Why we work in Ukraine
HelpAge International has been operating in Ukraine since November 2014 when conflict broke out in the east of the country. More than four million people have been directly affected by the civil conflict, with a disproportionate number of those being older people. Through our staff and volunteers in Sloviansk and Severodonetsk, we provide support to protect older people from violence, abuse and neglect, and help to reduce psychosocial distress caused by the conflict.
We carry out care visits to the homes of isolated or immobile older people living in or near the conflict zones. We help with household chores, improve the accessibility of their home environments, give out items such as walking frames and canes to improve mobility and independence.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, our volunteers bring hygiene kits and information brochures to older people. To improve older people’s access to vaccine, we conducted an awareness campaign and trained volunteers on how to talk about vaccination and inform older people.
Setting up community safe spaces
Our safe spaces are places where older people, including many with disabilities, living in conflict-affected areas are able to gather safely to meet and socialise with other people in their community, rebuilding community networks and friendships. They take part in group activities and access other forms of humanitarian assistance.
Advocating for older people’s rights and capacity building
Through the Age and Disability Technical Working Group that we set up in 2016 and continue to chair, we advocates on behalf of older people to ensure they are included in all forms of humanitarian assistance. It includes other NGOs, local groups and government departments at both national and local levels The group provides a vital hub for referrals and working together to ensure services are delivered as efficiently as possible. Staff and volunteer teams also work with local communities to provide training on community cohesion, inter-generational support and integrating internally-displaced people into host communities.
Our network members
- Turbota pro Litnix v Ukraini (Age Concern Ukraine)
- The Right to Protection (R2P)
- European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
- US Government Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance