Putting peacebuilding on the map in Ukraine

International Alert has provided peacebuilding trainings to over 40 Ukrainian NGOs, most of whom are based in Eastern Ukraine close to the confrontation line.

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed since February 2014 as a result of the conflict in Ukraine, which has also left 1.7 million internally displaced and forced nearly 800,000 to flee the country. Fighting in Eastern Ukraine still occurs regularly, sometimes heavily, and military and civilian casualties are reported every week.

Local volunteers have been providing humanitarian and psychosocial support in response to the conflict. However many civil society groups aren’t familiar with concepts such as peacebuilding, conflict sensitivity and its main principle of ‘Do No Harm’, which are all vital for supporting long-term recovery in Ukraine.

We delivered several training sessions in Eastern Ukraine, some together with the Ukraine NGO Forum supported by the British Embassy in Kyiv, and others with the support of the European Union. All were aimed to improve understanding of these peacebuilding approaches.

“The training was very useful, particularly because it’s very difficult to talk about peacebuilding in the country at the moment. Everyone is so divided. It was great to be among people seeking to build something positive beyond the conflict”, said one trainee from Pokrovsk in Donetsk Oblast.

“The International Alert team has helped me for the first time to look at the sides of the conflict differently, in a different way”, reflected Oleg, a participant from Kramatorsk. “Special thanks for their work and invaluable assistance in their desire to help our country to have peace.”

A further training will take place in March in Mariupol – another city close to the confrontation line.

We are also providing training and small grants to local civic activism groups so they can develop their own peacebuilding projects, provide each other with peer support and coordinate their work.

Find out more about our work in Ukraine.