It all started with collecting food for the soldiers in the ATO area.
Volunteers were sure that their campaign would push the government to more active work and did not think that it would drag on for months and not because of, but in spite of many things.
The movement has brought together about one hundred volunteers. Mostly, they are people of creative professions – journalists, artists, designers. There are wives of fighters who are now fighting in the ATO, there are mothers of many children, there are pensioners, there are entire families, many young people. Volunteers have faced new, more difficult tasks that they are trying to cope with through various activities: selling works of famous artists over the Internet, fundraising under the slogan "Drink the tea – warm a soldier."
Donation boxes of the Movement are located in several stores in Uzhgorod, some coffee shops, thus increasing the aid to soldiers.
– We have been delivering to the front not only food, but also warm clothing, camouflage cloaks, night vision devices and so on. We already know what collimator sights and night vision sights are. With the help of active Transcarpathians, we have bought and delivered two thermal imagers. As for the government, just a few months ago, soldiers would get from it only individual pots, flasks, Kalashnikovs, helmets of the Second World War period, – Galina says.
Interaction and cooperation between volunteers and government today is far from ideal. But latetly, Transcarpathian volunteers have been noting that the regional government has been actively interested in their problems, listening to them and taking into account the proposals based on practical experience of volunteers. The proof of this are not verbal promises of regional officials to "support and assist" during a recent meeting on the occasion of the Day of Volunteers, but real actions.
– It’s good that the government listened to what we say. We said that the soldiers on the front line needed a diesel generator. We did not have to wait long. Recently, our volunteers returned from the ATO zone – the generator is already at the destination. As to Uzhgorod city council, the relations have somewhat cooled down. I do not think there is some kind of "malice". We think this is due to the situation that has developed there.
Volunteers are not used to "ask" the authorities for anything. They resort to it only if it comes to the pinch. Thus, during the parliamentary election, they asked deputies and candidates for parliamentarians to help in acquiring 500 sets of uniform for soldiers who were sent to the ATO area. Deputies agreed.
– Maybe we should ask. But after we had heard several times: "This is not in my competence" in response, we realized that hatred for the officials would not help. Among the volunteers, there are many creative people, so we decided to make money ourselves. We produce badges, calendars, drinking water "Tears of a separatist" and much more.We sell all that during campaigns. Although the price of products is symbolic, but as they say, every little helps…
Another issue of concern is the issue of transparency. Volunteers are frequently asked, what exactly did they spend the collected funds for? In this regard, the Movement has clear answers. In a special notebook they keep records on every penny received and spent: how much, from whom, where and to whom.
– People trust us and they should be sure that we will not let them down.
Of course, a productive collaboration between volunteers and the government must reach a new level. We can not wait so long for effective resolution of important issues for all of us. You can "plug holes" with volunteer help, but it will help only some individuals. It will not change the situation radically.
– I dream of the day when the government, especially the Ministry of Defence will finally start working and assume full responsibility for the soldiers in the ATO area. And volunteers are always ready to help – Galina Yartseva summed up.
Source: Holos Karpat