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Psychosocial help for internally displaced people

Malteser International is providing psychosocial help for internally displaced people in the regions of Kiev, Luhansk and Donetsk in cooperation with the Ukrainian Order of Malta. Many of those affected have been forced to flee their homes because of the conflict between government and opposition forces in the east of the country. A particular emphasis is on providing help to children and their families - in order to bring them some degree of stability. An estimated total of 4,200 people will be supported in this way.

A total of 1.3 million people in the Ukraine have been displaced by conflict between the new government and separatist forces in the east of the country - especially affecting the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk. Many are suffering from severe trauma, have lost loved ones, and despite the ceasefire, they are afraid of further violence. The level of trauma amongst some displaced people makes reorientation themselves and finding some stability in their place of refuge not only difficult, but impossible without help. There is a high level of solidarity, but tensions between displaced people and their host communities are high in some places, making the situation worse.

  • Psychosocial stabilisation of around 4,200 people affected by the Ukraine conflict.
  • Strengthening of local structures and personnel (officials, volunteers, specialists) in order to deal with the task of providing support to the affected people.

Target groups:

  • Around 4,200 displaced people in Artemivsk, Sloviansk, Mariupol, Sievierodonetsk, Kiev City and Region as well as local people in acute need. Included in this group, around 200 people who have lost a family member or loved one (help with grief/mourning).
  • Circa 170 social workers, psychologists and members of related professions, and volunteers in the field of care for displaced people (training and supervision). A larger group of specialist personnel will be reached via informational and educational material, and through the application of the ‘multiplier effect’.
  • Circa 320 representatives of the responsible local authorities (round table discussions, awareness training and education on the consequences of trauma etc.). A larger group of will also be reached via informational and educational material, and through the application of the ‘multiplier effect’.

Direct Support for Displaced People and their Host Communities:

  • Establishment of contact points (centers) for psychosocial support at seven locations: Kiev City and Region (Irpin, Boryspil), Donetsk Region (Artemivsk, Mariupol, Sloviansk)
  • Creation and distribution of basic information material.
  • Psychosocial support in the form of individual and group meetings.
  • Transfer of special cases of need to the trauma center in Kiev based on the assessment of psychological factors.
  • Psychosocial support for around 200 people support in the form of three-day ‘family groups’ with the assistance of specialist personnel to help deal with experiences of loss.

Stabilizing and developing local structures:

  • Round table meetings with representatives of local authorities, civil society and specialist personnel at the seven project locations.
  • Short training sessions for representatives of local authorities on the psychological consequences of conflict and displacement, the needs of displaced people, and aid models.
  • Systematic development of training programs for specialist psychosocial personnel and volunteers at the project locations.
  • Production and distribution of information, training and professional literature for local officials and specialists.

Country info

Capital: Kiev
Area: 603,628 km²
Popuation: c. 45.5 Million

Project data

Project duration: since May 2015
Donors: German Federal Foreign Office, private donors
Partners: Malteser Ukraine, Psychological Crisis Service - Kiev, Organisation for Overcoming the Consequences of Traumatic Experiences; National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”

Last updated: January 2016

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