Solutions journalism works. 10 best Rubryka articles in October
Sit pads saving Ukraine, water for Mykolaiv, and a hugger dog are impressive solutions. Ukrainians continue to prove to the world that they are capable of the incredible.
For over two years now, Rubryka has been talking daily about solutions that Ukrainians find and solve real problems. Solutions journalism helps us do that, even during a full-scale war. Every month we share the most fascinating solutions that inspire and motivate, solving complex problems, giving tools to work with them, and helping others. This article was about October solutions. We are convinced that no matter how difficult it is, there will always be solutions.
The war has been a terrible ordeal that affected all Ukrainians. Today, no one is protected from the consequences of russia's attack on Ukraine. War has brought loss, PTSD, and fear while robbing millions of people of wealth, resources, and strength. Children suffer even more—the stress caused by war and its consequences negatively impact their mental health and development.
Psychologists Ksenia Tymeniuk and Viktoria Nazarevych in Rivne faced this when they decided to help internally displaced persons (IDPs) overcome war trauma. The primary tool they chose was art therapy—one of the modern methods of supporting mental health. Art can be a powerful therapy because you can express traumatic experiences, reframe them, and release emotional tension through creativity. Local psychologists, teachers, and artists united around this idea—that's how they created the ART Center for children and adults who suffered from the war in Ukraine. Here they help fight fears, stabilize the mental state and restore faith in the future.
Read about how this solution works here.
In difficult wartime, Ukrainians manage to help not only themselves but also their "smaller brothers." Despite the fierce fighting, animal protection volunteers and public organizations continue raids and trips to the gray or occupied zones to bring food and medicine to stray animals or animals abandoned by their owners. And they also come to evacuate them to the territory controlled by Ukraine.
One of the volunteer organizations is the Vyvezemo public organization. They managed to evacuate more than 240 animals to the territory controlled by Ukraine thanks to volunteers, drivers, and shelters in Berdiansk (which held animals during their transportation) over the entire period. How? We explain here.
According to UNICEF, 3 million children in Ukraine and more than 2.2 million children in refugee-hosting countries have been affected by the full-scale invasion in the past three months alone.
Psychologists now use the Hibuki therapy method invented in Israel in Ukraine. Rubryka talked to them about how an ordinary toy with long legs and ears can help children survive war and trauma. For more information about the method, see the link.
Winter is coming. It means it's already cold on the front lines. Our Ukrainian defenders are freezing. Winter uniforms have already started arriving at the front, but the soldiers need spare hats and warm socks, gloves and balaclavas, warming belts, and mats in the dugout.
Knitted Things For Soldiers has existed on Facebook for eight years. It all started with two sisters' desire to help somehow the anti-terrorist operation soldiers and volunteer fighters—the ones who were the first to defend our statehood. And today, more than 1,200 community members knit and send hats, balaclavas, socks, gloves, and other warm things to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. They will teach you how to knit and help you transfer ready-made items to the front.
Rubryka talked to the founder of the project, a journalist, volunteer, and head of the board of the Ukraine—Reboot Charity Fund, Larysa Stepanushko, to find out how it works.
Residents of the de-occupied territories faced many problems—destroyed homes and critical infrastructure, lack of communication and usual connections with the rest of Ukraine, problems with the supply of products, and the area looted by the russian occupiers. The list goes on. Among these problems is the lack of medical care and even access to medicines in pharmacies. Everyone needs the presence of doctors nearby—the elderly, children, and adults. But what to do if no hospital or even a pharmacy is left at home?
"Mobile doctors" is a project that helps residents of territories liberated from the russian occupiers have access to professional medical care and simple medicines. We will explain to you how it works here.
A teenager's life is full of challenges and decisions that must be made here and now, and it is not always easy. Now add the war to the mix. Who to become? Where to live? How to understand yourself? Mentoring can help with these questions.
Meeting with a SpaceX engineer, overcoming the fear of public speaking, or simply finding an answer to the question, "Who do I want to be?" All this is possible thanks to the 10:11 project. The mentoring program helps high school students start a new stage of their lives—higher education. With the beginning of a full-scale war, doubts and the need for help among teenagers only increased. How 10:11 manages to help them? Read our article.
Several dozen psychologists and psychotherapists gathered in the Psychologists At War initiative and started visiting communities that lived under temporary russian occupation. Currently, they work in the Kyiv region, but in the future, the endeavor will expand to other areas, including the Kharkiv region. The Psychologists At War project has been working for two months.
"Most often we come across the situation where people have had such an experience, which they haven't been able to cope with half a year after the de-occupation," says the initiative creator, doctor of psychology, chairman of the Ukrainian Association of Psychotherapists and Business Trainers Valerii Dorozhkin. "This is such a devastating experience. When we start talking to someone, even on the streets in de-occupied settlements, people stop and start talking to us. They can't control themselves. That is, people need new people who can listen to their stories and who can support them."
The Psychologists At War team visited the residents of Borodianka, who lived under the russian occupation, talked with adults and children, and explained to people how they could support themselves and their relatives and live on. Rubyika accompanied the psychologists on this trip. Our report is at the link.
This month, there are many solutions about and for children. Children suffer the most from war, and our duty is to help them survive this stress.
Today, no child in Ukraine has not been affected by the war to one degree or another. Experienced stress can cause problems with physical and mental health if you don't deal with it. At the same time, children have a high potential for recovery. Experts explain how to activate this potential, and we share their experience.
Save Business Now is an initiative from Ivano-Frankivsk, which originated in a charity foundation after entrepreneurs started calling volunteers en masse. They asked for help with the emergency evacuation of their businesses.
"From the first days of the war, when it became clear that people needed help, we created the Save Ukraine Now fund. After the launch, the phones of our Promprylad project managers started ringing off the hook with entrepreneurs asking for relocation assistance. We realized that businesses also needed help. And so this initiative emerged as a response to the challenges of war.
At first, everything was completely random. The idea was to create a chat where people could get to know each other—both relocated businesses and local ones. And after that, we formed new types of support," says Ruslana Parobetska, coordinator of the business support center at Promprilad.Renovatsia.
How did a "random" initiative become systematic and help dozens of businesses to adapt to a new location? Find out in our article.
In the middle of April, russian rockets struck the water pipeline that supplied water to one of the largest southern regional centers of Ukraine, Mykolaiv. Before the attack, drinking water from the Kakhovka Reservoir came immediately to the faucets of Mykolaiv residents. In the spring, people were left without any. Over time, they could restore the supply of technical water. However, it was completely unsuitable for consumption even after boiling it numerous times.
Our journalist visited Mykolaiv and learned how to restore the water supply in Mykolaiv, how much it will cost, and what alternatives are available now. Read about all this in the report.