They are from 19 to 26 years old. They seek change in the city and the country, act modern and respond quickly to challenges. The very next day after the Russian invasion, the youth created the Humanitarian Center, which is today the most effective in the region. Already on February 27, they sent the first truck with seven tons of aid to the residents of Velyka Novoselivka. That is, three days after the start of full-scale war! Young people began to unite, look for ways to attract help, and establish cooperation with charities, international foundations, and public figures. Now the aid is being transported to the hottest spots in the region.
The young volunteers managed to quickly build a full-fledged logistics chain: finding a source of humanitarian aid — organizing the transportation of goods — delivering aid to those who need it. Even those organizations that did not want to cooperate with local authorities quickly began to trust Pokrovsk youth.
Today, the team consists of more than ten people who have been working at the Humanitarian Center every day for three months now. These are entrepreneurs, future teachers, politicians, miners, and others.
All the processes are set up like a Swiss watch: a truck arrives, everyone is lined up and in a few minutes they unload tons of help and sort it at once. Then some take aid to the front line, others load the cars of those who came for help, and others collect information on local needs. They work harmoniously and together for one goal — to win.
IhorIhor, 21 y.o., It entrepreneur
Before the war, Ihor had his own courses for children, where he taught 3D modeling and the basics of IT. He wanted to develop and be useful in Pokrovsk, he did not understand why the local authorities were not doing enough to keep young people and involve them in the development of the city. And when the war began, he did not expect anything from anyone but simply began to act.
— At first I, like many, was shocked. I couldn't believe it was happening. And in the evening together with friends decided not to sit still — we went to buy food and medicine, and took them to the humanitarian aid collection point. On the third day of the war, we began printing patriotic keychains on a 3D printer, selling them, and sending margins to support the Armed Forces.
Today, Ihor's main efforts are focused on work at the Humanitarian Center — he is looking for donors, logistics, and organizational issues. And also participates in the delivery of aid. As a true IT specialist, he has a rational view of the problems that need to be solved, finds an effective solution, and involves a modern approach.
DmytroDmytro, 19 y.o., student
Today, he confidently drives a car traveling with humanitarian aid on the contact line. He understands that it can be dangerous, but the will to help and be useful is more important. Dmytro is studying at Kharkiv University in the field of hotel and restaurant business. At the end of February, he was going to the University, but stayed in the city and is now one of the members of the volunteer team with his friends.
— I feel happy when I can go and bring help to those who need it the most. By the way, not all drivers from other regions agree to take the humanitarian aid to Donetsk oblast. They say: «We will deliver it to Pavlohrad (Dnipropetrovsk oblast), and then it’s up to you.» They are afraid to come here. That's why we found a way out — set up a temporary warehouse in Dnipropetrovsk oblast and found brave drivers who help us bring cargo to the front line.
The guy still can't understand what Russia was guided by when decided to invade Ukraine. Dmytro was born in an independent state, and the ideas of the Soviet Union are strange to him. The full-scale war contributed to the fact that the boy does not communicate with Russian relatives.
MaksymMaksym, 26 y.o., initiator of the Humanitarian Center
The active youth of Pokrovsk united around him. Maksym has always been driven by the desire for change. Before the war, together with other ultras of the Shakhtar football club organized annual charity events for children. He set up the production of patriotic T-shirts in support of Donetsk oblast after the 2014 occupation. He dreamed of the modern development of his native Pokrovsk and was convinced that action must be taken to achieve change — so he became the youngest representative of the Pokrovsk Executive Committee. But after understanding how local politics is arranged, he took off his pink glasses. When the war broke out, he realized that there was no time for long procedures, for pulling the strings between different political forces in the City Council.
He simply started collecting humanitarian aid from the first day of the full-scale Russian invasion. A day or two later, Ihor, Dmytro, and other young people from Pokrovsk joined him. The Humanitarian Center began to develop rapidly. By the way, the youth did not receive any offers of help from the local authorities, only a few leaders responded and kept in touch with the volunteers.
— I do it like an ordinary person, — Maksym says. — We do everything ourselves. Once there was an attempt to cooperate with the city authorities — we asked for a truck to deliver the goods. I was told: «Maks, he will be unloaded somewhere, you grab this driver immediately and don't let him go, because he will leave.» I was surprised — why the city administration can not give specific instructions to the driver on specific actions? What kind of organization is this? Why run and catch this driver who has certain responsibilities? This attitude did not suit us, because we did everything clearly, and planned. Then the farmers helped us: we asked and they provided a truck that arrived at a specific time and a specific place and the cargo immediately went to its destination.
It is a different approach, a modern view of the organization of action and resolution of issues allowed young people to build a successful work of the Humanitarian Center.
— You know, young people are completely different. They look at everything differently, they do things differently. Unlike the generation of the 90's, today's young people see beyond their noses and approach the case with creativity. Everyone learns quickly, gains experience, and applies it immediately. It is interesting for them not to earn money, but to achieve the result. They are united by love for their region and a real desire to change life in it. And today the most important thing is our victory in this war.
In 2.5 months, the Humanitarian Center team has helped thousands of Donetsk oblast residents and defenders. Young people have proven that they can be effective in solving complex issues and organizing important processes. Such actions today help the country overcome the difficulties during the war and give hope for a new stage in the development of society.