Solidarity with Ukraine
In early April, Volodymyr Dzobak contacted ESU President An Hermans. The interest grew to get to know Mr. Dzobak and his organization better and so we took the opportunity to have him speak in our Executive Committee about the current situation in Ukraine and his warm appeal for solidarity.
Volodymyr Dzobak Profile: Chairman of the Council of the Ukrainian Association of Retired Persons (UARP), which has had “observer” status within the ESU. Mr. Dzobak was born in 1967 and grew up in the Rivne region of north-western Ukraine. Graduated in economics and history; worked for financial institutions and companies, actively participated in the establishment of the Ukrainian Association of Pensioners, which he has chaired from the beginning. Currently, he is very passionate about the charity organization: «Благодійний фонд громад «Добрі справи» operating locally in Ukraine helping the displaced war refugees.
The Ukrainian association UARP: UARP is a public organization founded on 30 June 2000 by citizens of Ukraine, both pensioners and people of pre-retirement age. According to its statutes on their website, the association is a voluntary, independent, impartial, and non-profit public organization, established to represent and protect the social, economic, creative, age-related, national, cultural, sporting, and other interests of pensioners. They also work together with the younger generation in planning for their future retirement. They also provide for the material and mental needs of persons of older age.
In 2006 former ESU President Worms and Secretary General Uhlenbruck have visited Ukraine and have had several meetings with representatives of UARP and Mr. Dzobak.
The following information is from their visit in 2006:
- UARP is a non-governmental, no-political-party-linked association; with national and regional structures;
- Focusing on improvement of income and living environment of retired persons; Social Welfare Initiatives: founding of several institutions to cover older persons’ problems (health assurance, financial credit, assistance, etc.);
- Cultural activities play an important role;
- Partnerships with several international organizations from different fields, which are listed on their website.
For more information about UARP:
– Check out their website: Ukrainian Association of Retired Persons (uarp.org) and Facebook (40.000 likes).
– On 3 May, we also had a meeting with Mr. Dzobak and got a better insight into his commitment and work in Ukraine, read a transcript of our video conference here.
Charity Organization “Community Charity Fund “Good Deeds”: This organization was established in 2018 and today it is very active in helping internally displaced Ukrainians that were forced to leave their houses due to the military aggression started by Russia in the form of material and moral support. «Благодійний фонд громад «Добрі справи» or freely translated good deeds’ is a volunteer organization that operates locally in Ukraine and tries to support and give hope to people in need. They also work together with local hospitals to provide them with medication and other supplies.
When we asked Mr. Dzobak how we could support him, there were three things he mentioned:
- The first and most important thing is the continuation of support for the policy of sanctions against Russia and the provision of aid to Ukraine, especially in the form of offensive weaponry. “Ukraine needs these to stop aggression and liberate its territory currently occupied by Russian troops. This will contribute to achieving peace in the European Union and to restoring Ukrainian territory within its internationally recognised borders. No humanitarian crisis can be resolved without a solution to its cause – in particular, a full-scale invasion launched by Russia on 24 February 2022.”
- Supporting their activities by offering assistance to displaced Ukrainians, as well as sharing contacts of (charity) organisations in the Member States that might be able to support the fledged Ukrainians and offer humanitarian aid. What is also crucial here is that it is important for the Ukrainian people to be able to communicate directly with the West, and especially with Europe, and to provide them with insight into the current humanitarian impact of the war. They want to raise awareness and build contacts in order to be heard.
- With regard to the main problem concerning the need for housing for internally displaced persons and those who suffered from military actions, such a large-scale problem cannot be solved on the basis of voluntary work alone. Still, Mr. Dzobak’s aid organisation is looking for contacts to develop this further.