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The Solidarity and Justice coalition identified the key thematic areas for the future to overcome the challenges of war

Since Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine began, the Legal Development Network (LDN) has launched a #StandWithUkraine humanitarian response campaign. It has brought together 15 member organizations and seven partners to create more comprehensive solutions to the crises of war. This is how the Solidarity and Justice coalition emerged.

The results of the coalition’s five-month work are impressive

Photo (from left to right): Maksym Ilchyshen, Chairman of the Board of the Legal Development Network, and Yevgen Poltenko, Executive Director

«In the first weeks of the full-scale war, the priority was to save the representatives of our partner organizations together with their families who were in dangerous places. In this way, it was possible to help a total of 60 people (26 families). Next, we thought about how to apply our knowledge and experience. Already on March 5, a joint meeting was organized with those who were in touch and were ready to join the implementation of the #StandWithUkraine campaign. They became the basis of the coalition. We received a wide range of support from donors, particularly donations from individuals. A month after the start of the #StandWithUkraine campaign, we received $10,000 from private donors. Previously, we did not even think that a human rights organization in Ukraine could collect so many charitable contributions», Yevgen Poltenko, Executive Director of the Legal Development Network, mentions.

Photo: members of the Solidarity and Justice coalition

The country’s legislation also went into war mode – rapid changes, often manual control. In order to help Ukrainians to navigate this flow and restore and protect their rights, LND member organizations and partners assisted more than 7,000 Ukrainians from February 24. The coalition initiated the creation of a platform for providing legal assistance to those who are outside Ukraine.

Photo (on the left): Iryna Chaika, Organizational Development Director of the LDN

More than 200 publications (in Ukrainian) were prepared as part of the legal awareness campaign. Its total coverage reaches more than 1 million people. The coalition members have helped relocate about 1,500 displaced people, develop and implement complex solutions to meet their needs. Psychological assistance was provided to 224 persons.

Photo: Vitalii Okhrimenko, Program Director of the Legal Development Network

300 tons of in-kind humanitarian aid were raised and distributed to 55,000 residents of the affected communities. Local activists are taught the mechanisms of public control over the distribution of charitable aid, and local authorities are taught to participate in recording war crimes.

The coalition members helped evacuate 1,851 people.

More than 50 experts are involved in the implementation of various initiatives of the coalition. And that’s not all.

Photo: Ruslan Bakhtyiev, the Garnet social technology studio CEO, facilitator, trainer, candidate of political sciences

In order to organize the work and find vectors for future development, the coalition members gathered for several days of strategizing. The CEO of the Garnet social technologies studio, facilitator, trainer, and candidate of political sciences Ruslan Bakhtyiev helped to qualitatively go through this path and direct it in a constructive direction:

«We considered that at first, the coalition developed in very difficult conditions. There was no time to understand some processes and meanings. On the first day, we tried to look inside ourselves and discover our own needs. To understand what exactly hurts us. Another point is to relive your experience so that you can breathe out and find points of support and resources. One of the biggest achievements was, of course, the opportunity to see each other, to get to know each other in person. The next day was dedicated to understanding the experience of the coalition, the potential and values ​​that were formed, best practices, and resources. At the final stage, we identified three thematic areas and one related to organizational development».

Photo: during strategizing
Photo (from left to right): Inna Kolesnyk, the lawyer of NGO “Triangle”, and Timur Kanataiev, Project Manager of the LDN

For the future, the coalition members identified the key priorities, in particular:

• research on the level of social cohesion

• creation of the “Beehive of Meanings” concept as a social engineering tool of the coalition;

• creating a database of experts and a list of services that can be provided

• strengthening of expertise

• development of communities and their expert support, systematic monitoring of work efficiency using the “Local Human Rights Index” (LHRI) methodology

And work to achieve the unifying mission of the coalition:

To jointly respond to the challenges of war for the protection, support and development of a solidary and just society.

Photo (from left to right): Mykhailo Bardyn, head of the NGO “Podillia Center for Human Rights”, and Maryna Kuprykova, representative of the NGO “Cherkasy Human Rights Center”
Photo (from left to right): Serhii Koshel, head of the NGO “Public Platform” (Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk oblast), and Olga Nastina, head of the NGO “Legal unity” (Bila Tserkva, Kyiv oblast). 
«We are all organizationally different here. But the work they did side by side, the contribution of each and everyone, the opportunity to express ourselves – all this could be done as equals. We could disagree and discuss. But the work we did together brought us together», Olga Nastina shared.
«Our meeting reminded me of the times when the Legal Development Network was just forming. But today, there are other realities. There are crisis conditions in which we all work. It is a very useful experience, and I am interested in what will happen in the future – initiatives, partnerships, results»,
Serhii Koshel mentioned.
Photo: Marianna Bilyk, representative of the Ukrainian Education Platform (Lviv): “It feels like people are on the same page here. The ability to grasp it and jointly promote it… It seems that this is the value of civil society.”
Photo: Khrystyna Kupcheva, representative of the Ukrainian Education Platform (Lviv): “I want to note a very light emotional atmosphere. I could easily express my opinions without fear of hearing that they were wrong. I was simply given feedback: what could be done better or why the thought was not quite right. This is the most comfortable emotional team I’ve ever worked in.”
Photo (from left to right): Oleksandr Kadiievskyi, representative of the NGO “Cherkasy Human Rights Center” (Cherkasy), and Nataliia Yesina, head of the NGO “Northern Human Rights Group” (Sumy)
Photo (from left to right): Nataliia Yesina, head of the NGO “Northern Human Rights Group” (Sumy), Taras Shcherbatiuk, head of the NGO “Cherkasy Human Rights Center” (Cherkasy) and Anastasiia Ploshchynska, head of the NGO “Podillia Legal League” (Khmelnytskyi)
Photo: Valentyna Tkach, representative of the Chernivtsi regional public organization “Voters’ Committee” (Vyzhnytsia, Chernivtsi oblast)
Photo: Solomiia Zinets-Matsyshyn, head of NGO ”Triangle”: “I have a much better understanding of what a coalition is and what it can be in the future. There is a desire to develop a coalition. And to contribute to it”
Photo: Marta Zmysla, lawyer, consultant of the Ukrainian Women Lawyers Association “JurFem”

P. S. More relevant information on legal and humanitarian issues – is in the special section #StandWithUkraine. It accumulates materials that may be useful to those who suffer, whose rights are violated as a result of the war between russia and Ukraine.

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