Green shoots of hope

The war against Ukraine grinds on, and Ukrainians are tired, sad and worried, but as determined as ever to put everything they have into preserving their independence and freedom.

With the support of its donors, The BEARR Trust has continued to send funds to the indefatigable voluntary groups helping people to survive physically and mentally. Between Kharkiv and the border with Russia around 8,000 people, most of them elderly, have had to be evacuated from their homes to keep them safe. For many of them, care homes are the only places that can house them, so they are naturally reluctant to leave their animals, houses, gardens and their independence. Our partners have been providing them with basic provisions, hygiene kits and other supplies, while continuing to support other rural communities who were occupied at one time but are less at risk at the moment. 

One civil society organisation reported feedback on their supplies to one village, saying “we distributed 150 hygiene kits with essential supplies, including soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitiser, and other hygiene products. The results of the project have exceeded our expectations: we have received enthusiastic feedback and gratitude from local residents who have noted a significant improvement in their living conditions and a reduction in illnesses as a result of your assistance. Importantly, your generous donation has had a direct impact on the lives of people in the settlement. We have seen a community blossom when its members feel cared for and protected.”

Meanwhile, in western Ukraine, an organisation we support has been helping displaced people from the Donbas to adapt to rural life and get to know their host community better, by helping them to grow their own food, something that almost all Ukrainians do. Even city dwellers have some relative with a village house and plot where they keep chickens and grow fruit and vegetables, which they preserve for the winter. It is now the third spring for the newcomers – in the first we supplied seeds and tools, now they need more seeds and fruit bushes to plant for the next harvest. This activity is good for their mental health and develops relationships between locals and incomers. 

We would like to continue to support these brave and enterprising volunteers – it all depends on our supporters’ donations!

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