country has got involved, we are also bringing our input, and we urge others to get involved. As we know – drop by drop makes the lake,” says Angela Huzun.
The main beneficiary of the humanitarian aid is the Chernihiv Regional Hospital, where the sick and wounded from the city and neighbouring towns are being treated. Until recently, the hospital almost completely lacked the necessary medicines. A small part of the medicines sent by the Young European Ambassadors from Chișinău have also reached Father Andrei, a priest at St. Catherine’s Church. He in turn will deliver them to the soldiers and old people of Chernihiv.
Ilina Rufa, a Young European Ambassador in Moldova, one of the members of the initiative that helped prepare and load the humanitarian consignment sent to Ukraine, says she felt the need to support her Ukrainian friends and neighbours. She has also participated in a peace protest in support of Ukraine. “Being part of the initiative, we had a number of collaborations with young people from Ukraine before the war, and now we feel responsible to be close to them not only when everything is fine, but also when they really need our help,” says Ilina Rufa, a student at the Mircea Eliade Theoretical High School.
The Young European Ambassadors Initiative (YEA) is a non-political, voluntary communication network that connects and builds bridges of friendship between young people from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and the EU Member States and the United Kingdom. The initiative was launched in 2016 as part of the EU NEIGHBOURS east project, and currently involves over 650 young people.
Author: Alina Corobceanu
Article published in Romanian by Agora.md
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