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Building trust between IDPs and local hosts communities in Ukraine


The first two trustbuilding sessions have taken place in Ukraine. Angela Starovoytova, Trustbuilding Program (TBP) facilitator in Kyiv, shares how the first session went.

by Anna Ponomariova and Manon Michelle Monhemius

The first two trustbuilding sessions have taken place in Ukraine. On 17 November in Kyiv and on 18 November in Lviv. We had an interview with Angela Storovoitova, Trustbuilding Program (TBP) facilitator in Kyiv, about the first session.

'Uncertainty is a good word to describe the atmosphere before the start of the training', says Angela. That morning, the first snow fell, and air alarms were loudly heard. When she and her colleague Leonid left the house, they were uncertain about how many people would join, when they would be able to start, and how everything would go. 

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Kherson, Mariupol, Crimea and a representative of local authorities attended the session. 'These are relatively new IDPs who are having difficulties adapting to their current place to live. Their main needs are to learn how to start living a different and new life, what kind of work to do, and what local demand is,' says Angela. 

Many people seek socialisation because they have lost their previous circle of friends and acquaintances. They are looking for people with whom they can communicate. The trustbuilding sessions offer these opportunities for people to get to know each other. Three participants shared that they are ready to redefine themselves because they understand that past jobs (fields) are less beneficial in their new place. 

'We had fruitful interactions between residents, IDPs, and local authorities. We talked about how to get what you want, how to build connections between people, and how to interact and develop understanding,' mentions Angela, adding that she 'clearly saw the second wave of IDPs in Ukraine who want to make themselves useful.' It is about civic engagement. At the training, participants shared that they were working and engaged in a routine before the invasion. After the war started, they realised they could and wanted to help others. 

'The new wave of IDPs has brought forward a surge of generosity, volunteerism, and the desire to be engaged and active citizens. This makes me happy and smile,' says Angela, who is visibly moved by the interactions during the trustbuilding session. 

Read more about the trustbuilding work in Ukraine.