Потрібна юридична консультація? Наш юрист надасть її безкоштовно

From legal education to art therapy: how the NGO Committee of Voters in Chernivtsi helps people in difficult life circumstances

Publication date: March 8, 2024

Since the outbreak of full-scale war in Ukraine, the activities of many organizations have changed significantly. This is also the case with the Chernivtsi Regional NGO “Committee of Voters” in Vyzhnytsia, Chernivtsi region. In addition to providing legal aid, the organization has begun to actively engage in humanitarian aid and psychosocial support. Since February 2023, the organization’s initiatives have been supported by the Legal Development Network (LDN) as part of a program to strengthen the capacity of local organizations to respond to the challenges of war. Let’s consider what ideas have been implemented recently.

Changes in requests for legal aid during the war

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale aggression in Ukraine, there has been a change in the topic of requests for legal aid. In 2023, the organization’s lawyers provided 779 legal consultations to citizens.

Valentyna Tkach, lawyer of the Chernivtsi regional public organization “Committee of Voters” in Vyzhnytsia. Photo from the personal archive

“The topic of inquiries was influenced by the fact that the number of internally displaced persons in the community has increased significantly. Currently, there are about 3,000 of them left,” says Valentyna Tkach, a lawyer with the organization. “Also, local residents have become increasingly interested in issues related to service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

In general, the number of appeals regarding the rights and obligations of mobilized persons, legal aid to families of military personnel, and preparation of documents for men to travel abroad has increased. Advice on border crossing for Ukrainians and foreigners, preparation of documents for children to travel abroad, and legal support for refugees and asylum seekers also remain relevant. There has been an increase in requests for divorce, alimony, and changes in benefits for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The organization provides not only individual consultations, but also conducts legal education activities for IDPs and local residents. The topics covered include mobilization of persons liable for military service, grounds for dismissal from the Armed Forces, aspects of inheritance by will and by law, and the impact of martial law on family and marriage relations.

Legal education for IDPs

During the event in Vyzhnytsia, the issues of paying taxes and relocation for small and medium-sized businesses in the context of a full-scale war were discussed. Photo from the archive of the NGO “Committee of Voters” (Vyzhnytsia)

The organization continues to be actively engaged in legal education, providing the necessary information for adaptation and protection of the rights of internally displaced persons in the new community. For example, in February 2024, in Milievo village (Vyzhnytsia city community), a meeting explained how to apply for compensation or restoration of housing destroyed or damaged as a result of hostilities, and in April 2023, for residents of the shelter in Lukavtsi village (Berehomet village community, Vyzhnytsia district), the peculiarities of IDP rights in wartime.

One of the important steps in legal education was the launch of meetings with high school students in rural schools. This allows them to understand the legal norms and processes already now.

Valentyna Tkach held a legal education event for children at the Vyzhnytsia Lyceum in January 2024. Ninth graders were interested in what it means to be a lawyer. Photo from the archive of the NGO “Committee of Voters” (Vyzhnytsia)

“Continuing meetings with a lawyer for high school students in remote rural schools can become an effective tool for legal education,” says Valentyna Tkach. “This format of lessons will facilitate open discussion and the opportunity to gain practical skills that will be useful in the future, for example, in writing various applications and petitions.

Art therapy combined with legal counseling

The organization successfully combines art therapy workshops with legal counseling.

During the meeting in Vyzhnytsia, the participants drew pictures on boards and received answers to legal questions. Photo from the organization’s archive

In the Spanish Village Library (Vyzhnytsia City Community), the craftswomen held a master class on flower arrangements, accompanied by a discussion of legal issues.

Before the floristry class in the village of Ispas, Chernivtsi Oblast, Valentyna Tkach provided legal advice to the participants and explained the rules for crossing the border during wartime. This event opened up the possibility of combining the creative process with useful information, creating a positive and educational environment for the participants. Photo from the archive of the NGO “Committee of Voters” (Vyzhnytsia)
On-site counseling in the village of Ispas (Vyzhnytsia urban community). Photo from the archive of the NGO “Committee of Voters” (Vyzhnytsia)

“The flower workshop was a special event for the displaced women. The combination of psychological relief and discussion of legal issues creates an extremely useful and stimulating atmosphere,” says Valentyna Tkach.After the event, we received many calls from people who expressed a desire to participate in similar workshops. This idea will help us continue to engage IDPs.

A master class in Easter egg making is planned for the upcoming Easter holidays. Participants will be able to learn about the cultural traditions of the region and receive individual legal advice.

In 2024, the organization plans to launch a psychological support program. 

“It happens that we are approached by discharged soldiers with legal issues and at the same time they ask us to recommend a psychologist for personal support. I see the need for a psychologist to work on a regular basis. Such support is needed not only by the military and their families, but also by internally displaced persons,” says Valentyna Tkach.

The material was created with the support of the international charitable platform GlobalGiving, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The content of the publication is the sole responsibility of the public union “Legal Development Network”.

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