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Transformation: a documentary film that profiles the tenacity of Ukrainian civil society, both today and in the recent past

“Together we have built a strong civil society that at our time of greatest need is now defending our country. We have an army of citizens who support each other, who are organised and motivated”.

- Maksym Cherkashyn

Maksym Cherkashyn, head of the Educationally Analytical Centre for Community Development (EACCD) in Ternopil in western Ukraine, explains that that the documentary film “Transformation” was inspired by the circumstances of the war.

At a time when civic activists from across Ukraine have come together in solidarity as never before to support each other and society around them, Maksym saw the documentary as a way to showcase the value of this activist work in this time of war, and to document it for the future.

Laboratory of Cultural Research: Tackling unemployment during the war

With EED’s support, the Chernivtsi-based NGO Laboratory of Cultural Research, working at the intersection of IT and culture, launched a hub and is organising fast-track training in creative IT tools, virtual reality products, and social entrepreneurship.

The initiative is helping to tackle high rates of unemployment due to the war among both locals and IDPs and is helping IDPs to better integrate into city life. Participants are offered free online and offline courses combined with mentorship support. Scholarships are also provided to students wanting to implement projects that apply modern technologies to promote the city’s cultural heritage.

Green Leaf: ensuring accountability during a time of war

Over the past few years, the NGO Green Leaf, headed by Vladyslav Balinskyi, has acted as a watchdog on the local authorities in Odesa, and has worked hard to build a culture of accountability in a city with a reputation for corruption.

With the outbreak of full-scale war, the team continued to monitor how the city council spent taxpayers’ money, publishing findings on its website.

Green Leaf recently set up a new Crisis Media Centre in Odesa to help support civil society in the region.

Slidstvo: taking an investigative journalist approach to war

Prior to the war, Slidstvo had built a reputation as one of Ukraine’s leading investigative media, with a focus on investigation of corruption, crimes, the country’s law enforcement and the judicial system. Working as part of the OCCRP network, the outlet took part in large-scale corruption cases, including those of the Panama and Pandora Papers.

ZMIST Poltava: joining forces to help citizens and the army at a time of war

Five local organisations came together in Poltava at the outbreak of full-scale war to form the Poltava Volunteer Association, which has emerged as one of the most important centres of assistance in central Ukraine.

“We are ready. Poltava.”

- ZMIST Poltava

Union of Responsible Citizens: aiding IDPs and responding to regional needs

A grassroots association in Kryvyi Rih, the Union of Responsible Citizens, is working with a network of regional partners to respond to local and national needs. The team evacuated over 500 people with disabilities from the wider region, providing them with specially adapted buses and liaising with partners abroad who could host them. They opened huge warehouses that are providing items needed by IDPs and are helping them to source accommodation. An EED grant enabled the group to expand its team.

Cukr: Reporting on the war and responding to needs

An online journal for active youth, Cukr was launched in 2019, in Sumy. With the outbreak of full-scale war, and Russian troops advancing fast towards Sumy, the team chose not to leave their home city. They focused their efforts on providing information on the evolving situation in the region through their social networks, reaching out to 50,000 readers.

They fundraised for the city’s needs, co-ordinating with local volunteers who collect and distribute humanitarian aid to people in need. The content, mainly video reports published by the team in the now-liberated Sumy oblast, includes war reporting and aims to support local citizens and help them stay optimistic despite the tragedies of war. a business media now reporting on the war in Ukraine

“We cannot stand by and do nothing. It’s hard not to be led by your emotions, but we try to concentrate on what is important for our society and our citizens. We must help people to survive.”

- Yulia Bankova