Our first half a year

Just half a year since the establishment of the NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association” (hereinafter also – UDA); yet a lot of events took place in the organization’s life. This publication will describe some events that, in the opinion of the editorial board, were important steps in the development of the UDA.

 

On November

29-30, 2018, representatives of the NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association” took part in the 7th Civil Society Organizational Development Forum. Participation in the Forum has become a significant step for the UDA to establish links and exchange experiences in the field of organizational development and non-governmental organizations. In total, the Forum has become more than 2,000 representatives of public and charitable organizations, executive and local government bodies, social business, donors and the media. Significantly, the public community learned about the newly created organization in the sphere of mine action – NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association”.

December 12, 2018, became an important event for NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association”. At the conference hall on Khreshchatyk, Kyiv, the General Meeting of the organization was held, where a number of key issues of the development of the UDA were resolved:

elected head of the directions of activity;

elected members and head of the Supervisory Board of the UDA.

In addition, the UDA discussed plans for the near future and members of the organization were able to get to know each other more closely. Despite the fact that almost all of the members of the UDA represent one community – deminers, some have not seen each other for many years. New m

embers of the organization were solemnly presented with greetings.

An important step in the life of the organization was the participation of the NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association” in a meeting organized by the UNDP Mine Action sub-cluster, which took place at the UN House in Ukraine. The meeting was held in a wide format, in particular, were representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Ministry for the Temporary Occupied Territories, the State Service for Special Transport, the international organizations Halo Trust, DDG, FSD, the Geneva International Center of Humanitarian Demining, the Red Cross, the SMM OSCE, PCU OSCE, Demining Solutions company, various UNDP clusters, US and UK embassies, and others.

MP Ivan Vynyk introduced the Law on Mine Action in Ukraine, which was the main issue of the meeting. Accordingly, the first of all, two bodies will be set up: the regulatory body, i.e. the

National Authority of Mine Action, and the operational body, i.e. the Mine Action Center (MAC).

During the consideration of the last meeting, Executive Director of the organization Timur Pistriyha presented to all participants of the meeting the newly formed NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association”, the purpose of the creation, its goals and objectives. It should be noted, that the participants of the meeting showed a huge interest in the UDA.

The UDA is a permanent member of the UNDP Mine Action sub-cluster meeting.

During the Executive Board meeting of the UDA were made a number of important decisions:

Regional Representation of NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association” was established in Chernihiv region and the head of the representative office was elected – Sergey Bilevych. Today, the Regional Representation of NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association” in Chernihiv region has 7 people.

Expanded Expert Board of NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association” due to the admission of experts to Kalachev Denis. Denis Kalachev was elected an Organization Development Expert.

At the beginning of 2019, the NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association” began its grant history. As practice shows, organizations pursuing high-level goals and complex tasks begin with strategic planning. It is logical that the first winning grant of the UDA was from the  Civil Society Organization “The Initiative Center to Support Social Action “Ednannia” (under USAID Ukraine) on conducting training on strategic planning.

So, on February 4-6, 2019, training on strategic planning was held, which was attended by members of the UDA. The training was in the spirit of a friendly team atmosphere. Thanks to the common energy, it worked easily, giving birth to interesting creative ideas.

The Association’s assets became familiar with the strategic planning principles. The mission and vision of the organization, the values outlined and the main principles of its work were worked out. It was very interesting to work out the challenges facing the UDA, its target audience and the country as a whole. Analysis of the problems showed the most proper ways to solve them.

Issues of cooperation and communication with all partners and stakeholders were also discussed in the direction of a common goal. The issue is the life and health of our citizens in the East of Ukraine, the safety of deminers in their hard work to liberate the territories from mines&explosive remnants of war.

The result of the training is the development of a strategic plan for 3 years and an annual operational plan with work tasks and indicators for Monitoring and Evaluation.

Since its inception, representatives of the NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association” have been actively involved in the activities organized within the framework of the Mine Action in Ukraine.

In this context, one of the important events was the March 14 round table under the PCU OSCE in Severodonetsk, Lugansk region. In addition, to the traditional participants in such events (the Ministry of the Temporary Occupied Territories, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, the MoD, the State Special Transport Service, the international organizations Halo Trust, DDG, FSD, the Red Cross, OSCE SMM, OSCE PCU), delegations from the Croatia and Slovakia Embassies in Ukraine headed by Ambassadors of both countries, OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine Henrik Villadsen, as well as representatives of the Lugansk Regional State Administration. The UDA was represented by Head of the Supervisory Board Vasyl Kvashuk and Executive Director Tymur Pistriuha.

In general, the negotiations were active and productive. The main issues were: implementation the Law of Ukraine “On Mine Action”, which was entrusted to the Ministry for Temporary Occupied Territories and improved interaction with local authorities in the field of MA. Representatives of the UDA took an active stand, expressed the organization’s vision and proposals for improving the implementation of the law. The Head of the Supervisory Board addressed the most problematic issues in the context of the implementation of the law.

On March 15 (Severodonetsk), a sub-cluster meeting took place in a narrower format, yet no less productive. One of the main issues discussed was the organization and conduct of the International Mine Awareness Day. In addition, the Executive Director of the UDA presented to the participants a pilot project of the organization on implementation of the Law “On Mine Action” in terms of practical adaption. It should be noted, that the project was very interested in the negotiators. The participants agreed to discuss the project in more detail on arrival in Kyiv.

April 4, officially proclaimed International Mine Awareness Day by the International Mine Hazard and Mine Action Day. Until recently, Ukrainians did not even have such a day and for what it is necessary at all. But, unfortunately, for today Ukraine has become the three countries of the world with a mines problem. Ukrainians continue to die from mines and explosive the remnants of war, and the armed conflict in the East of Ukraine continues. Therefore, the relevance of holding this day in Ukraine speaks for itself.

In 2019, the International Mine Awareness Day was held in three cities of Ukraine: Kyiv, Severodonetsk and Mariupol.

This year, the NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association” took an active part in organizing and conducting the International Mine Awareness Day. The decision was made to conduct it in Mariupol, in front of the city, and not in Kyiv, because people there need more information about the mine danger than in any other city not in the eastern part of Ukraine.

The UDA was one of the most active participants of the International Mine Awareness Day in Mariupol. The deminers demonstrated tools and equipment for demining. Local peoples have attracted special interest in a special vehicle for the transport of EOD (Volkswagen Amarok EXII). Also, an emergency rescue car was interested in children.

The International Mine Awareness Day in Mariupol ended by the mine risk education(MRE) with the children of local schools. The class was conducted by a high-class MRE instructor Serhiy Chutkiy, a member of the Executive Board of the UDA. For each listener, Sergey personally handed the Diploma, which was usually an additional joy for the children.

It should be noted that all the equipment and equipment used by the deminers of the UDA was provided by the Ukrainian demining company “Demining Solutions LLC”. For that, we express our sincere gratitude to owners and company management!

Over the past period, the UDA was actively replenished by new members. As of today, the NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association” has 59 active members of the organization almost from all regions (oblast) of Ukraine.

In addition to an increase in the total number, in March-April three more regional representative offices were set up, namely in Lviv, Khmelnytskiy and Lugansk regions, that is, in general, we already have four regional representations in Ukraine.

In order to achieve its goals and resolve certain tasks, the NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association” is active in expanding its partnership with profile organizations. Cooperation with affiliated organizations is one of the main areas of work of the NGO “UDA”.

Based on the national interests of Ukraine, first of all, in the field of anti-mine activity, humanistic values, community of programs, strategic directions and missions of the NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association”, a number of important steps have been taken in the past to cooperate with civil society organizations, and Memorandums of Cooperation have been concluded, namely:

February 14 – with the “Association of Ukrainian Defense Manufacturers ”

April 4 – with the “Society of the Red Cross of Ukraine”

April 16 – with the NGO “All-Ukrainian Association of ATO Participants and Combat Operations, Veterans and Armed Forces of Ukraine’s Engineering Forces “FORTETSYA”

NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association” always complies with its partnership obligations and will continue to pursue a policy of active cooperation with profiled national and international organizations.

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