«The scariest thing for us is taking names off the list». For two years the Centers mobile teams have been issuing humanitarian aid on the contact line
For two years the mobile teams of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center deliver humanitarian aid to civilian population of the "grey zone". They deliver survival kits to the places that need help the most. The volunteers are mobile, flexible and fast.
According to sociological studies the highest demand for food products is observed among the "grey zone" residents. There is shelling here every day. No pharmacies and stores are working, many people lost their jobs. And these very people are provided with assistance by the Center's mobile volunteers.
"Rinat Akhmetov set a goal to the Humanitarian Center: provide maximum assistance to Donbas civilians despite all the difficulties. Mobile teams work in those places, where it is impossible to open a fixed issuing point. They deliver humanitarian aid to 30,000 people 1,500 of them are children", – Rimma Fil, the Coordinator of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center, shares.
The Coordinator for mobile teams Yuliia Malakhova tells that volunteers often risk their lives to help vulnerable civilians: "Most of our volunteers are from Donbas. They understand and feel the horror of this situation like no one else does. Many of them have families and little children. But they keep on helping, risking their lives to save others. Often they have to go to the villages right on the front line and issue survival kits under shelling. The hottest spots that we've been visiting for the past two years are Pisky, Opytne, Kodema, Kirove, Ocheretyne, Vodiane, Novotroitske, Hranitne, Verkhniotoretske, Chermalyk, Novoluhanske and Zhovanka. And another dozen of settlements like these. Over two years we managed to cover 90% of the entire frontline area with our humanitarian aid. This figure represents thousands of saved human lives.
Since the very start of the project, mobile volunteers visited 425 villages and settlements of Donetsk region and issued 324,000 food packages. They were received by the elderly, children, multi-child families, disabled people and single parents. However, according to Yuliia Malakhova, the most difficult part is seeing people suffering.
"Recently we arrived in Zaitseve, Bakhmutka raion, to issue humanitarian aid. And I noticed that one family was missing. I asked their neighbours why the family didn't come. And I heard the answer that they had been killed. Direct shell hit. The settlement next to it is called Kurdiumivka. I see a woman, a single mother who frequently receives humanitarian aid. She's wearing black. And she says: take one name off the list. My eldest son was killed by shell hit… And she's crying… The scariest thing for us is taking names off the list", – Yuliia Malakhova shares.
Now the mobile teams are getting ready for another trip to the "grey zone" – and local residents are looking forward to meeting them. For many of them these food products is the only way to survive.
"Today and tomorrow our teams are working in Luhanske and Novoluhanske villages, the satellite settlements of Toretsk. The situation is always tense there and many people need our help. At the moment we are working on our schedules for June. The teams are planning to take their trips twice a week, they will visit more than 30 settlements. The schedule is worked out in such a way so that we could reach the people fast. They are always waiting for us".