Kyiv, August 26, 2015. The Ukrainian government has launched the national reconciliation program led by the Ministry of Social Policy. Five volunteers, representing different regions of the country, were appointed advisors to the project, namely Larysa Khodakovska, Oleh Maydanyuk, Heorhiy Bibik, Nadiya Yedieva, and Iryna Illyash. “A total of 27 advisors were chosen, 25 of them will be assisting internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the regions across Ukraine at departmental and district levels, with two more assisting at the central level,” said the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine representative Serhiy Marushchenko at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
The main target of the program is to build effective communication among civil sector representatives, authorities and IDPs. Organizers received over 120 CVs from across Ukraine over the two weeks of the hiring process. “Both civic activists and civil servants experienced in social security work applied. A large number of applications came from the IDPs themselves, some of which were also selected as advisors,” said Tamila Tasheva, co-founder and coordinator of the civic initiative, Krym SOS.
The program founded by the Ministry for Social Policy of Ukraine, Krym SOS, and by the UK government-supported international organization Stabilization Support Services, aims to first and foremost provide the quick exchange of information on the problems facing IDPs and point out ways for their solution. “The program will create the necessary conditions to get in touch with each IDP, as well as help consolidate Ukrainian society and build peace in the country,” said Patrick Tobin of the British Embassy.
The program will be operational as of September 1 of this year. The main responsibilities of the advisors will include receiving IDPs and their claims, discovering and resolving problems IDPs face at the local level, exchanging this information at the central level, interacting with governmental departments and cooperation with the civil sector using best practices in the future. The project also foresees a program of small and large grants for IDPs, which is expected to motivate IDPs to unite into project groups and self-organize at a local level.