During a full-scale invasion, we provide LGBTQI + people with safe haven in Ukraine. And at the same time we provided comprehensive assistance: funds for food, hygiene, psychological and legal advice.
In the first months since the start of the full-scale war, we have hosted hundreds of LGBTIQ + people in shelters in western Ukraine and Slovakia. The endless flow of refugees and IDPs has brought border towns to the brink of a humanitarian crisis. There were dozens of people in several rooms, simultaneously rented for shelters. At the same time the team was desperately looking for an opportunity to organize a more spacious and comfortable shelter.
Thanks to the support of ILGA-Europe in May 2022, we managed to purchase a large house in a picturesque corner of Zakarpattia – the safest region of Ukraine without air raid alarms and curfews. A few months of repair works and arrangement of everyday life – and already in August we began to host the first residents there. Lana was the first coordinator of the shelter. She created as comfortable living conditions as possible: two bathrooms, fully furnished rooms with everything necessary, household appliances and WiFi. People who escaped from shelling were able to recover and rehabilitate in a cozy house, where the team took care of everything from food and clothing to psychological support.
Our team has developed a detailed algorithm of actions for potential residents:
- asylum application form
- algorithm for creating a shelter
- security protocol for all occupants
- customer registration questionnaire
- consent on obligations for admission to the shelter
- agreement on prolongation of stay
- medical certificate of health
- act of provision of property
- questionnaire for a child
- consent to data processing
We installed a video surveillance system and an alarm system in the house, organized a bomb shelter there and provided all needed fire safety equipment.
Lana came to Zakarpattia from Odesa, which at that time was actively shelled by Russian troops. This decision allowed her for at least some time to rest from the sounds of explosions. Before the full-scale war, she created stained-glass windows and her artistic talent made it possible to establish a truly homely and cozy atmosphere in the shelter.
Shelter in Zakarpattia has become a home for many people: one of them does not want to leave Ukraine and needs time and a safe place for rehabilitation. Others are preparing to start a new life from a new place. Someone has nowhere to go.
Shelter residents take care not only of their own problems – they actively integrate into the host community and participate in improving local infrastructure. In particular, according to the results of numerous appeals and proposals to the village council, initiated by residents of the shelter, for the first time in 20 years, the village road was repaired and asphalted. Thus, having a safe haven not only helps people recover from the trauma of the war, but also encourages a proactive position in the life of the local community.