Yuri Zykov: about the “Spilna sprava” and the association of IDPs
Like the vast majority of displaced persons, the Zykov family had to face not only the war and its horrors, but also feel the brunt of the hardships and hardships already in Ukraine-controlled territory in the city of Vinnytsia, where their large family had to move. Only now, through the lens of years spent in vain, does Mr. Yuri realize that by 2014 his life was indeed dim, and thank him for giving him the opportunity to do good things for the same displaced persons, for the people who lost everything, for good for life, for such people, as himself.
Mr. Yuri honestly admits that by 2014 he was far from any public affairs, and did not even think that he would ever get into the social sphere, nor did he imagine that his large family would have to face war, and moreover, to become those who are now called migrants. The Zykov family represented an ordinary hard-working Ukrainian family. Three children, a cozy home, a career at the mine are all that Mr. Yuri has taken care of and for the good. Working for a drain, a caring father realized that this was not enough for the proper provision of his family, so one day, upon seeing a job ad announcement at the technical school, he made no hesitation in studying, because priority was given to a better position, higher pay and social status. After completing his studies, Yuriy Zykov went to work as a mountain master, wages increased significantly, and life became more interesting.
“It seemed that what was happening to us cannot really happen, never with anyone. That can’t be true”
Like most Ukrainian families trying to escape as farthest from all the horror that struck their heads, the Zykov family had to leave their home after leaving for the city of Vinnytsia — the most comfortable, according to the family, city of Ukraine, to live in large family. A one-month vacation has been delayed. And for five years now, Vinnytsia has been the forced home of Mr Yuri, his beloved wife and children, who support a loving father and husband in the difficult moments of life, giving him the strength and strength to go forward and, now, work not only for the benefit of their large family, but also for the benefit of the dozens of Ukrainian families who, like them, became internally displaced.
After spending several months waiting for the opportunity to return home, Mr. Yuri decided that it was no longer possible to live up to hopes that could last an indefinite period of time. Therefore, without any work, and having experience in construction work, the man decided to make a living precisely by carrying out repairs and appropriate decoration of the premises. It lasted for about a year, until in 2015 Yuriy Zikov went to work for construction in the city of Kiev.
Tell me, Mr. Yuri, how did you get into the social sphere and become the chairman of the Public Organization “OP “Spilna sprava”?
You know, it just came when I looked around and saw the depressing reality in which not only my family but also hundreds of other IDPs families live. Although, according to television programs, displaced persons are the best place to live. The state is raising its shoulder to all, various social issues, housing issues are being addressed. But, in fact, I understood and saw with my own eyes that reality is the exact opposite of what we see on TV screens. I wanted to do something about it. However, at the same time, I was well aware that it would be very difficult and practically impossible to resolve certain issues on my own. That is why, in May 2015, the “Spilna sprava” was founded, founded by five indifferent people from different regions of Ukraine, whom we met in Avtomaydan. In fact, our NGO has strengthened its position thanks to the support of Vinnitsa region’s NGOs, such as “Dzherelo nadiyi”, “Harmoniya”, through which our organization has received additional tools for development and improvement.
«We have united, and this has, in fact, been a major step towards the creation of the Public Organization “OP “Spilna sprava”, which has taken us to a whole new level in addressing IDPs.»
In addition, you understand when you walk the corridors of power, breaking the thresholds of the offices of its authorized bodies as an individual, this is one thing. It is quite different when you are a representative of a public organization. Another attitude, another perception of the problem, so to speak. By the way, I remember how glad we were when the first hundred IDPs filled out our questionnaires, which we designed specifically for them. And thanks to our partners, including NGO «Harmoniya», in 2015, barely on our feet, we developed the project of the first budgetary financing of the Public Organization “OP “Spilna sprava and in 2016 received budget funding from the local government. It was a great joy, you don’t even imagine. Not only did we get funding, but also premises, with the support of Local Governments.
«Now I’m just going forward without looking back»
Public Organization “OP “Spilna sprava” has been running for four years, so tell me, Mr Yuri, what are the results of its work today?
First of all, our NGO was a member of the Public Council under the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons. In my opinion, for a non-governmental organization directly involved with displaced persons, this is a peak of activity when there is an opportunity to go directly to the decision-making center. To take, at least, a program of subventions, which existed only within a certain territory, and started operating throughout Ukraine, I believe that is our merit. Throughout the history of Public Organization “OP “Spilna sprava”, we support the idea that displaced persons are distributed throughout our country, therefore, assistance and support from grant organizations and the state should go in proportion to the number of migrants located in each of the regions of Ukraine. . Also, we have launched several programs in Vinnytsia region. This is a restructuring of the residential premises for internally displaced persons and the opening of a housing cooperative. Now, the question of allocation of land for this housing complex is being solved, on which we can build a house.
«We’ve done a lot of work with IDPs, bringing people together. About two and a half thousand beneficiaries registered with the “Spilna sprava”, also have a communication area to which they can apply at any time. «
80% of our humanitarian aid recipients are host communities. Thus, we are addressing the issue of integrating displaced persons into these host communities. We have established communication with local governments on issues related to internally displaced persons and their retirement benefits. If a displaced person is unable to resolve certain issues, he or she may seek help from our Community Organization and, as a result, seek consideration of the matter even at the Ministry level. For the sake of proper communication with the public, the site of the Public Organization “OP “Spilna sprava”, was created and operated, and we can also be found on Facebook, where people online can communicate and communicate with each other. At the same time, we support the development of small and medium-sized businesses located in the Vinnytsia region.
“In total, we have opened 11 separate units in 9 regions of Ukraine. After all, we want to scale our concept of communication and addressing displaced people, sharing with others our own experiences.”
In Ukraine, there are a large number of NGOs dealing with IDPs, and a significant number of them do not produce the desired results of their activities. So, tell me, Mr. Yuri, why is this happening, and what do you think you have, like the chairman of the Public Organization “OP “Spilna sprava”, what is missing from them?
In my opinion, this is primarily because each NGO has its own approach to solving a particular issue and its methods of work. Unfortunately, quite often, the personal factor and your own perception of what you do and for whom is playing a role here. It is unfortunate, but internal ambitions often ignore some public figures, but this is a purely personal factor. Also, I believe that in our case, the target population, in our case, internally displaced persons, should take care of people from the same environment, that is, the same displaced people who will be most motivated. Sometimes, you talk to some people and they say, «I understand you.» But, in fact, how can you understand me when I was a beggar in one day, without work, housing, in someone else’s aggressive environment. I came to Vinnytsia with one bag and three children torn from their comfortable conditions. And, standing somewhere at the crossroads, I realized that not only should we be held responsible for ourselves and our children, but we should also try to help others, such as myself, once deprived and deprived of their property, displaced persons who want not only to be called the Ukrainian people, but also to enjoy all the rights that are due to them under the laws of Ukraine. After all, as it turned out, in our country there is not only political will, but also the right to vote, which is a very important component in the process of communication with the authorities. Now, we displaced persons are undoubtedly limited in rights, so the main mission of our NGO is to restore these rights, and housing, in turn, is also a top priority that needs an immediate and urgent solution. It is impossible to live normally without these basic things.
“What is the situation? And the fact is that in our situation anyone can be. We are not to blame for visiting Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Could they come to Chernihiv or Sumy? Anyone can be in our place. And then what? Then we will forbid half of the Ukrainian population to vote, and how will we treat these people in general? Why, when there is a flood in the Carpathians, the Carpathian population does not reject the state, but, on the contrary, allocates adequate funds to the people because it is considered an emergency. The question is, there are two and a half million homeless people left in the country. After all, this is also an emergency”