I hate war. I hate those who initiate, support or do nothing to stop it.
My country is struggling from Russian aggression, and last February it came full scale to my own city of Kyiv.
A year ago, I was forced to flee from my own city with my wife and four grandchildren to escape the violence and death. My younger son joined the army to defend his family and the country, and every day we pray for him.
What has kept me reasonably balanced this whole year of war has been my Rotary service to others. I am very tired now, but I cannot allow myself to stop serving others in need, those suffering in more tragic and horrible situations than me.
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I am happy that we have been getting such strong support from all over the world, from many Rotarians, Rotary clubs and districts. It comes and comes and comes.
God bless all those Rotarians who are helping us here to survive, to struggle and defend our freedom to live as we want.
Rotary in Ukraine has selected as one of our big projects the small village of Moshchun, near Kyiv.
Moshchun is not mentioned as often by the international media as Mariupol, Bucha, Irpin or Hostomel, but it is an heroic village where the fighting was very intense, but where Russian troops were stopped from their goal of attacking and occupying Kyiv city.
More than 70% of the houses in Moschchun were completely or significantly destroyed.
When I visited Moshchun for the first time after the fighting, I saw an apocalyptic picture of ruins and ash. A dead village with just a few local people who were frustrated, lost, and with very little hope for the future.
My Rotary Club Kyiv-City started a project with the Rotary Club of Ivano-Frankivsk from western Ukraine and a local charity established with a mission of Moshchun’s recovery – ‘UA Dream fund’.
We have selected a reliable, local producer of modular homes, and decided that we will not create a separate camp of modular homes, but install each modular house at the plot of land of each family.
God bless all those Rotarians who are helping us here to survive, to struggle and defend our freedom to live as we want.”
This has saved time, side-stepped bureaucratic procedures to allocate the land, provide electricity and water, with families able to live on their own land and step-by-step build their own permanent house.
I am so proud and happy that with the support of Rotary districts, clubs and Rotarians from Great Britain & Ireland, and from many other countries, we have installed already 100 temporary modular houses allowing 300 people to survive on their own land, and rebuild their lives.
A quarter of these modular houses have been funded through Rotary GB&I. By helping to recover Moshchun village, we are showing a positive example to help to recover the whole of Ukraine!
Thank you, Rotarians from Great Britain & Ireland. Find out more about the Moshchun recovery project here.