HEROIC STORIES OF UKRAINIANS WHO’S LIFE WAS CHANGED BY ARMED CONFLIC BECAME FAMOUS TO MILLIONS OF PEOPLE
On 9th of July in News Agency UKRINFORM representatives of the Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine (hereinafter referred to as «MTOT») and partners of the project “Heroes of our hearts” summed up the first results of the project and presented its key achievements
The event brought together Vadym Chernysh Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine, Dr. Lore Ikovats-Slapak acting as Head of the Representative Office in Ukraine of the International Organization for Migration (hereinafter referred to as «IOM»), Oleksandr Shumei Prorector on educational work of Kherson State Maritime Academy (hereinafter referred to as "KSMA"), student of the academy Vladyslav Terletskyi from Luhansk, Iryna Kalupakha Head of the Department for Internally Displaced Persons and Humanitarian Cooperation of MTOT and Bohdan Horobchuk project consultant, PhD in Sociology.
Minister Vadym Chernysh:
«We work with different categories of persons including politicians we destroy stereotypes and prejudice towards IDPs. We have implemented a number of projects aimed at integrating IDPs into host societies. The campaign «Heroes of Our Hearts» is targeted to break down stereotypes in society towards internally displaced persons, to help understand what these people have demonstrated in order to overcome difficult situations, difficult conditions every day to become successful after losing their homes, jobs, all connections, and sometimes even the loss of their family and also assist others. And such stories inspire not only internally displaced persons, but also the rest of society».
Meanwhile, Vadym Chernysh noted the extraordinary consolidation of Ukrainian society that is helping displaced persons to successfully integrate into societies:
«Ukrainians demonstrate sympathy and willingness to assist people who are in trouble as a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation. Displaced persons feel integrated in new communities and safe. As studies show, on average 86% of IDPs are fully or partially integrated into host societies».
Lore Ikovats-Slapak further emphasized that as of June 2019 the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine registered 1 300 000 internally displaced persons, which is approximately 200 000 less compared with previous years.
«It is extremely important to see real people and their stories beyond statistics and figures. Every person who had to leave home left everything behind. These people have lost their homes, jobs, and in some cases friends and relatives. Each of these people is a hero or a heroine, step by step adapting to a new life and joining the development of their new communities», she noted.
In addition, Lore Ikovats-Slapak stressed that the data that the IOM receives through research from the National Monitoring System show that IDPs continue to remain in host communities and develop relations with locals. At the same time, intentions to find a job abroad among IDPs is at a very low level, and the majority of the employed IDPs have a stable job that allows them to participate in the development of the labor market in the host communities.
Iryna Kalupakha Head of the Department for Internally Displaced Persons and Humanitarian Cooperation of MTOT spoke about the positive developments in solving the urgent problems of internally displaced persons. In particular, she outlined the possibilities of obtaining housing due to state grant and funds allocated from municipal budgets, and also noted that, compared with 2017 in 2018 almost half of the participants of research named paying utility bills a problem.
Project consultant of «Heroes of our hearts» Bohdan Horobchuk noted that this project is complex because it combines both new media and flashmob mechanics and close cooperation with the mass media, as well as outdoor advertising and theatrical trailers.
«Due to such a combination of tools, not only was it possible to get coverage of over 15 million contacts with project content, but also to maintain a high level of activity of the participants in the flashmob «I know a hero». Through a special form on a specially created project site, users could tell stories about people whom they know personally, or heard their story from someone. Several messages about new «Heroes of our hearts» appear every day», informed Bohdan Horobchuk.
The heroes of one of the 9 key videos of the project were present at the media event: Prorector on educational work of Kherson State Maritime Academy (hereinafter referred to as "KSMA") Oleksandr Shumei and student of the academy Vladyslav Terletskyi from Luhansk. Vladyslav told his story about how he and his family had to move to Mykolaiv at the height of the hostilities in his hometown, and then decided to study at the Maritime Academy, having passed the competition without using a quota for internally displaced persons.
Oleksandr Shumei told about the high authority that the Academy has among the Maritime Universities in the World, and at the same time stressed that the doors of the Academy are always open to applicants of internally displaced persons, and their entry is conducted on simplified conditions with the support of the State.
Flashmob #Я_Знаю_Героя is a continuation of the social information project #ГЕРОЇНАШИХСЕРДЕЦЬ, recently launched by the Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons.
At the heart of the project are videos of real stories of 9 heroes whose lives were changed due to the war in the East and the occupation of Crimea. But they didn’t choose path of revenge and despair. They are already changing the history and step by step building peaceful future. The rest of stories from users can be found at: https://heroes.mtot.gov.ua/stories/
Considering the great interest caused by the social information campaign, the initiators decided to continue the project, so the site https://heroes.mtot.gov.ua remains in the public domain, users can continue to not only read the information on the site, but also share new stories about the Heroes of our hearts.