A full-scale war with the Russian Federation has become a great challenge for the Ukrainian society. The open invasion by the Russians has undermined all preliminary plans and projects of citizens and civil society organizations alike. Despite this, Ukrainian civil society organizations (CSOs) began to quickly adapt their activities in order to assume their role in bringing Ukraine’s victory closer.
In addition to running more than 10 advocacy campaigns within the Platform for the changes envisioned in the Legal Reforms Roadmap for CSOs, the co-initiators of the Legal Reforms Roadmap for CSOs have become some of the real leaders in helping volunteers, IDPs, military and civilians. It is important to note that the organizations have been working all this time under the conditions where some team members are in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Territorial Defense Forces, and the National Guard of Ukraine, while others spend a significant part of their time volunteering to support the country’s defense capabilities.
Read more on what individual Platform co-organizers are doing now and how they are of assistance to Ukraine in wartime.
You can support the organizations financially or get involved in their wartime activities in ways listed on their websites.
Initiative Center to Support Social Action Ednannia
The organization holds grant contests for the civil society organizations, informs them about tax issues arising during the war and mobilizes international partners for financial assistance to Ukraine. A separate area of work is the organizational development of CSOs, for this purpose organizational development grants are provided for NGOs and charitable organizations every month, and training webinars are held on various organizational development topics (fundraising, management, public communications, etc.).
UCIPR carries out monitoring and legal assessment of legislative changes affecting the activities of CSOs under martial law. In consultation with stakeholders, it develops draft regulations to improve the legal environment for the public sector activities. The organization develops tax incentives for charitable activities, tools for public participation in decision-making, expands access to public funds, and improves registration procedures for CSOs. To raise awareness of the new legislation, the CSO publishes legal clarifications and informs about important changes in the tax system and rules for importing humanitarian aid.
The organization operates a permanent hotline for the public sector and advises on the registration of NGOs/charitable organizations, obtaining signs of a not-for-profit organization, declaring humanitarian aid, CSOs and charitable activities taxation, reporting and mechanisms of interaction with the authorities in wartime. In partnership with the Ukrainian People’s House in Chernivtsi, it created an anti-crisis hub that provides shelter, technical and organizational support, and legal assistance to the NGOs evacuated from the places of hostilities.
Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law (CEDEM)
CEDEM provides analysis and clarification of current legal issues in Ukraine and proceedings in the international courts accompanying the war in Ukraine. It publishes information on important legal updates in Ukraine and safety tips for activists, volunteers and CSO leaders, provides legal advice to CSOs and initiative groups on the specifics of registering public or charitable associations. CEDEM has held a number of workshops to beat burnout among the CSO leaders and volunteers in wartime, as well as a series of trainings on physical, cyber and psychological safety of activists. It develops and advocates for regulatory legal acts, among other things, for the implementation of a percentage tax designation mechanism and support for volunteering. CEDEM also provides legal and informational support for the media in the wartime.
Consortium of three organizations
ISAR Ednannia, UCIPR, and CEDEM, in cooperation with the stakeholders, are developing draft regulatory legal acts that improve the legal environment for CSOs. The Consortium supports the implementation of the National Strategy for Promoting Civil Society Development in Ukraine for 2021-2026 and participates in the working groups of the Secretariat of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
The focus of the organization’s activities: humanitarian aid to Ukrainians affected by the war. The organization delivers humanitarian goods from Caritas organizations in other countries. It provides psychological support, food, hygiene products, medicines and other basic necessities to the internally displaced people. According to the estimates of Caritas Ukraine, as of May 8, the organization has helped more than 890 thousand people.
ZMINA Human Rights Center
It is documenting and covering war crimes, enforced disappearances of activists committed during Russian armed aggression. It prepares and publishes guidelines and materials that can help citizens keep themselves safe from the occupiers. It is actively participating in the activities of the coalition to document war crimes Ukraine. 5 AM Coalition.
Women’s Anti-Corruption Movement NGO
It reports on the important events in Khmelnytskyi Region, participates in blocking Russian accounts and communication channels. The team joins volunteer communities and helps them. They are also launching a humanitarian line of work.
PLAST – National Scout Organization of Ukraine
It continues to participate in the preparation of regulations in the area of volunteering. It delivers medical supplies and equipment to the military. It helps Plast participants: organizes aid for the wounded and the military. It has deployed a wide network of volunteer headquarters. It has launched a fundraising campaign to support two thousand Ukrainian soldiers.
Together with other organizations, they established the “Humanitarian Association for Ukraine”, which provides medical and psychological assistance to people in the Kherson, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy Regions. About 400 volunteers / Plast members are fighting as part of the Defense Forces of Ukraine, therefore Plast provides targeted assistance and delivers equipment to Plast members and members of their units according to their needs, as well as supplies equipment to the dozens of humanitarian headquarters in Ukraine and the EU.
Odesa Institute of Social Technologies
In cooperation with other organizations, the Institute monitors and identifies people in the Odesa Region who are most in need of help in wartime. Over the course of two months, about 170 people were provided with assistance totaling over UAH 300,000. In addition, the organization members are engaged in the organizing humanitarian assistance to displaced persons and other categories affected by the war.
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
The UHHRU is a co-organizer of the coalition “Breaking the Vicious Circle of Russia’s Impunity for Its War Crimes” (also known as “Tribunal for Putin”), and also participates in the work of the coalition to document war crimes: Ukraine. 5 AM Coalition. It provides pro bono legal assistance to the victims of human rights violations through a network of public offices across the country (there are already more than 20 offices now). It implements awareness campaign to share knowledge about international humanitarian law and international human rights law. It performs general monitoring of the situation with the human rights and promotes them in society.
Ukrainian Volunteer Service
It coordinates various volunteers: it builds a database of motor volunteers, verified equipment suppliers. The UVS provides information on “green corridors”, organizes the delivery of food. It collects charitable donations for humanitarian aid and military assistance. It launched a mini-grant competition for the targeted assistance to volunteers.
They created @VolunteersHotlineBot Telegram bot to build collaboration between those who need help and those who can provide it.
Reanimation Package of Reforms Coalition
After the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the RPR Coalition reformatted its work focusing on the following areas:
1) Organizing humanitarian aid (supporting a network of regional coalition partners in obtaining resources from major donor organizations).
3) International communication, including Transatlantic Task Force for Ukraine events – delivering important messages to the foreign partners of Ukraine regarding necessary support (through publications and events with Ukrainian and foreign officials).
4) Organizing emergency training for psychologists and psychotherapists on the methods of overcoming trauma, stress and providing emergency psychological assistance to people in a state of shock.
Centre of Policy and Legal Reform
It continues to implement all the projects that it had before the aggressor’s invasion on February 24. It provides clarification on legal issues that citizens may have during the wartime. It monitors current draft laws, develops proposals for the state policy on IDPs and other policies.
Since late April, it has been negotiating new projects and research related to the development of public policy in the new context of war and post-war reconstruction. Some of these projects will be implemented by the Centre on a volunteer basis.
International Renaissance Foundation
The International Renaissance Foundation is now focusing its activities on supporting volunteer communities, as well as providing humanitarian aid, both through local initiatives and by directly purchasing aid for hospitals, shelters, etc.
The Foundation collects and systematizes evidence of war crimes committed by the Russian Federation and assists journalists and volunteer groups who counteract hostile propaganda. The organization also provides support by promoting the safety of community organizations, volunteers, and activists.
Center for Civil Liberties
It provides advice and information support on documenting war crimes. It works on the creation, distribution of statements to the international communities and representatives of Ukrainian authorities concerning the war in Ukraine, ensures the collection of signatures under them and sends them to the addressees.
It documents war crimes and works with various structures at the UN, the Council of Europe, OSCE, the EU and the International Criminal Court to bring perpetrators to justice. It coordinates the work of the Euromaidan SOS initiative, which has brought together several hundred volunteers to collect testimonies and other facts of human rights violations, advises people on various needs during the war, carries out international advocacy and awareness raising work.
The organization debunks Russian fakes and disinformation about the war, compiles Ukraine’s most comprehensive database of disinformation refutation and produces text, audio and video content for various audiences. Detector Media also monitors and analyzes everything that is going on in the media space of Ukraine during the war, makes efforts to establish a dialogue between the authorities, society and the media community, talks about the media projects useful for citizens, etc.
It publishes news related to the war and the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. It has established a legal assistance hotline for the people affected by the war. It provides assistance to volunteers and IDPs, publishes stories of volunteers.
CrimeaSOS has launched a project to interview internally displaced persons.
This material was prepared as part of the Project Ukraine Civil Society Sectoral Support Activity implemented by the Initiative Center to Support Social Action “Ednannia” in partnership with the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR) and Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law (CEDEM) with the sincere support of the American people through United States Agency for International Development.