Update - Debate Community: United for Ukraine

Update - Debate Community: United for Ukraine

In February 2022, we called for the international debate community to support the Ukrainian debate community. You responded with financial donations and direct offers of support, housing, and relocation help. Over 24.000,00 $ was gathered, and many former debaters offered their homes and local support to displaced Ukrainian debate community members.

This outpouring of compassion and goodwill allowed us to work with our member New Vision based in Dnipro and help them set up a robust support system for the local community and debaters.

We call on you to continue your support with donations or by registering to provide local support to refugees from Ukraine - HERE.

As we do that, we would like to share the news on New Vision's work and how the debate teachers, coaches, and organizers replaced their everyday debate work with newly needed community work.

New Vision intervention consists of three main directions:
  • Support members of the debate community in seeking safety or humanitarian aid.
  • Support for local institutions such as hospitals, children's homes, and smaller institutions in need of basic provisions, from blankets to food and medicine.
  • Support for internally displaced people housed in schools, arenas, and similar provisional accommodation around Dnipro.

We are proud to share with you the results of their work through the words of the head of New Vision, our friend Olena Zyma:

"Our activities are currently focused on individual support for crucial members of the debate community who have been forced to leave their homes. These are university professors, school teachers, our young coaches, and debaters. "

"We also help individual participants move from territories temporarily occupied by Russia. Thus, the debater Vlad from Berdyansk, who participated in our debate projects, ran away from his house under fire and survived 17 enemy checks while moving across the demarcation line. He successfully reached Vilnius, and our volunteers and the debate community from Lithuania (thanks to Virginia's help) helped him find a new home and enroll in an international school. We have many such stories."

They are also working on direct psycho-social support to internally displaced people and helping the community primarily deal with incredible amounts of stress and hardship surrounding them.

Workshops and straightforward advice on how to support a child and provide them with a sense of security and safety or exercises on self-regulating your psycho-emotional state are some of the interventions that replaced their regular debate club activities.

New Vision has already worked with supporting internally displaced people (IDP) in 2014, and they believe care for them will constitute the bulk of their future effort. The numbers of IDP's in Ukraine are vast, and many of them are living in adapted schools and sports facilities and need constant support.

"We plan to continue providing support to IDPs, because we received positive feedback from our participants during the events and the provision of humanitarian support. After analyzing the feedback from the participants, we believe that in war conditions, providing educational services for successful employment and adaptation of forced migrants to host communities is relevant. Internally displaced persons (IDPs), especially young people, have great potential for development and recovery, and can be adapted to local communities and thereby strengthen it."

Hopefully, New Vision will be back in debate clubs and tournaments in the near future, and in the meantime, we call on your support.

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