On December 29, the "Selyskiy Shelter", a temporary shelter for internally displaced persons, was opened in the village of Nyzhnye Selyshche, Khust district, the premises for which were purchased by the CO "Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattya" with funds provided by the human rights organization "Medico International" (Germany).
The arrangement of the social institution was carried out by the NGO "Transcarpathian Association for Local Development". For this purpose, members of the association attracted assistance from foreign partners. As a result, the former administrative building was overhauled using energy-saving technologies, living rooms and common functional space, showers and sanitary rooms were arranged. Soon a kitchen will be equipped, where the shelter residents will be able to cook their own food. Currently, meals are served in the "Geleta" restaurant, which acts as a social canteen during the war.
"During the entire time, more than 60,000 free food kits were prepared in our kitchen for those who need such support," – Inna Prygara, a volunteer and a member of the Transcarpathian Association for Local Development, said at the opening of the "Selyskiy Shelter". She also added that currently 24 people live in the shelter – all of them are from the temporarily occupied territories and settlements where active hostilities continue.
Along with the construction aspects, volunteers also formed approaches to the selection of future residents, their further socialization, employment, etc. Thus, interviews were mandatory, which eventually contributed to the harmonious cohabitation of previously unfamiliar people. Help and mutual support, responsibility for cleanliness and order in the institution are the rules that everyone accepted. Social workers who regularly communicate with IDPs, became both advisers and assistants for new residents of the community in solving issues outside the shelter.
"Our goal is to organize the work in such a way that in half a year our guests will not only settle in a new place, but also be able to provide for themselves, determine their priorities and work independently on self-development and development of their well-being. Those IDPs who can work, are already working. There are some who take care of small children. For some, staying here was marked by the beginning of a new business for them, for example, one of the shelter residents mastered the work at the mill," – Inna Pryhara said.
Of course, temporary shelters for people who were forced to leave their homes due to the war do not cover all the urgent housing needs of IDPs, but the example of non-governmental organizations’ work in this direction shows that the issue can be gradually resolved. And at the level of state decisions and systematic activities of local authorities, it is possible to create favorable conditions for the revival of such work.
"The opening of temporary accommodation for citizens affected by the war is the result of the synergy of efforts of volunteers and active public institutions in general, cooperation with local authorities, communication with international partners. Understanding the needs and promptly finding the best optimal ways to meet them is a proven recipe for effective work. Following this algorithm, we joined the opening of the third shelter in Zakarpattia. Aware of the current situation in the country, I think that the experience we gained will still be useful to us," – noted Nataliya Kabatsiy, director of the CO "MACZ" and thanked all the project participants.
The shelter in Nyzhnye Selyshche is the third similar institution in the region, the opening of which is supported by the Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattya. The first one was the shelter in Tyachiv, which was opened with the assistance of the city administration, the second one in Uzhhorod – the "PrykhistOk" center – was funded by the NGO "Terre Des Hommes" (Germany). Overall, the Committee has already provided temporary housing for more than 90 people – residents of the regions affected by the Russian military invasion. This direction of the organization’s work is not only about a roof over the head, but also about socialization, adaptation and finding opportunities to provide for oneself in new conditions. This year’s war makes it impossible to speak of a break in activity, New Year holidays, etc., so the work continues, and the new year will continue all the initiatives launched earlier.
And here is the story about the opening of the shelter from the M-Studio TV channel: