SOLIDARITY INITIATIVES
 Lviv, Ukraine

 

THE CONTEXT OF YOUR INITIATIVE

Community “Oselya” was founded in 2003 and it was the first organization in the city to provide social service for homeless people. The community itself could host seven companions back then, but there were many people in the streets seeking for food and clothing. And there were no other agencies or nonprofits to support them, so Oselya decided to support them by any means and has been doing it since then.

THE ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT AS PART OF YOUR INITIATIVE

Every Thursday since 2003 the companions of Oselya cook soup and distribute it to 100 homeless people in downtown of Lviv.

Every day we have our Social support center open to welcome people from the street and provide them with a meal, shower, laundry, clothing, haircut, some medical assistance etc. In average we have 40 visitors every day. Since March 2020 because of pandemic the center is open twice a week.

Oselya runs charity store but there are a lot of poor people in the city that cannot afford buying goods even at those low prices that we have. That is why once a month we give out clothing and goods in our store for free for the poorest people.

Since 2003 twice every Christmas and Easter companions organize feasts for a few hundred poor and homeless people. These are very family oriented holidays in Ukraine and we know that homeless people feel extremely lonely those days. That is why we want to welcome them and share with them food and friendship. Since 2008 we also started having Saint Nicholas at the food distribution with small gifts for the homeless.

WHO IS INVOLVED FROM OUR GROUP?

All companions of Oselya (appr. 25), all employees (10), volunteers (up to 10), homeless people who live in the streets, poor families.

WHICH PARTNERS ARE YOU WORKING WITH ON THIS INITIATIVE?

The local businesses and individual donors, volunteers, Lviv city municipality, Emmaus Europe (during the Covid pandemic).

Our solidarity initiatives have been evolving since the very beginning.
In 2003 we started Christmas and Easter feasts, and food distribution in the city center.

In 2008 we opened Social day center, as besides food we wanted to help homeless people and provide them with shower and laundry.

And when we started to have our own clothing containers in the city, we realized that we have enough clothing to share with poor families. So our solidarity initiatives grow accordingly our economic activities. The more income we generate the more social service we can provide to those next to us.

FUTURE PROSPECTS

To enhance the system of social support for homeless people.
By our own example to encourage more and more people to support those in need, to be solidarity with them.
The municipality has provided us with a rent of a new place for Social support center (the old one is only 40 sq.m), but it needs to be repaired.

SHARE YOUR PROGRESS AND THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THIS INITIATIVE

Thanks to our work hundreds of people receive assistance on regular basis.
The Social support center had 1587 visitors in 2019.
Our regular food distributions and different events organized for homeless people like Christmas or Easter help them not to feel lonely. They know that Emmaus – Oselya will always support them.

This year during the pandemic we provide them with hygiene supplies as well as with the information about COVID 19 and the places to receive medical assistance if needed. We are campaigning among local community to pay extra attention to homeless people and help them by all means as it is extremely difficult time for them.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD ANY INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR INITIATIVE?

Our solidarity initiatives are very encouraging for other people. We have had a lot of volunteers and donors. Couple of other organizations started to do food distribution themselves.

Recently we had a nice case that we would like to share. One lady from Lviv city called us and said she wants to celebrate her birthday by buying meals for the homeless. She bought the groceries, the companions cooked the soup that she helped to give it out in the city center together with us.

She shared that experience in the social media and many people followed her example and now we have almost every food distribution financed by the donors who celebrate their birthday this way.

WHAT ARE YOUR PROSPECTS?

We may be able to extend our solidarity initiatives if we extend our economic activities. To collect more goods we need better vehicles as the old ones break very often.

To improve our service, we need to repair the premises in Social support center or/and move to the bigger place, and do reconstruction there to be able to welcome homeless people there.

About

 2795

Initiative sponsors

Natalya Sanotska


Location

Lviv, Ukraine

Struggles

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