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Priceless help: a unique exhibition of the Humanitarian Headquarters opens in Avdiivka


An exhibition of the Humanitarian Headquarters, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation’s largest program has opened in Avdiivka. The exhibition tells about the unique experience of providing help in the conditions of armed conflict and about the people who need this help. This is one of the six permanent exhibitions held at museums of SCM Group companies.

“Efforts of the Humanitarian Headquarters have already come down in history, and its experience in providing help is unmatched in Ukraine as it helped save lives of one million people in the country’s east. And every day, Rinat Akhmetov’s help continues to flow into the Donbas, saving people who need it the most: elderly people, children, people with disabilities. The latest surveys by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology show: 67% of Ukrainians believe that residents of the Donbas would not have survived without Rinat Akhmetov’s humanitarian aid. Almost 85% of respondents in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts agree with that’, Yulia Malich, Rinat Akhmetov Foundation’s Projects and Programs Manager said at the opening ceremony.

She also noted the special role of volunteers, which include workers of Adviivka Byproduct Coke Plant (ABCP). Thanks to them, people were able to receive, and continue to receive timely food parcels from the Foundation in the region’s hotspots. That includes Avdiivka, a city among the hardest-hit by the armed conflict. There, everyone knows what pain and suffering is. Continuous shelling won’t let them forget about it even today.

‘There were times when there was no water and power in Avdiivka; shops were closed, and the nearest open ones were in another town several dozen miles away. That was when Rinat Akhmetov’s Humanitarian Headquarters came to rescue the people of Avdiivka. Aid deliveries continued even in the most difficult times for the city, and aid continues to flow in today. In the past years, over 100 thousand adult and children’s food parcels from the Headquarters have been brought to Avdiivka. That’s a serious help to our townsfolk’, Borys Karmazin, ABCP Director for Personnel and Social Matters said.

The exhibition’s photographs, documents and video materials tell about the most difficult and tragic days which people had to endure. And also, about the Humanitarian Headquarters’ efforts, when aid was delivered even under artillery fire.

For this exhibition, the Foundation provided a unique photo book: Donbas and the Peaceful. The 11 stories presented in it tell about the tragedy of the region’s civilian population and about the hope that Rinat Akhmetov’s help brings them. One of the photo book’s heroes is 13-year-old Vlad Potin of Avdiivka. In 2015, a missile fragment hit him on the head, but the boy survived after spending nine days in coma.

‘This exhibition is not just about the stories of helping people. This is an excellent example for the growing generation, an example of honor, sense of duty, compassion, love to people and the native land’, Yulia Malich noted.

The exhibition, opened on 21 February, is on permanent display at the museum of Adviivka Byproduct Coke Plant.

The photo book Donbas and the Peaceful features 11 stories of ordinary people from Kramatorsk, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka, Pisky and other towns who found themselves in the epicenter of the War in Donbas. The book’s heroes are severely wounded children who saw with their own eyes exploding missiles and the death of their close ones. Old people who lost relatives and were left to live in destroyed homes. Schoolchildren and teachers who conduct classes in the area of continuing fighting.

This photo book became a shocking revelation for many people in Ukraine and Europe. It was nominated for the Ukrainian Library Fund’s Best Social Photo Book of the Year, and has already been presented in Kyiv, Lviv, Mariupol, Brussels, Frankfurt am Main and Strasbourg.