Oct 25, 2022
Amid tragedy, perhaps nothing can lift someone’s spirits more powerfully than people who go out of their way to help others in need. In Ukraine, a growing band of 20-somethings is doing just that. They're lending their youthful energy to help people who’ve seen their homes and neighborhoods ruined by war.
The young people are part of Repair Together. The group is a network of volunteers who raise money to bus young workers around Ukraine. They help clean up and restore towns and villages damaged by the Russian assault.
“Volunteering in Ukraine — it's become a way of our everyday life,” says Roman Tarasiuk, 27. He lost his job at an education company at the outset of the war. “We all just want to feel useful.”
The effort began in the spring when a handful of friends came together to pitch in and help rebuild. But so many villages needed volunteers. So, they reached out to friends, who reached out to more friends. The network now has thousands of recruits.
"The scale of destruction is just so huge," says Marina Hrebinna, 34, one of the organizers.
66-year-old Hanna Yurchenko says she will be forever grateful for the help. Rockets hit her home on March 7. Her home was destroyed. The volunteers arrived to shovel debris and clean up the area for the home to be rebuilt.
"I'm retired, and I can't do this cleanup myself," she told NPR, her eyes welling up with tears. "I'm just so grateful for these kids."
Photo from Reuters.
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