As in many Ukrainian ecovillages since the war began, currently hundreds of people are taking shelter in Busha ecovillage in the Vinnytsia region of the country. They are currently housed in summer houses, but winter is coming and warmer shelter will be required. An ambitious plan is brewing to create in a few short months an eco-constructed common house, well equipped for winter, where new arrivals can spend the winter in warmth and safety.
At the European Ecovillage Gathering this summer, members of GEN Ukraine joined to volunteer their time and energy, and share stories of how their communities are responding to the crisis. Their Green Road project, opening up ecovillages to internally displaced people, has been evolving constantly since the war began, from providing immediate humanitarian aid to integrating new arrivals into their daily life through gardening and eco-construction to offer them a sense of belonging and purpose. During a presentation at the Gathering, the GEN Ukraine team shared with us their latest project: the construction of a straw-bale winter house to shelter the hundreds of new arrivals in Busha who have nowhere warm to stay for the winter.
Within the day, a group of ecovillagers from across Europe had come together to offer fundraising and logistical support to the project, and by the end of the Gathering thousands of euros had already been pledged to make it a reality. Work is already underway, with permits secured and site preparation in progress.
After the war, this building will be used by the community for GEN gatherings, festivals and as a common space for the community. It will always be an open space where people are welcomed, and we can’t wait to hold a future European Ecovillage Gathering in Busha!
To learn more about the project and make a donation, visit the GEN Ukraine website.