Photo of the vitrage in the Chervonohrad town council by Mariya Voronchuk

Miners Stories from Eastern and Western Ukraine

Join project of Foundations for Freedom and Our Future NGO

Logo of the project \"Miners stories from east to west of Ukraine\" by Yuliya PrystavskaMiners Stories from Eastern and Western Ukraine

Foundations for Freedom INGO and Our Future NGO launch the Miners’ Stories from Eastern and Western Ukraine project.

The main idea of ​​the project is to promote dialogue between industrial regions of eastern and western Ukraine through collecting oral stories of miners and their families as a basis for the subsequent documentary. Prepared materials, including the documentary, will be presented to the public in order to build a social dialogue around issues in common.

Official data shows there are 9 operating mines in the Lviv region and 37 in the Donetsk region (controlled by Ukraine). Many mines are lossmaking and some of them are on the verge of closure. However, a large percentage of residents are employed in the coal industry especially of the eastern region. As far as there is hardly any alternative in such towns, people take up mining. These towns were built around mines and for mines. Do they have any future or an alternative? How miners see their future taking into consideration the difficult situation in the country and the conflict that takes place in the country’s east?

We plan to include several mining settlements in Lviv region (Sokalskyi raion) and Donetsk region (Pokrovsk, Dobropillia, Vuhledar) in our project map.

Collecting life stories of different generations of miners and their families in Lviv and Donetsk regions will enable to get a profound knowledge of their environment, understand the impact of mines and the profession on their lives, discover their thoughts and surroundings. This project aims at creating an opportunity for dialogue both within and between the industrial mining regions of Ukraine. We also aim at exploring the miner's identity and the influence of the environment on the coal towns life.

The project will give Ukrainians the opportunity to learn more about industrial mining settlements and develop a dialogue around a common problem. The project will create a space for communication to help Ukrainians from different parts of the country to unite and get rid of mutual stereotypes and prejudices, to find ways for constructive communication and understanding.

The main target group of the project are miners’ families of Donetsk and Lviv regions.

The planned results of the project are the online exhibition of collected stories and a short film based on several stories. The project team and a group of volunteers will work with the stories. We plan to present the film both in the east and in the west of Ukraine followed by a community dialogue.

The project will last until August 2016.

Project implementation plan:

  • Developing the project concept, engaging partners, searching for volunteers. 
  • Training for volunteers on taking interviews.
  • Selecting interviewees.
  • Collecting the stories by volunteers. Shooting a film.
  • Processing the collected stories.
  • Publication of life stories on the website.
  • Dialogue and organization of a traveling exhibition together with the presentation of stories in Lviv and Kramatorsk/Pokrovsk using visual and text materials. Opening of each exhibition will be accompanied by film presentation and a facilitated discussion in the form of a dialogue.

Project coordinators:

Oleksa Stasevych, project manager
tel: +380 67 622 7218, +380 50 309 7997

Maria Voronchuk, information manager
tel: +380 50 055 9750


The project is implemeting jointly by the Foundations for Freedom INGO and the Our Future NGO within the Ukrainian Action: Healing the Past programme in partnership with the Independent Trade Union of Coal Miners of Ukraine under the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine and Irene Prestwich Trust (UK).

Logo design: Yulia Prystavska


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