Потрібна юридична консультація? Наш юрист надасть її безкоштовно

Legal assistance at different times and methods. Why did the residents of Berdyansk start creating video consultations?

Publication date: August 14, 2023

Author: Sergiy Starushko, “Berdyansk – Our Own for Our People” Charitable Foundation

“Berdyansk – Our Own for Our People” Charitable Foundation has been operating in Zaporizhzhia since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory. The organization assists internally displaced persons from the temporarily occupied city of Berdyansk. Simultaneously, the foundation works on strengthening its organizational capacity, including as a participant in the project “Capacity Development of Local NGOs – legal aid providers in Ukraine”.

This initiative has helped develop crucial policies and procedures and garnered support from the human rights community. Educational programs, mentorship support, and practical experience have formed the basis for significant reinforcement in order to provide more effective assistance to internally displaced persons and to implement legal services more efficiently.

One successful example is the creation of the initiative “Your Lawyer Nearby. Legal Assistance at Different Times and Methods,” implemented by the “Berdyansk – Our Own for Our People” Foundation with the support of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine and financed by the European Union within the project “EU4Recovery – Expanding Opportunities for Communities in Ukraine.” Overall, legal assistance consists of combining various formats to make it as convenient as possible for users, including through video consultations.

On the photo: Head of the “Berdyansk – Our Own for Our People” NGO, Viktor Tsukanov. Photo from Viktor Tsukanov’s personal archive.

“In our legal project, the video segment is an integral component combined with several other segments,” explained the project manager Viktor Tsukanov. “For example, the chatbot, a collection of printed and electronic informational materials. The idea of free access to a ‘live’ lawyer who will explain how to solve the recipient’s problem in a convenient time was directly based on the desires of internally displaced people who cannot always come to a lawyer in person.”

Within two months of implementing the initiative, experts provided 231 personalized consultations, 198 by phone, and 200 through the chatbot.

Three out of the planned six video consultations have already been published on the YouTube channel “Berdyansk Today.” This channel was created by journalists from Berdyansk who have their own audience and are partners in this initiative. The topics for the videos were guided by the most common questions addressed to the foundation and its journalist partners. These topics include how to obtain internally displaced person (IDP) status, how to change personal information and terminate IDP status if necessary, how to establish the fact of death or birth of a child if it occurred in the temporarily occupied territory of Berdyansk, how to leave a previous job, obtain unemployed status, receive payments, and much more.

When recording the videos, project participants aimed to make them understandable, simple, and lightweight. They added textual explanations and references to legislative acts, which are duplicated in the voice for convenience. Therefore, those who prefer video format can save the links, listen, and watch them when needed. If something is unclear, viewers can pause the video, review the information, read, scroll, and so on.

Photo: Lawyer Oleksandr Rozum from Berdyansk. Photo by the Charity Foundation “Berdyansk – Our Own for Ours.”

“Renowned Berdyansk lawyer Oleksandr Rozum, who provides explanatory information in the videos, is well-known to many residents of Berdyansk,” explains Victor Tsukanov. Many people trust him. Since the beginning of the full-scale war, he has been providing explanations and consultations to those who left the temporarily occupied territories, as well as to those who remained in Berdyansk.”

Other formats of legal information, such as video materials, informational publications, and brochures, are similar in content and differ only in presentation format. Victor Tsukanov explains that this is once again done for the convenience of the users, providing the opportunity to “visit a lawyer” and hear their advice at any convenient time.

For reference,

The project “Capacity Development of Local NGOs – legal aid providers in Ukraine” is implemented by the Legal Development Network with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine and with financial support from the Government of Canada provided within the framework of the UN Peace and Development Programme.

The UN Peace and Development Programme (UN RPP) is implemented by four UN agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The programme is supported by eleven international partners: the European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Embassy of the United States in Ukraine, as well as the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland.

If you have notices an error on the web-site, please, highlight the text and press ctrl-enter.

Have you found your solution? Help others!

Share on social media

Print a poster

Print and place the Network's poster on a notice board in your entrance hall

Become a volunteer

Become a volunteer and assist others in finding problem solutions

Do you need a consultation ?


Поставте питання, i один з експертiв Мережi надасть вiдповiдь.
Графік роботи чату: з 10:00 до 16:00
(обідня перерва з 13:00 до 14:00).

In an office

Find the nearest consulting room in your city and apply for a consultation.





Inform on error