The new mobile social and psychological services will aid vulnerable groups and the wider community.
*Kramatorsk, **Ukraine, 20 October 2021 –*The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, with financial support from the Government of Canada, has provided communities in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts with a new mobile social and psychological aid service.
Two specially equipped vehicles will now drive to remote settlements in the two oblasts, ensuring there is equal and inclusive access to social and psychological services and crisis assistance for people/families from vulnerable groups who are in difficult life circumstances.
The mobile social and psychological service will be based at the Donetsk and Luhansk oblast social services centres. It will give community residents access to specialised social services addressing socio-psychological issues.
UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme Manager, Victor Munteanu said that thanks to the mobile service, vulnerable groups, especially those in communities located along the ‘contact line’, would receive prompt and timely social support.
“This tool is an innovative solution, increasing the local authorities’ capacity to provide good quality social services,” Munteanu said. “We believe that communities in the east of Ukraine will now be better prepared to take care of the most vulnerable, leaving no one behind.”
The main functions of the mobile service include:
- counselling – psychological support and emergency crisis interventions by psychologists and social workers;
- mediation – assistance in conflict resolution, negotiation, creating means and conditions for conflict resolution;
- social prevention and rehabilitation – providing assistance for placement in shelters, and for social and psychological rehabilitation, in particular of children and youths;
- information work – advising local governments on the organisation and planning of social work;
- provision of social services, etc.
Head of the Political Section of the Embassy of Canada in Ukraine Richard Colvin said the mobile service would also benefit the wider community.
“In Canada, we understand that for communities to thrive, their most vulnerable members need to be taken care of,” Colvin said. “That’s why we’re confident that these new mobile services will benefit not only residents of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts who find themselves in challenging life situations, but their communities as a whole.”
The mobile service will be provided using specially equipped cars which will operate according to a schedule and programme of social support in the case of planned visits. However, unscheduled visits will also be made at the request of communities, or in emergencies in response to communities' needs.
Director of the Donetsk Oblast Social Services Centre Yuri Balabolka said that thanks to a multidisciplinary team and equipment provided by the UNDP to provide social and psychological aid, the centre will now be able to offer emergency services to tackle difficult cases.
"Now we can tackle the problems of people and families who find themselves in difficult life circumstances, comprehensively and promptly responding to requests from local governments and citizens," Balabolka said.
Director of the Luhansk Oblast Social Services Centre Iryna Yeremenko said that creating an effective mobile service of emergency social and psychological assistance would allow social workers to respond promptly to cases in the most remote areas.
The specially equipped vehicles of the mobile social and psychological service were purchased by UNDP under the United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, with the financial support of the Government of Canada.
The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) is being implemented by four United Nations agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
Twelve international partners support the Programme: The European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.
Vlada Soloviova, Communications Associate, UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, email@example.com, +380 95 529 4240.