Letters from Ukraine I: Firefighting

We are in close contact with members of GEN Ukraine as they mobilise to support refugees by providing shelter in the country’s many ecovillages, permaculture projects and other eco-settlements. We will be publishing translated updates we receive from Maksym Zalevskyi, president of GEN Ukraine, who is spearheading the mobilisation. If you wish to support GEN Ukraine’s Green Corridor project, which is creating safe spaces in ecovillages for people to stay or rest on their path to the border, you can do so here. With thanks to Anastasiya for the translation.

New arrivals sharing a meal in New Mayapur community

Let’s focus on the tasks. Yesterday I called our villages that were being attacked. They said they didn’t know how long they could keep up. But they needed a cooking pot and a portable gas stove.

Someone commented that volunteering was a nice hideaway. But I’m telling you, it is the same service as army service. Men without skills and experiences are not needed on the front line, I will be more useful and effective here then wherever on a roadblock holding a gun.

Yesterday our donation’s sum reached more than ten thousand euros, and the number of locations able to host refugees rose to 70. Around 1000 people were able to find shelter. It would be not really effective to manage such an amount of people from a roadblock.

A house being prepared for refugees in Chmyrivka ecovillage

Yesterday was only Saturday. I realised it only in the evening while talking to my brother. We need to do a lot of talking, things are really hard emotionally. Some people lost their homes, some were gathering their bags. One village lost a family with children. The father bottled himself up, he was telling himself his family simply got lost and is still missing. They were just out of contact for the second week.

I do not want to write about sad stuff. We have a lot of goals to cover. They are everywhere and they keep coming. We need to filter them according to their effectiveness and priorities. What should come first and what is next.

Because now we are fighting the fires…

Let’s start the refugees’ project with growing the plants on the community land. Let’s start the project of the quick eco household, recycling and psychological support.
Sure, but let’s do that after the victory.
At the moment we have tactical goals to deal with. To help, at least, the existing amount of refugees and provide the necessities.

Mattresses and boots. We are in a great need and we do not find them. The search continues. A lot of options exist in buying and bringing them from some place near Chisinau.
We have a lot of this stuff!” Says Camilla from Denmark. It sounds great, but we need them not in Denmark, nor Chisinau or even Odesa. We need them in 70 locations spread across 1200km and unfortunately the wonderful Novaposhta (Ukrainian postal service) is not capable of working in all locations.

They were needed yesterday and they will be needed tomorrow.

There are also problems with evacuation, humanitarian corridors, gas, transport, getting to the different locations. We do not dare to provide help. We do not have resources.

You know! They fired on the Frankivsk and Lviv region. I do not know. It is not crucial. I do not deal with news except the about our locations and our people’s migrations. We are waiting for new people to come. We are preparing the homes.

With each new home bombing at South and East new people are fleeing. We just need to do our job and be the most productive.

The bombing are so loud. There will be no Kharkiv left soon,” says Ira as we are filling in our donations spreadsheet.

The bombing are so loud but we have things to do.
Let’s focus on the tasks.
Everything will be Ukraine.

You can read more about GEN Ukraine and how they are supporting refugees in this article.

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