Social Work in Times of War

For many eastern Ukrainians difficult times started much earlier than with the Russian invasion in February 2022. Since the conflict broke out in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in 2014, these sparsely populated areas were cut off from the health and social services of the urban centres – people, especially the elderly, the sick and the disabled, could hardly get social and medical care anymore. The Internationaler Bund (IB) wanted to change that. It has been working with its project partners to improve the social infrastructure in eastern Ukraine on behalf of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) since the end of 2020.

From May to September 2021, online training sessions were held for Ukrainian social workers and community representatives on topics such as digital tools and platforms, the social situation in Germany, and working with older and impaired people. In addition, the partners were supported in initiating pilot projects – one of them being outreach multi-professional services on e-Bikes.

Apart from that, twelve online training units and lectures were developed in cooperation with IB's long-term partner organisation "Djerela" - a day care centre for people with disabilities - and the National Pedagogical University Drahomanov. The trainings were held in Ukrainian language every Tuesday until December 2022, with 150 representatives of social institutions from 35 municipalities in the six Ukrainian oblasts of Odessa, Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Mykolayiv and Chernihiv participating. Two handouts complement the trainings; all participants have online access to these materials. 

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