50 initiatives of the IRF in 2022: what we did for the victory of Ukraine

Сашко Кульчицький

2022 has become the most difficult but also the most productive year for the Foundation in its entire history. Despite the war and all the difficulties, we provided a record number of grants and other assistance to Ukrainian civil society. We provided 516 grants for public organizations, and over a hundred initiatives were financed directly from our budget. The total amount for civil society support in 2022 exceeded 15 million dollars.

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians affected by the war received humanitarian aid from us, hundreds of organizations – support for their work for the victory, and thousands of defenders – ammunition, equipment, fuel, etc.

We carried out work in the most diverse directions – from purchasing medicines and food kits to cultural diplomacy and international advocacy.

We will show the full scope of work in the annual report later. Now we want to share some of our most important projects.

Humanitarian assistance

Local residents better understand the needs of their cities, which is why in April, the Foundation, together with Care International, launched a humanitarian aid program for victims of Russian armed aggression – “Humanitarian Solidarity.”

We held a series of contests for local initiatives as part of the program. Organizations on the ground received funds and engaged in the distribution of humanitarian kits, food, hygiene products, and other things that were needed by the civilian population of Ukraine.

The program worked in two directions. Under the first, we provided grants for organizations working in the field and independently bought food, medicine, warehouse furniture, etc. For the second, we were approached by communal institutions – hospitals, hostels, schools, etc., which provide humanitarian aid or shelter for IDPs. They would make a list of what they needed to continue assisting, and the Foundation would purchase and deliver those items to these utilities.

The Foundation also purchased everything necessary for temporary shelters and hospitals. And he also provided grants for the restoration of housing, particularly in previously occupied territories, and for warming houses before winter. As part of this initiative, the Foundation also supported several projects to reconstruct several residential complexes in the Kyiv region, which are currently being repaired.

Thanks to this program, about 400,000 people received help. About 250,000 of them received food or hot meals, more than 50,000 received hygiene products, and tens of thousands received medical supplies. We have supported more than 50 hospitals and more than 30 shelters. Seven apartment buildings and communal facilities in the de-occupied territories received funds for repairs after being hit by Russian shells.

For the entire time, the Fund received more than 1,500 applications, 250 of which the Fund was able to finance. A total of 21 regions of Ukraine had at least one project supported by the Fund together with Care International, but most of the initiatives are concentrated in the east and south of Ukraine.

Examples of projects

The project of the public organization “Carpathian Human Rights Agency “WestEd” aimed to help 1,800 IDPs living in the dormitories of the Uzhhorod National University and Roma immigrants living in the city’s schools due to the full-scale war. The organization helped them with food, hygiene products, and other essential things; provided social and legal support, particularly for the recovery of lost documents, with the involvement of relevant specialists and volunteers of the Center for Legal Support of Persons Victims of the Military Invasion. For children, the organization created conditions for preschool and school education, purchasing all the necessary equipment. In total, 590 children received such assistance.

For three months, specialists of the NGO “Fund for the Support of Democratic Initiatives of the Dnieper Region” provided humanitarian assistance and free consultations to the displaced people in Pavlohrad on finding housing, contacting social services, helping with evacuation and crossing the border, and providing consultations with lawyers. On the hotline and through messengers, it was possible to receive information about the current situation on the frontline (operations of transport corridors, the course of hostilities, communication, exit routes, etc.), humanitarian and medical aid, the work of authorities, public associations, volunteer points, the result of new support programs for IDPs and residents of the uncontrolled territory. More than 500 people received consultations and legal assistance. In general, within the framework of the project and with the support of the Foundation, the organization helped more than 1,200 displaced people.

Support of volunteer initiatives

Hold the line

Now that the war has turned into a marathon mode, the volunteer initiatives that started working on enthusiasm and adrenaline need support for their institutional needs. That is why the Foundation actively supports volunteer organizations and provides grants not only for purchasing first-aid kits and various equipment but also for administrative expenses, such as salaries, gasoline, warehouse rent, etc.

The foundation launched a separate competition to promote volunteer work, “Hold the line.” 20 organizations were supported, including relatively small regional initiatives and large all-Ukrainian ones, such as the Serhiy Prytula Foundation. Read more about the competition and its priorities here.

Examples of projects

The public organization “See with the heart” works on psychological and pedagogical coaching of parents who raised children with complex developmental disorders and were forced to relocate due to the war. Mentors, psychologists, lawyers, neurologists, and speech therapists work with the specific requests of each family. For example, how to organize a space for seclusion in limited conditions for a child with autism or how to receive quality feedback in a new place of study. The project also provides for the creation of a methodical guide for parents of children and adolescents with complex developmental disorders during online learning at home.

The Kharkiv volunteer organization, “Sister of Mercy ATO,” takes care of the needs of wounded soldiers in Kharkiv, Poltava, Donetsk, and other regions of Ukraine. The volunteers directed all their resources to help the hospitals that receive the wounded, so the International Renaissance Foundation and the European Union supported their internal needs – salaries, car repairs, gasoline, and other things that helped the organization continue its work.

The Veteran Rehabilitation and Readaptation Center “YARMIZ” received support from the Foundation and the EU within the framework of the “Right to be Happy” project. YARMIZ helps families forced to leave their homes to adapt to a new life and work through psychological trauma. Their project also provides psychological support for specialists, volunteers, and psychologists who work with displaced persons and military families; and the creation of methodical recommendations for specialists and reminders for parents on communicating with a child in war conditions. In early August, European Commissioner for Internal Affairs Ylva Johansson visited their office and held meetings with specialists working on the project.

People for Ukraine

At the beginning of March 2022, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, together with the analytical system YouControl and with the support of the Foundation, created the online platform “People for Ukraine.” 

Its task was to unite and coordinate the actions of all volunteers who worked for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ministry of Defense. In the first months of the full-scale invasion of russia, when most volunteers worked intuitively and did not yet have the experience they have now, the “People for Ukraine” platform allowed specialists of the MoU to monitor in real-time the capabilities of volunteers to cover specific needs for the army.

Evacuation of civilians from places of hostilities

Since March 2022, “ELEOS-Ukraine” has been providing comprehensive assistance to people affected by russian military aggression. Their project is focused on supporting IDPs in Ukraine through the organization of permanent evacuation routes, arrangement of a place of temporary safe accommodation and provision of psychological assistance, promotion of employment, and further social support. With IRF’s support “ELEOS-Ukraine” evacuated 4,920 people and repaired their Shelter premises. Its residents have received asylum, legal and psychological support and are undergoing social adaptation and reintegration.

The Lviv Media Forum received support from the IRF for evacuating and hosting journalists and their families who were forced to flee from shelling and occupation. The organization created a shelter for those needing housing and a work hub for media representatives. Journalists could also receive psychological and legal support, as well as promotion of employment. As part of the media support program, the Lviv Media Forum provided equipment and means of protection to Ukrainian media, which continued to work even in dangerous zones. More about this program – is in the article.

IRF also allowed part of its grantees to redirect the remaining project funds to evacuate team members of organizations and their relatives.

For example, The Legal Development Network evacuated 23 families from the frontline regions in the first weeks after the full-scale russian attack. Some people have already been able to return home, for example, those who left Chernihiv Oblast or Kyiv Oblast. Most of the evacuees continue to work in new Ukrainian cities or abroad. Today, the Network’s new “representative offices” work even in Poland and Norway.  More about the work of the Network during a full-scale war – in the material.

Bringing Russia to justice for crimes

We supported the project of the Dnistrianskyi Center on developing proposals and concepts of legal and diplomatic mechanisms for compensation for damages caused by russian aggression. The experts also sought to raise public awareness of various aspects of this process and promote public discussion of the problem and proposals for its solution.

As a result of the project, experts create effective legal and diplomatic compensation mechanisms for damages caused by Russian aggression in Ukraine, and determine a set of measures that victims must take to receive compensation.

They also help develop international and national compensation models for Ukraine, taking into account other cases of post-conflict settlement.

With the support of the Foundation, the NGO “Tribunal” carried out active advocacy in France to create a tribunal to punish Russia on crimes against Ukraine.

Thanks to the project, France started creating a special tribunal for the crime of Russian aggression in Ukraine. European and Ukrainian representatives were involved in this. This was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France.

The French Foreign Ministry noted that the fight against impunity for crimes committed in Ukraine is a priority for France. Therefore, the country helps the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office and the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes.

The IRF supports the activities of the Coalition of Human Rights Organizations “Ukraine. 5 a.m”, which collects and documents war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the russian aggression in Ukraine. The Coalition also informs the public in Ukraine and abroad about the most severe crimes during the russian aggression in Ukraine and promotes establishing special mechanisms to hold the russian leadership accountable for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. On June 8, the Central European University (CEU) selected the Coalition as the winner of each annual CEU Open Society Prize.

In 2022, IRF strengthened support to coordination and improvement of international sanctions for a more effective sanctions policy against russia. The team of Institute of Black Sea Strategic Researcheshas developed and regularly update a unique online database containing complete information on current sanctions of Ukraine, the EU, and the United States against legal entities connected with Russian, and how sanctions are synchronized between countries. Another think tank Strategy 21 focused their work on the advocacy of sanctions with an emphasis on energy, technology and the military industry to create a justified additional list of enterprises of the Russian Federation, which are not in the current sanctions lists. So, the authorities of Ukraine, the United States, international institutions, and EU member states use monitoring data of our grantees to ensure effective compliance and increase the effectiveness of sanctions.  

The Foundation also supports the Trap Aggressor project, which creates analytics to make sanctions effective. Experts are investigating the most widespread schemes of evasion of sanctions by the Russian Federation, identifying persons involved in the military conspiracy on whom sanctions should be imposed, and finding ways to stop the chains of global supplies to the Russian Federation.

The information that the Trap Aggressor analysts manage to find is transferred to the National Security Agency, which has been working since February 24 to counter Russian business in Ukraine and abroad. This information also reaches the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which relies on it in international negotiations on sanctions against the occupiers. More about this work – in the material.

Environmental protection organizations are also involved in documenting Russia’s crimes, particularly those that the Foundation supports together with the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine, within the framework of the Initiative for the Development of Environmental Policy and Advocacy in Ukraine (EPAIU).

NGO “Initiative group “Together!” from Mariupol is engaged in recording and assessing the impact of Russian war crimes on the state of the environment in Mariupol. The team will develop expert recommendations on the first steps to eliminate the consequences for the natural environment in the city of Mariupol after its de-occupation and control by the Ukrainian authorities.

The public organization “Kinburn” records eco-crimes on the territory of two communities of the Mykolaiv region and creates an electronic map of the received data. Based on this data, they will develop recommendations for the leadership of communities to restore the environment after the end of hostilities.

The non-governmental organization “Ekodiya”, which was part of the working group created by the Ministry of the Environment for recording crimes against the environment, already counted hundreds of cases that could be considered crimes against the environment and be considered in international courts. Activists of “Ecodia” collect information from the media, social networks and Telegram channels about events that cause or can potentially cause damage to the environment. The collected data are pre-processed and transferred to the Ministry. The organization also takes an active part in the international advocacy of sanctions against the Russian energy complex, a direct sponsor of Russian aggression in Ukraine.

NGO “Save Dnipro” collects and records evidence of intentional crimes by Russia against the environment through the SaveEcoBot application, which is used by thousands of Ukrainians. In cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection, they created a new functionality, with the help of which Ukrainians can photograph and describe the traces of a crime and transfer it to ecologists, who will analyze and systematize these facts to bring them to the general claims of Ukraine to Russia.

Aid to war victims

Support of IDPs in resolving conflicts in communities

Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine caused a sharp increase in the number of internally displaced persons fleeing the aggressor’s attacks, who were forced to change their place of permanent residence. One of the problems, which over time becomes more relevant, are point conflicts in territorial communities, one of the parties of which are directly or indirectly IDPs. Increased costs from local budgets, overloading of local social infrastructure, increased competition in the limited labor market in territorial communities, limited resources to meet humanitarian needs and other circumstances create additional social tension at the level of territorial communities.

In order to work out models of social integration of IDPs into the life of a new territorial community, to develop mechanisms for preventing and resolving conflicts that arise around IDPs in communities, the Foundation announced the competition “Integration of IDPs into life in new communities”. We supported 12 projects that contribute and will contribute to the social integration of IDPs into life in their new territorial communities, where they plan to stay for a long time or forever, as well as prevention and promotion of conflict resolution at the level of selected territorial communities that may arise or arise around or with the participation of forced migrants.

Support for the families of the dead and missing

In cooperation with the Commissioner for the Deceased and Missing and the Coalition of Veteran Spaces, we supported the project to create a network of regional coordinators in the regions, who provide the families of the missing and deceased with information, social, legal and psychological support. Coordinators communicate with families, inform about the state of affairs, ensure communication with central authorities and relevant institutions, help resolve legal issues, provide support and referral to specialists. It is very difficult work, but the results are aimed at important things: caring for the families of fallen heroes, maintaining community cohesion and reducing social tension.

European integration

IRF contiributed a lot to support successful efforts to monitor and promote the implementation of the Association Agreement and EU candidate status for Ukraine. When Ukraine applied for EU membership in February 2022 our grantees  – “Institute of Economic Researches and Political Consultations”, “Society and Environtent” and others were involved actively in filling the questionnaires’ to analyze the progress of Ukraine’s integration into the EU internal market, current state of affairs in different sectors with Ukraine’s readiness to join the EU.

In parallel, New Europe Center held effective advocacy campaign in EU member countries to and provide arguments and encourage member states to support Ukraine in it’s membership intention and to provide a wider support to Ukraine against Russian full scale invasion for as a common security interest for democratic world. In June 2022 Ukraine was granted EU candidate status and we received positive feedback and recognition from Ukrainian government officials about civil society input in this chapter of Ukrainian history.

This Fall, with the support of the IRF and the EU, New Europe Center also held a two-day 1st Accession Exchange Forum, with the participation of senior government officials and leading experts in Kyiv. The Forum was devoted to exchanging thoughts on the accession process, discussing good practices, new ideas, and lessons learned and exploring the opportunities in the relations between the European Union, countries of Eastern Europe, and the Western Balkans. The Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, the Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, and other experts and high-ranking officials took part in the Forum.

Access to legal aid

Access to equal rights for Ukrainians is one of the Foundation’s long-standing priorities. After the full-scale invasion, we directed our efforts in this area to help victims of Russian criminal acts.

One of the partners of the Fund is the Legal Development Network, which unites 21 organizations. The network launched remote legal assistance services, worked in transit centers for immigrants, and created a portal for legal support of Ukrainians abroad. Since February 24, more than 10,000 people have already received direct assistance from the Network, many of them are displaced persons.

An order of magnitude more people learned about their rights on their own, through legal educational materials created by the Network. In general, experts have already prepared hundreds of publications on various topics related to law in times of war. Since February 24, more than a million people have used these materials.

With the support of the Fund, the Pro Bono Initiative from the Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation continued to provide legal assistance to volunteers and public organizations. Volunteers could receive consultations and other help from the legal business by leaving a corresponding request on the Pro Bono Space website in the “During the war” – “Legal assistance for volunteer organizations and initiatives” section.

Media assistance

After a full-scale invasion, many independent media found themselves on the brink of existence: journalists worked almost 24 hours a day, and advertising revenues disappeared. That is why the Foundation launched institutional support for independent media in March. The salaries of journalists, rent of offices, and logistics were mainly financed. In addition, the funds went to ammunition for front-line journalists, evacuation, and digital security.

The Foundation supported 22 media, including “Ukrainian Pravda,” NV, Slidstvo.info, Ukrainianer, CUKR, and media relocated from the occupied territories. The smallest grant was only 3.5 thousand dollars, and the largest – was 150 thousand dollars.

In March, we helped the NGO “Lviv Media Forum” launch the Program of Urgent Media Support during the War. As part of the Media Emergency Assistance Program, Ukrainian newsrooms and journalists could get a place to work in a hub in Lviv, individual consultations and support from professional psychologists, cyber security consultations, website protection, help with unblocking Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, personal protective equipment, financial support for paying for hosting and content production, equipment for work, etc.

As part of the new Program supported by the Foundation, the Lviv Media Forum supported 20 medias from Odesa, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Luhansk, Donetsk, and Kharkiv regions. For them, Lviv Media Forum purchased generators, charging stations, power banks, or other equipment that helped to work without interruption during a blackout.

With the support of the Foundation and other donors, at the end of August, the Lviv Media Forum opened a new hub for journalists and media professionals in Lviv. A feature of the hub is regular networking for Ukrainian and foreign media professionals and creative industries.

Reconstruction of Ukraine

The IRF participated in the launch of discussions about the future reconstruction of Ukraine. Such meetings took place both in Ukraine and on international platforms. The “From Resilience to Recovery” conference, held by the IRF, was perhaps the largest civil society event in the eight months of the full-scale war, gathering more than two hundred participants. You can read more about the conference itself and the opinions expressed in the materials of European Space and Civic Space.

IRF also participated in separate events within the framework of the International Conference on the Restoration of Ukraine in Lugano in July and a similar conference in Berlin in October.

IRF continues to set the framework for what recovery should be. In particular, the Foundation is one of the co-authors of the Ukrainian Civil Society Manifesto on Recovery (Lugano Declaration). Together with colleagues from the Open Society Foundations, IRF developed an analytical note with recommendations for organizing the recovery process of Ukraine.

IRF also supported the “Anti-Corruption Headquarters” NGO, which launched a new online tool – the Recovery Map. Analysts record objects that have already been restored after destruction or damage caused by russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Currently, the map contains more than a thousand restored buildings, the total restoration exceeding 1 billion hryvnias.

In April 2022, the Foundation joined the organization of the International Conference “War Aftermath: Reconsidering the Future of Civil Society” in Warsaw. The conference brought together key stakeholders: civil society organizations from Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, the Baltic States, representatives of local authorities of Ukraine, and national and international donors, to determine current priorities and to develop priority steps for reconstruction and development of the civil society of Ukraine.

Within the framework of this conference, the International Foundation “Renaissance” organized three panel discussions: “The agenda of international civil society until the end of the war and after,” “Is justice achievable after the war? What architecture of justice can prevent repetition”, “How we can increase international aid to Ukraine: coordination of priorities of the donor community.”

Promotion of Ukraine through its culture

The Foundation actively worked to convey information about Ukraine and the realities of the war on many international platforms. Cultural projects became one of the directions of promotion of the Ukrainian agenda.

One of these projects was the triennial of contemporary Ukrainian art “Ukrainian Cut” in Kaunas (Lithuania) with the symbolic theme “Ukraine! Unmuted”, which reminds us of Socrates’ saying: “Speak so that I may see you.” The project started on November 4 and lasted for a month. It consisted of an exhibition, a performance block, a discussion program, and a collection of essays. The curators of the visual direction were Vlodko Kaufman and Serhii Petlyuk, and the curator of the discussion program was Oksana Forostyna. The project’s goal is to make Ukrainian culture more visible and understandable.

In September, the “Ukraine: Land of the Brave” exhibition premiered as part of the Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival. The purpose of the presentation was to show the world the whole truth about the war and help to understand what Ukrainians feel through documentary materials presented in the immersive technologies.

Immersive exhibitions allow us not just to look at pictures or videos but to be in that time and in those events. Immersive technology is based on the effect of presence when the video sequence is shown on the walls and floor in a 360-degree circle.

The Ukrainian Institute, with the support of the Foundation, prepared a public program, “Decolonization of Art. Beyond the obvious.” This interdisciplinary program of the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale Milk of Dreams involves artists, curators, public intellectuals, researchers, and a broad audience.

The series of discussions, speeches, and meetings focused on a decolonial view of Ukraine and Eastern Europe as a response to the ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine, as well as a broader view of the world’s cultural life in the current changing geopolitical and cultural environment.

With the support of the Foundation and the European Union, the Ukrainian Institute and EdEra developed a free English-language online course for foreigners, “Ukrainian Culture: Understanding the Country and Its People.” Ten scientists from various fields reveal ten topics covering essential aspects of Ukrainian culture. Short but meaningful videos will help listeners to understand Ukrainian culture, identity, and society. In addition to video lectures, the course contains additional sources: texts, videos, and Internet resources that will allow you to deepen your knowledge of Ukraine. The course is available in 18 languages and is free of charge.

The Ukrainian Institute and the online education studio EdEra also launched a free online course on the history of Crimea and the Crimean Tatars, “Crimea History and People.” The study aims to tell those interested in the Crimean Tatar state about the culture of the Crimean Tatars and their struggle to return to their homeland because starting from the 18th century, the Tatars were systematically pushed out of their native land.

With the support of the “Renaissance” International Fund, on September 23-25, the three-day “Fifth Kharkiv” literary festival was held in Kharkiv, which the Kharkiv Literary Museum and the famous Ukrainian poet Serhii Zhadan organized.

The metaphor “the fifth Kharkiv” belongs to the world-famous linguist, an honorary resident of Kharkiv Yury Shevelyov. “The Fifth Kharkiv” is a conversation about the city’s future, dreams, desires, and visions.

Together with PEN-Ukraine, we launched scholarships for Ukrainian writers and translators, the funds from which scholarship holders could spend on evacuation, arranging their work in a new place, etc. Only at the first stage of the program were 269 applications received. Many applicants lost their homes or jobs and needed treatment. In total, thanks to the help of the Foundation, more than 50 writers were able to receive scholarships.

Support for reforms and stability of Ukraine

During 2022, we continued to support the JUSTTALK community and website, which talks about criminal justice in simple and understandable language. The purpose of the community is to form a new culture of communication between professional participants in the criminal justice field and to improve the professional environment. Among other things, JUSTTALK gives a voice to people in criminal justice institutions. The initiative wants to support efforts to solve the problems you face every day.

With the support of the Foundation and other donors, on December 14, the organization held its annual conference, #JustConf, dedicated to ideas of change in criminal justice in Ukraine. Speakers of the conference were real practitioners of criminal justice: investigators, detectives, judges, prosecutors, and lawyers selected based on the results of an open competition.

With the support of the Foundation, in partnership with the NACP, the Anti-Corruption Research and Education Centre (ACREC) held the second annual conference, “Whistleblowers of Corruption in Ukraine: Successes and Challenges,” which was devoted to the issues of institutionalization, strategy, and tactics of the establishment of the Institute for Disclosure and Protection of Whistleblowers in Ukraine, as well as improving the existing mechanisms for protecting the rights of whistleblowers. The conference became an important event and a dialogue platform for all involved parties.

With the support of the Open Society Foundations and the IRF, the RRR4U (Ukraine: Resilience, Reconstruction and Aid) consortium is successfully operating, which conducts analytical and advocacy work aimed at ensuring the economic stability of Ukraine and will further contribute to a fair, green and people-oriented recovery of the Ukrainian economy. The consortium participants, including the leading organizations the Center for Economic Strategy, Dixie Group, the Institute of Economic Research and Political Consulting, and the Institute of Analytics and Advocacy, developed several recommendations that were presented to both foreign stakeholders and representatives of the government of Ukraine.

With the support of the Fund, the Kyiv Institute of Gender Studies was engaged in the development of an e-reporting system on the state of implementation of state documents on gender equality at the local level. Analysts and female analysts have developed a comprehensive mechanism for training in electronic reporting and organization of electronic document circulation on gender issues with the involvement of all units (district, region, and the National Social Service). As part of the project, they also created the internal website of the National Social Service of Ukraine “Reports for NSSSU on Gender Equality”, which accumulates all the necessary information and can provide a quick introduction to the course of the case, even for a newcomer who has just taken the position of gender officer.

Support of analytical centers

Currently, analytical centers perform a wide variety of work: they study the consequences of the war, analyze the future of Ukraine, and actively volunteer. In June 2022, Foundation, with the assistance of the Embassy of Sweden, announced a closed competition for think tanks that had already received support from the fund since 2018.

Twenty-six organizations applied for the grant, of which the competition committee chose 16, including the analytical department of the Come Back Alive Foundation, the New Europe Center, the Data Journalism Agency, and others. They received support until the end of 2022, which consists of salaries for the team, funds for research, and other areas.

For analytical centers, this support helped maintain their activities and investigate the current problems of Ukraine, provide recommendations to authorities, and obtain unique data about society during a full-scale war.

For example, CEDOS began and continues to study and analyze the impact of a full-scale invasion on Ukrainian society. There have already been three waves of research that capture the thoughts, experiences, and actions of people in Ukraine in different periods of war.

The “Come Back Alive” analytical department conducts general security research on the war with Russia and analytics on veterans. The number of veterans is increasing, and the state needs to look for a new model of work with veterans.

The Institute of Analytics and Advocacy worked on documents related to introducing an electronic waybill for domestic and international cargo transportation with EU countries. The essence of the projects is to replace paper forms with digital ones, which will have an economic, ecological, and optimization effect on business.

Support of environmental organizations

Eleven environmental organizations continued to receive institutional support from the Foundation and the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine, and 16 new ones were able to receive funds for project activities. All organizations could also participate in specialized training to improve their professional skills.

In the summer, the Environmental Initiative of the Foundation (EPAIU), with the support of Sweden, held a conference on issues of a safe environment and the influence of civil society on the ecological restoration of territorial communities. Representatives of local authorities and a dozen organizations engaged in environmental protection activities, advocating sustainable and “green” solutions, researching environmental problems, and looking for practical ways to solve them, joined the discussion.

With the support of the Environmental Initiative of the Foundation, NGO “Ecoclub” launched the information campaign “TeploVilni,” designed to convey helpful information to Ukrainians on how to spend the winter calmly and comfortably, in well-maintained and insulated houses, as energy-independent and energy-efficient as possible. The organization’s experts prepare useful materials that will help you prepare well for winter and all its challenges.

Solving problems in small communities

The Foundation made a lot of efforts to preserve the potential of the united communities in the conditions of the war and to promote their adaptation to new realities. The projects supported within this direction were related to various fields but aimed to help small communities.

In particular, the Resource and Analytical Center “Society and Environment” worked to identify the main characteristics, needs, and intentions of internally displaced persons who are in the Lviv region due to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, as well as to discuss with stakeholders recommendations on strategies to support IDPs in issues employment, creation of business opportunities, provision of housing and satisfaction of other identified priority needs. The results of the research and the project are available at the link.

The “Association for Community Self-Organization Assistance” aimed to promote the dissemination of reliable information and patriotic content to counter the spread of Russian fakes in small communities. They helped to establish permanent interaction and information exchange between government bodies responsible for information policy and volunteer information resistance groups on the one hand and local self-government bodies and local virtual communities on the other.

Thanks to this interaction, truthful information was spread through local communication channels in territorial communities. Thanks to the work of 12 regional experts, their monitoring of 509 local communication channels, the sending of letters to the administrators of the specified publics, there was a decrease in fake news and an increase in verified information, as well as a decrease in the publication of sensitive data, the publication of which could cause harm.

The Black Sea Center for Political and Social Research changed its project, originally concerned with community development strategy in the neighborhood component, and directed its efforts to a more relevant topic. The experts decided to analyze the impact of hostilities and occupation on the environment of the Kherson region. During April – June 2022, analysts collected information from all available sources. First of all, these are social networks, Facebook and Telegram groups of a patriotic orientation, which testified about numerous violations and the negative influence of Russians on our environment. In addition, they conducted a series of in-depth interviews with experts using a specially designed questionnaire. Even the first look at environmental problems suggests that solving significant issues without considering the environment’s state would be very imprudent.

The Volyn Institute of Law provided practical, consulting, and legal support to the Smidyn rural territorial community regarding the actualization of the existing strategy of environmental protection measures and their implementation. The project provided an opportunity to apply a strategic approach in the field of environmental protection of Smidynska territorail community. The events were designed so that activists, authorities, and businesses would gather at dialogue platforms and develop common visions for preserving the environment of each settlement of the community.

Helping ukrainian defenders

During the year, and especially in the first months after the start of the full-scale invasion, the Foundation actively assisted the defenders of Ukraine. We have covered over fifty requests from various units and groups on or near the front line: ammunition, drones, fuel, medical supplies, and more. It was the least we could do in the early days of the war.

Since the summer, we have been supporting the work of the Kruk UAV Operator Training Center. In this Center military personnel undergo theoretical and practical training, learn to fly on simulators, and practice with real drones. All this is free for the Ukrainian army. During its work, “Kruk” has trained more than 1,000 drone operators.

A significant part of the support that we provided or continue to provide will remain private until the victory of Ukraine.

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: