Solution 12:01 09 Dec 2022

"Teplytsia" invincibility point from "Solomyansky Kotyky": how volunteers are warming people of Kyiv this winter

Rubryka's reporter checked how the public Point of Invincibility works, talked with the organizers, took a photo and wrote this text on the heated premises, with the Internet and electricity from "Solomyansky Kotyky"

Фото: Рубрика

Фото: Рубрика

What is the problem and the solution?

Пункт незламності Теплиця

After the October strikes on Kyiv, to provide the citizens with heat, electricity and communication, the city authorities activated the work of "Points of Invincibility". But the public sector also participated in their creation. The "Solomyanski Kotyky" charitable foundation also decided to help the people of Kyiv with their most urgent problems. This is how "Teplytsia" appeared — an island of safety in case of the city's long-term blackouts of electricity and heat.

"We understood that the winter will be difficult," says Ksenia Semenova, co-founder of the fund. — It is worth mobilizing the forces of Solomyanski Kotyky to help the city's residents survive possible blackouts. We prepared, gradually purchased the necessary, and when the situation became critical, we were ready to open our Teplytsia (Greenhouse — ed.)."

How does it work?

Теплиця від Солом'янських котиків

"Solomyansky Kotyky" say that "Teplytsia" is not really a "Point of Invincibility". Although, as in "Points of Invincibility", here you can charge your gadgets for free, connect to stable Internet from Starlink, drink water and hot tea, and use the first-aid kit, the fund calls "Teplytsia" a co-working area. The largest number of people gather here between 3 and 6 p.m. — people from here participate in zoom conferences, work, do classes, and teach lessons. Once, a boy came to "Teplytsia" and asked to go inside before the point's opening so he could join school lessons online. Of course, they helped the schoolboy.

Oksana Zinkovska, communications officer of "Solomyansky Kotyky", explains:

"Here, people get to know each other and communicate. At the opening, we held a lecture, invited speakers who explained how to survive a blackout and conducted training on first aid. While such a problem with energy continues, we want to hold thematic lectures, invite people who can tell us something interesting, and we even want to show films and cartoons here."

Теплиця від Солом'янських котиків

 The point is fully equipped and operates at the expense of "Solomyansky Kotyky's" benefactors. During the first days of operation, more than 500 people visited it, and at the same time, at most 150 people can be on the premises. So far, the maximum occupancy in "Teplytsia" was when 120 people visited it simultaneously. Oksana Zinkovska admits:

"We are worried about the busyness of the point. Our maximum load on Starlink was 73 people, and there were difficulties; the Internet worked slowly."

Пункт незламності Теплиця

But "Kotyky" do not doubt the relevance and necessity of the initiative — people who really need help and support come here every day. Oksana Zinkovska recalls:

"On the second day of work, a woman came — her phone died, there was no electricity at home, and she called her daughter on the charger and said that she was fine, alive and well. We understand that we connect people. We only organized an outlet for her, and this woman was able to call her daughter."

Теплиця від Солом'янських котиків

All guests, including four-legged ones, are welcome in "Teplytsia". Because the point is located in a school building, at first, there was even a tiny conflict over four-legged visitors. But in the end, everyone agreed that if the animal appears at the point with its owner and behaves safely, then there is no reason to deny it warmth and safety.

"What's good about this room, besides the fact that you can drink tea or weave nets, there is a separate entrance and exit for visitors to "Teplytsia" and schoolchildren, and we don't cross paths with them in any way," adds Oksana Zinkovska. – This is very safe for children. I know that many parents worry that points are opened on the basis of schools and kindergartens, and it is very cool to have a separate entrance: we do not cross paths with children, we do not interfere with the educational process, we are responsible for the safety in this room. We have a reception desk, and all people go through our volunteers; we know the name, surname, and phone number; our volunteers do not let people in for tipping or when they see a person is inadequate. We have contacts with the local police, but I hope we won't have such incidents when the police need to be called. On the first day, there was a field kitchen; we set up barrels, stoves, cooked non-alcoholic mulled wine, baked potatoes, cooked mushroom soup, and want to continue doing this."

Теплиця від Солом'янських котиків

Also, camouflage nets for our defenders are woven in Teplytsia. The creation of camouflage nets is one of the directions of the work of "Solomyansky Kotyky", so it also appeared in "Teplytsia."

Does it really work?

"Teplytsia" is one of the few points where volunteers who serve at the point are involved in the work. They handle everything from turning on the generator to helping visitors.

Пункт незламності

"The point of invincibility is not only about the generator," Andriy Yerofeev, executive director of the foundation, explains, "it's the people who can turn it on, pause and refuel in time, can start Starlink and help visitors." Five of our volunteers are constantly in Teplytsia. They take turns for several hours."

About 20 liters of fuel are consumed in 10 hours of Teplytsia operation. The point works exclusively thanks to donations from benefactors and volunteer enthusiasm.

Теплиця від Солом'янських котиків

In addition, there is a children's area, board games, coloring pages, felt-tip pens, and pencils. Of course — tea, coffee, boiling water, internet, working sockets. And also – in case of lack of water supply – bio-toilets. "We provide everything related to hygiene," adds Oksana Zinkovska.

More useful solutions!

Теплиця від Солом'янських котиків

Teplytsia's experience can be useful for other heating points and "Points of Invincibility". What is needed for the good functioning of such a point?

  • A motivated team with several experienced organizers.
  • For effective assistance, 4-5 volunteers with an even workload should work on one work shift of the point.
  • Two people should do registration at the point.
  • The point must have quick and clear contact with the police and emergency services.
  • There should always be a person at the point who knows how to provide first aid. There should also be a first aid kit.
  • There must be a fuel supply in the room with no outsiders access.
  • If the point is located in a school or kindergarten, visitors to the point need a separate entrance in order not to interfere with the educational process and to keep children safe.
  • There should be a drinking water supply and basic food (biscuits, waffles, tea, sugar).
  • The team must have an action algorithm in case of an air raid alarm. For example, Teplytsia closes during an air raid — because the shelter in the school is small and designed only for children who study there.
  • Also, the point should have a list of the nearest shelters to which people will be directed in case of an alarm.
  • The team must be ready for long blackouts and round-the-clock work when the load on the point will increase significantly.

Теплиця від Солом'янських котиків

You can support the Teplytsia project by donating to the "jar": https://send.monobank.ua/jar/4yVu88ycAL or to a card: 5375 4112 0020 4043

"Teplytsia" is located in the Solomyansky district of the capital, in school 229 (57 Oleksy Tyhogo St.). It works without weekends from 11 to 21:00. But the schedule may change if there are long-term power outages.


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