These days, the annual meeting of the Presidium of the Parasolka Association took place in Zakarpattia and was attended by members of the Charitable Organization "Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattya" and colleagues from Switzerland – the President of the Association Andreas Schmid, Vice President Beat Hunziker and Member of the Association Chantal Moor.
During three days of fruitful work, members of the Presidium visited the Vilshany Children Orphanage, the Social Abilitation and Rehabilitation Centre "Parasolka", the volunteer headquarters of the CO "MACZ", met with the Mayor of Tyachiv Ivan Kovach, the Vice-Rector for Research of Uzhhorod National University Ivan Myronyuk, the leadership of the regional Department for Social Protection of Population, held several working meetings.
"The ongoing projects that the organization has been implementing for several years have been supplemented by requests caused by the war. First of all, we are talking about supporting internally displaced persons, thousands of whom came to Zakarpattia from the first days of the full-scale invasion of Russian troops. Based on the experience of 2014, we quickly oriented ourselves and, what is very important, it was a joint response of both the Committee and our partners. Yes, the rhythm and scope of our work have changed significantly since February: more tasks, needs, requests, and, accordingly, more contacts, searches, coordination. But this is how the entire civil society of Ukraine lives now", – Nataliya Kabatsiy, Director of the "Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattya", said during the meeting.
According to Andreas Schmid, the number of areas of work the Committee is currently involved in is impressive, and the effectiveness of this multi-vector activity is equally impressive.
"We have seen how the Committee lives, all the facilities under its care, how the warehouses work, how the logistics are organized, how communication with foreign partners and colleagues throughout Ukraine is carried out. Now it is important to prioritize the work in the institutions we have visited, to identify priority requests, and to calculate the possible needs of all social groups we provide assistance to. I know that this work is being done systematically. We, in turn, will do everything in our power to ensure that the previously outlined plans continue to be effectively implemented", – the President of the Parasolka Association emphasized.
The key to effective work under martial law was the cohesion of the team, the number of which has grown significantly due to volunteers, including IDPs. "These are people for whom the Committee has given the opportunity to be useful to the country and people. This is important and it affects the efficiency and impact. All our endeavors started with the team, so each area could function autonomously and at the same time in a coordinated manner", – Nataliya Kabatsiy noted.
By involving IDPs and partner organizations from other regions in volunteering, an effective network of contacts was formed, which reduced the time it took to provide assistance where and when it was needed. Currently, the geography of humanitarian support provided by the Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattya and its partners includes all districts of the Zakarpattia region and all territories controlled by Ukraine. "Now we can directly contact communities, medical institutions, state authorities and local governments in all parts of the country," – Nadiya Danch, a project coordinator of the Charitable Organization "MACZ", added.
"Everything that is happening in Ukraine today affects us as well. The war is felt by other countries, by society abroad. We see this as a motivation to help more. Your work inspires us to be even more active", – Beat Hunziker concluded.
Having summarized the results of the year’s activities, the Presidium of the Parasolka Association agreed on plans for the next working year. Along with social, educational, human rights and medical areas, the Committee will promote the creation of appropriate conditions for internally displaced persons in the region, deepen cooperation with healthcare institutions, continue to expand opportunities for socialization of clients of the institutions under its care, etc.