"Local Ukrainian civil society organizations, such as the 'Community Self-Help' NGO, are key to effective humanitarian work and Ukraine's recovery during and after the war." - Katja Kolcio

Public Organization "Community Self-Help," which has raised over 2.8 million UAH to support Ukrainian hospitals, defenders, and victims, provided an interim report and outlined directions for further activities at a press conference on February 16. Among the invited international partners, Katja Kolcio, PhD, a Professor at Wesleyan University (Connecticut, USA) in the departments of dance, ecology, and the Olbritton Center for the Study of Social Life, and representative of the "Community Self-Help" NGO in the USA, addressed the audience:

"In May 2022, according to Humanitarian Outcomes and the UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub project, nearly all humanitarian aid in Ukraine was implemented by local organizations rather than large international players. This underscores the importance of local non-governmental organizations, such as 'Community Self-Help,' in effective humanitarian work and Ukraine's viability and recovery during and after the war.

Key factors contributing to such effectiveness include:

  1. Personal connections: Given Russia's dominance, many individuals in the USA have studied the Russian perspective on history. Organizations like 'Community Self-Help,' along with other Ukrainian activists, build personal connections worldwide. This allows such communities to connect Ukraine with the world, facilitated by weak bureaucracy.

  2. Flexibility: I have been working with these individuals since 2015, and in 2022, they were able to immediately restructure to meet new challenges.

  3. Long-term commitment and deep contextual knowledge: They have been working in the field of psychosocial assistance in Ukraine for years. We know that they will continue to be committed to their work for years to come.

I live in Middletown, Connecticut. We collaborate with individuals from the US Congress defense and foreign relations committees, who shape US policy towards Ukraine, as well as with the University of Connecticut and the Middletown Ukraine Resource Center. Information exchange with and from the Community allows us to gain more insight than from the news and to humanize it. Together with the Middletown Fire Department, firefighting units in Connecticut, Wesleyan University, and community representatives, we collected 5 tons of firefighting equipment, medicines, and funds for transportation

Watch Katya Koltsio's full speech at the following link https://youtu.be/klWC3SH2C8E

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