47-year-old Oksana Khmelnytska is a trauma therapist and project coordinator for our partner organization "Psychological Crisis Service" in Ukraine. On the ground she leads a Malteser International project that provides psychosocial support to people suffering from the consequences of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In this interview she talks about how people in the region are doing today and the challenges displaced persons face in everyday life, especially those who have fled the conflict areas.Read more
Recent years have witnessed dramatic developments in the Ukraine. After months of protests against the government, former President Victor Yanukovych fled the country in February 2014 - leading to the creation of a new government, causing Russia to annex the Crimea, and drawing the east of the country into a bitter civil war between government forces and pro-Russian separatists. Despite a ceasefire officially coming into effect in September 2014, violent confrontations remain an everyday occurrence.
Peace and stability remain elusive for the largest country inside Europe. Social structures and the health system above all, still suffer from the effects of the economic crisis in the 1990s, from which the country has even now yet to fully recover.
How we are helping
Malteser International's forerunner organizations have been especially connected to the Ukraine since the end of the cold war, when they provided countless consignments of aid material, and other forms of help, including the foundation of a local Malteser aid service - the Maltijska Služba Dopomohy, headquartered in Lviv, which has been active in the social and medical fields since February 1993.
Since the revolution and the beginning of the war, the Ukrainian Malteser volunteer corps has cooperated with Malteser International and the Polish Malteser Relief Service to broaden their activities to encompass psychosocial support for people traumatized by the war, and providing basic medical training, such as first aid and rescue to the population.