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Important 09:10 20 Jun 2022

"You can't hide from the war": stories of people who lost their homes and solutions for them

By the end of April, the war had affected more than a million Ukrainians, and it's only the number of compensation applications sent to the Diia governmental portal. Every day this number grows, and behind every +1 is a story of loss and pain.

Before World Refugee Day, Rubryka spoke to people who had fled the war and had nowhere else to go and collected solutions for those needing help with money and housing.

What is the problem?

"On February 23, I was still choosing furniture"

Instagram. One of the Sievierodonetsk news accounts is showing a fresh video. The camera person goes down the street and films buildings. Each is damaged. The one Viktoria recognizes is literally pierced. It was there with her little daughters and husband that the woman was to settle in March. Through this video on Instagram, she learns that her family has nowhere else to live.

"We bought an apartment and finished the renovation. On February 23, I was still choosing furniture and preparing for the birth of my second daughter. On February 24, we were fleeing the war. For the second time," says Viktoria.

She and her husband are from Donetsk. There, the woman had an apartment gifted by her parents, where she lived for several months and then had to flee the occupation. She no longer saw her home and now doesn't know if anyone lives there and if it is whole. Viktoria and her husband had already moved into an apartment in Sievierodonetsk, raising one daughter simultaneously and expecting the other.

"We have no relatives or close friends left in Sievierodonetsk now. I had no one to ask how the apartment was. That's why I subscribed to all the news accounts publishing information about shelling and destruction. So I learned that you couldn't hide from the war, however many kilometers from the front line I would go. We're in Khmelnytskyi now, but we don't know how long we will be here and what to do next. We are exhausted both financially and physically. I can't even cry after childbirth and wail through the pain because children react instantly," says the woman.

"The blast destroyed almost everything"

Roman found himself in a similar situation. He learned that his apartment had been destroyed when he arrived to check its condition. The man lived with his family in Kharkiv's Pivnichna Saltivka, a district on the city's outskirts that suffered the most from the shelling.

"My wife and I came to put things in order for a day or two. We came and saw that there were no windows. The shelling broke the furniture. The blast destroyed almost everything damaging the walls. The apartment is uninhabitable," Roman said.

He and his family left Kharkiv on the first day of the full-scale invasion and didn't decide where they would stay. They took the surviving clothes from the old apartment. Appliances, furniture, and other property were severely damaged. In addition, the entire apartment building may be in an emergency state, but while the shelling continues, there can be no question of examination.

Families with similar stories are growing in number. Relatives and friends help some. However, you can also count on help from various foundations and volunteer projects.

What is the solution?

Payments to IDPs, money for medication, and things for children

Many Ukrainian and foreign organizations now assist people affected by the war. This aid is usually not very large, but such support is beneficial for the time before you find a job, are in rehabilitation or have additional costs.

Where to find temporary housing?

Де знайти тимчасове житло

At the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a resource was launched where you can leave two types of applications: if you're willing to share housing and if you need it.

On the Prykhystok website, you can set filters with the desired region, the number of people, and pet information. Then you contact the owners and agree on everything. Accommodations on this site are usually free-of-charge.

You must register as an IDP and then apply to the administrative services center. In addition, you should register in a line for the state's temporary housing. You can find more detailed information on the website of the Ministry of Reintegration.

Where to find financial aid?

Де знайти грошову допомогу

  • UNICEF Joint Financial Assistance Program. This program is for people with three or more minor children and those with at least one child with a disability. The amount of payments is 2,200 hryvnias per person per month.
  • Assistance to IDPs through Diia. It's a state benefit program for IDPs, available to those who have left their city/village but remained in Ukraine. The benefits are UAH 2,000 for an adult and UAH 3,000 for a child or a person with a disability. Detailed instructions for assistance are at the link.
  • The 1k Project. It is a charity that, after receiving your application, will start looking for a sponsor directly for you, who will be able to transfer $1,000 to you immediately.
  • Gate to Ukraine. It's the help from Americans for large families affected by the war in Ukraine. The payment amount is 100 dollars. To form an application, you need to record a video.
  • Unity for Future. It is a multi-purpose financial assistance program with the assistance of the Estonian government. The amount of the aid is 2,220 hryvnias per person.
  • Monetary compensation for drug costs. You can leave a request with information about what drugs and how much you bought. Then get partial or complete payment.

Where to find humanitarian aid?

Де знайти гуманітарну допомогу

First, contact the administrative services center of the city where you stay and look for humanitarian centers there. This way, you can choose everything you need on the ground. Also, local social security departments keep track of people in difficult life circumstances and provide them with food kits, additional financial benefits, or something else. In addition, you can apply for humanitarian aid to the following organizations:

Even more helpful solutions!

Besides all the above, you can turn to local volunteers and organizations, cooperate with other IDPs, and look for philanthropists who can provide the help you need.

If you can help others and join volunteer initiatives, it will bring us closer to victory!

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