Protection Through Partnerships in Ukraine
Ever since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, local Ukrainian organizations have been in on the frontlines of keeping the most affected civilians safe and cared for. On the ground in Ukraine since April, NP focuses on partnering with these local volunteer groups so that Ukrainian communities have the resources and support they need to lead on humanitarian efforts.
Partnering for Evacuations in Kharkiv and Kherson
In the areas that have been under Russian occupation or hotspots during the war, like Kharkiv and Kherson, communities are struggling to cope with prolonged stress and trauma. People fleeing de-occupied areas urgently need more humanitarian support—and so do the local volunteers facilitating evacuations.
In order to support those fleeing, NP has been working alongside a local organization called Help Kharkiv. In partnership with Help Kharkiv, NP has been able to assist in evacuating over 200 civilians from Kupyansk, Schevshenkove, and Kovsharivka to safety. With Help Kharkiv we arrange for buses, drivers, and fuel to get civilians away from the frontlines.
And at the same time that we work to get people to safety, we are attending meetings with decision-makers to advocate for increased support to local organizations. As the war rages on, NP's team in Ukraine has mapped out resources for community members, whether they continue to live in Ukraine, or are on the move. These local organizations have limited resources, often run on volunteers, and yet are bearing the heaviest load of humanitarian aid at or near the frontlines.
Partnering for Legal Support in Mykolaiv
For people trying to access services within Ukraine, or trying to find a way across the border legally, finding the proper documentation isn't just a hassle in wartime, it can be dangerous. Many civilians had to leave their documents behind in their home when they fled with a moment’s notice. Now they can’t use the bank or social services. Or move around the country as frontlines change.
Alongside the Ukrainian organization The Tenth of April, the NP team has provided protective accompaniments for more than 80 people to access essential legal support and identification documents. We travel with people to their appointments making sure they can get through military checkpoints – which are usually blocked to people without documents - safely.
"Now that I will have a passport, I will be able to register in Mykolaiv and at the social center to receive a free referral for rehabilitation due to my disability. I express my sincere gratitude to Nonviolent Peaceforce and all your employees for their assistance in reissuing my passport. God bless you! Good health to you all! Hugs to everyone!"Victoria
Partnering for Humanitarian Action in Odesa
The way that local communities in Ukraine have mobilized to protect one another and provide aid is a testament to the power of local humanitarian responses. But the international community can still support and strengthen the responses by supporting volunteers and groups.
One way NP has done this? By creating opportunities for different groups to come together, find each other, and generate ideas for better collaboration. In November, NP hosted a Networking and Partnership Meeting with volunteer collectives, civil society organizations, national NGOs, and international NGOs. This was the largest gathering of organizations in Southern Ukraine since before the Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24.
After that first gathering, NP also conducted a 3-day training on unarmed civilian protection for our staff, as well as local humanitarian partners. Participants were able to share and learn from each other’s work in order to further improve their humanitarian efforts. Take a look at a clip from the training below.