The Ukraine-controlled city of Nikopol in Dnipropetrovsk oblast is only several kilometres away from the occupied territories of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson oblasts, and shelters thousands of IDPs. From the first days of the Russian full-scale invasion, the local organisation Solidarity and Evolution launched the HelpNikopol initiative. Following the request of 2020 EaP Civil Society Fellow Maria Poloz, HelpNikopol’s active member, the EU helped the initiative team to address the emergency needs of around 2,500 IDPs and vulnerable residents from Nikopol (elderly, families in need, etc.), providing them with supplies, legal advice, consultancy, and training on premedical first aid.
The situation in Nikopol changed soon after the start of the EU-funded action: since July 2022 the city has been under daily shelling. Without electricity, water and connection — that is how Nikopol lives today. The team set an ambitious goal: to support people in need staying in the city and suffering every day from shelling. The team focused on supporting the most vulnerable groups, such as families with small children, people with disabilities, single mothers with small children and the elderly. As a result of the action, 435 persons in Nikopol received targeted assistance, including essential items and food.
Every day many people called the team for advice, help and support. The team consulted and advised 1,500 people on issues such as how to register damaged property, obtain financial aid or in-kind assistance from donor organisations. The team also trained 500 locals in delivering first-aid medical help, including at least 100 members of the local volunteer group that patrols the city with the police and helps people during shelling.
The constant support to the residents of Nikopol and Ukraine at large requires strong cooperation between CSOs and activists in Ukraine and abroad on issues of common interest. In summer and autumn 2022 the action team established a solid cooperation-driven network of CSOs, volunteers and local government in Lviv, Kyiv, Nikopol, Mykolaiv, Dnipro, Ivano-Frankivsk and Kharkiv, by organising 21 meetings with 17 Ukrainian and international CSOs, and delivering 4 webinars on crisis leadership, anti-propaganda, cyber-security and international cooperation. This work has already resulted in 5 joint projects to deliver trainings, Starlinks, ambulances, personal protection equipment and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
The project “HelpNikopol: advice, consultancy and aid for IDPs and local population in need” is one of the initiatives supported by the European Union through our ‘Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility project within the #StandWithUkraine Call launched on the 8th of April 2022, in response to the war in Ukraine. Through this Call we directly supported 14 initiatives, covering a wide range of topics: support to pregnant women during the war, support to IDPs in specific regions, first aid and safety trainings for volunteers and citizens, educational programmes for children, as well as support to preparatory work for economic recovery. In addition, 13 smaller scale initiatives were supported through the EaP Civil Society Fellowship programme. Find more about the results of the Call here and read the stories about other supported initiatives here.