While at their workplaces, they are busy with news reports, journalist investigations and other work for Kyiv Post; after work, they raise funds for vehicles for the military, deliver humanitarian aid to the war-affected, and collect donations for the psychological rehabilitation of Ukrainian children who are suffering from the fighting and shelling or the traumatic experience of the Russian occupation.
Kyiv Post talked to two of its employees who work on both the information and the volunteering fronts.
Anna Neplii, Kyiv Post journalist
A student in her final year of journalism, Anna is from Odesa and the youngest member of the team,
“I felt that fighting on the information front was not enough for me,” says Anna, adding that she began volunteering last fall. She found out that a friend of hers, a military serviceman, who with his unit fighting at the front was in bad need of a car. They started raising funds together and collected the sum very quickly.
This winter, Anna collected money for a thermal imager for another friend who at that moment was fighting with his 95th Brigade at Maryinka, Donetsk region. She managed to collect the necessary 125,000 Hr. ($3,400) in a single day.
“Actually, when I made the fundraising, I was somewhat nervous because I felt the burden of responsibility before people,” said Anna. “That's why I hadn't taken on fundraising before and had instead helped with donations to transparent fundraisers. Personally, the most important thing for me is to make sure that all the money - to the last kopeck - is spent. Because, in my opinion, this money is stained with blood”.
Soon she saw that she was able to raise funds quite quickly. Since Anna helps the military, whom she knows and those whom they know, her social circle began to grow rapidly. And Anna began to help everyone who really needed it.
Anna with the fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“There are brigades and other units that are well-known and present in the media. They have no problems with supplies,” said Anna. “But there are very many others who need even such items as medications, equipment for tactical medicine, ammunition, and everyday essentials.”
In March, she helped supply tourniquets to members of the 23rd Brigade deployed to the eastern front. Shortly afterward, she managed to raise funds for two vehicles. One was delivered to the 93rd Brigade, which is defending Bakhmut, and the other to the 43rd Brigade, which is also fighting on the eastern front.
Anna intends to continue to help the military and says she is happy seeing their joy and thankfulness when they receive the necessary things “because is the least that each of us can help in gratitude for the feats that they do daily.” She also keeps in touch with all of them and tries to deliver the purchased things personally.
Liya, Kyiv Post office manager
Liya says that she wanted to help people from the first days of the war, but it took some time to see who was in the direst need of help. After the Kyiv region was liberated from the Russian invaders, she was invited to join a team of volunteers that delivered humanitarian aid to the Dymer district in the north of the region, the site of fierce fighting.
“It was already relatively quiet there, but the locals needed help, so my friends and I volunteered to help the humanitarian center at the church of Dymer,” said Liya. “We got everything arranged and prepared in late May, and from the first days of June we traveled every Saturday to villages of the district where people needed food but had nowhere to buy it because all the stores were destroyed. They also needed someone to support them or just talk to them.”
Liya (in the middle) in a summer kid's camp.
Visiting the liberated villages, she and her fellow volunteers delivered humanitarian aid to survivors and played with local children.
“After several such trips, we decided to set up a day camp for the kids that had stayed under occupation. We just wanted to give them a little joy and a few moments of a happy childhood.”
Liya and her friends also brought a special Christmas gift to one of the villages: a puppet show for almost a hundred kids who enjoyed it together with their parents.
“We are planning to continue to visit villages of the Dymer district. When it gets warmer, we are going to meet with people again and reopen our summer kid’s camp.” Said Liya. “They all still need help - both humanitarian and spiritual.”
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