Kyiv April 9, 2016. Luxembourg Red Cross’ activity in Ukraine is mainly related to Ukrainian children with heart diseases. When the war in Ukraine started, their activity was refocused to help war-affected people in Donbas. One of the current projects is renovating buildings destroyed in artillery attacks, namely in Sloviansk, informed Valeriy Sergovskyi, deputy secretary general of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society National Committee. “On the first stage we made about 20 buildings ready for winter season. Funding for the following year increased, so we plan to fully renovate 21 buildings and pane about 100 buildings,” explained Sergovskyi. About half a million euro is allocated for this project. According to him, Ukrainian Red Cross Society jointly with Luxembourg Red Cross monitored the situation on site and identified categories of people who need renovation of their houses the most. “These are single mothers and lonely elderly people who are unable to leave their houses unaided,” said the deputy secretary general. They simultaneously consulted local authorities, so that state social care programs do not overlap with international Red Cross aid programs.
“If you had a house, and then you come back one day to find it destroyed, […] surely we must help these people, because they are unable to renovate their buildings on their own,” said Myriam Jacoby, project manager of the Luxembourg Red Cross in Ukraine.
Architects designing building are representatives of Ukrainian and Luxembourg Red Cross, and they subcontract construction brigades on site. According to Jacoby, it creates jobs for local people. At the same time, architects team checks and monitors the quality of purchased materials and conducted works. “We want to guarantee that a building our beneficiary accepts is of high quality,” she emphasized. Jacoby said the average reconstruction budget for one building is 5 thousand euro. A part of the sum is covered by Luxembourg Red Cross and part – by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg. “This means about 2.5 thousand euro for each building is given by the ministry and another 2.5 thousand euro – by Luxembourg Red Cross,” said the project manager. Moreover, Luxembourg Red Cross provides aid in repair of premises and replacing windows in 60 collective centers for IDPs in Poltava, Kharkiv and Donetsk, said Jacoby. First of all it relates to repair of kitchens and rooms for children. It is planned to help 11 collective centers in Donetsk this year.
Iryna Goncharova, a widow and mother of many children from Sloviansk, said that their building was ruined during shelling. “I received an unexpected call from local Red Cross […] and they told me there is a pilot project of Luxembourg Red Cross to renew buildings. I was included into the project as I am the mother of a large family,” said the woman. She said her building was renewed quite quickly, in about four months time.