Communication and IDPs
Partners provided small stipends to news outlets supporting creation of 308 media reports (31 radio, 81 print, 89 TV and 107 online), reaching an audience of 2.2 million people. News reports included topics on freedom of movement in conflict zones, general access to information and housing problems faced by IDPs, particularly disabled individuals.
A project partner conducted roundtables in eight Ukrainian cities hosting large numbers of IDPs and helped arrange dialogue among IDPs, NGO activists and local government authorities. Roundtables in Odessa and Zhytomyr resulted in initiatives to establish NGOs to protect IDP rights at the local level.
An expert in conflict journalism trained 122 journalists from eastern Ukraine in reporting techniques that promote tolerance, understanding and rights of people affected by the Donbas conflict.
The project’s Humanitarian Liaison Officer established the “Communicating with Communities” network for humanitarian organizations. The network is an information-sharing initiative that provided 86 trainings and individual consultations for 260 NGO representatives.
The Center for Research on Donbas Social Perspectives – with support from U-Media – developed an information section for IDPs on its OstroV website. The project targeted IDPs and government agencies in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are affected by the Donbas conflict’s humanitarian crisis. For the U-Media project, the Center produced more than 400 news reports and 41 analytical articles on the website covering all aspects of Ukraine’s ongoing IDP challenges; more than 60 online pieces of legal advice to IDPs via a “Legal Assistance” section; three online news conferences to publicize IDP challenges; and, the weekly Occupation radio program on the national Ukrainian radio network.
An ongoing series of documentaries, titled The Displaced, was created and broadcast by newly-created public broadcasting channel UA:Pershy. Each documentary film tells a story of an individual IDP, chronicling their unique story and challenges, struggles and successes as they make a place for themselves in their new Ukrainian communities. By putting faces to the IDP crisis in Ukraine, rather than focusing on politics, the films illustrate universality of individual stories and encourage greater community acceptance.
Another set of documentary films, The Return, supported by U-Media and the USAID, was produced in cooperation with local Ukrainian NGO, Free People Employment Center (FPEC). FPEC works with veterans and volunteers adapting to life after they return from war. The four films in the series follow individuals who suffered physical and mental damage as a result of the ongoing conflict. The films paint a moving, uplifting portrait of individuals working to rebuild their lives and stay optimistic in the face of daunting challenges.
These films serve two primary purposes: Sharing stories of people whose lives were irrevocably impacted by the Donbas war and educating citizens on IDPs’ unique issues. Surveys and reports show some Ukrainian communities are wary of IDPs, considering them a burden while holding prejudiced, hostile attitudes. Project documentaries like The Displaced and The Return help break stereotypes and promote greater empathy and cooperation in communities hosting IDPs.
The Displaced can be accessed online via <https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9aDK_7u4r7fCMPQ3dnzHwmOUWtXlj-bo> UA: Pershyy; and, The Return via YouTube