Friday, 27 July 2018

The warm welcome of Severodonetsk

Two hours of plane from Paris, thirty hours in Kiev, fourteen hours of night train to Lyman, and one hour and a half in a car from the train station later, my feet walked on the sandy land of Severodonetsk.

Six months earlier, I had applied for this position. The prospect of ever walking on these streets seemed pretty unrealistic by then. Three months ago, I was offered to follow the EU Aid Volunteer training in Austria, and two months ago, I was told that I would be the one deployed to Severodonestk for a six-month mission, to provide psycho-social support to the local population, IDP's and ukranians living close to the combat zone.

I have already been here for a whole month. Time flies here. It might have something to do with this superb continental summer. It is definitely related to the people surrounding me on a daily basis. Vostok SOS's team is divided between Kiev and Severodonestk. Here in the east, Masha coordinates an amazingly efficient team of women: Yulia, jurist provides juridical advice to every citizen wondering about its administrative situation ; Svetlana & Sasha, event managers, organize as many training as their agendas can fit ; Irina, social worker, is in charge of a green line for the people facing troubled times ; and Rusana, psychologist, offers individual and group therapies to both kids and adults.

As of now, I have mainly been supporting Rusana in her daily tasks. She helds two group therapies every weeks: one for adults every wednesday evening, the other one for children every friday afternoon. We have also been going around Luhansk region to provide support to local settlements closer to the contact line.

"Make your own fish" workshop - 13/07/2018

Time-management workshop - 11/07/2018