SOCMED International Program in Ukraine

At the end of April, International Program Director SOCMED, Maria Vitagliano visited Ukraine with her planned working trip. Besides coordination and assessment of the activities, the Program Director foremost dedicated her trip to the anniversary of the Chernobyl accident.

Together with the Green Cross Team Maria Vitagliano took part in the events to commemorate the Chernobyl accident, which took place in the town of Slavutich. The Program Director gave interviews for local television, met with families and children and together visited the Chernobyl museum. Also she met with representatives of the city council, liquidators of the Chernobyl accident. Also she got acquainted with the participants of the ecological conference and communicated to the organizers. Together with the GCU Executive Director Yuriy Sapiga and regional project coordinators Elena Germanovich and Tatiana Boyko, as well as with the Mayor of Slavutich, Yuriy Fomichev and ex-Mayor Vladimir Udovichenko she laid flowers at the memorial and so that to express her solidarity and commitment in solving the problems associated with the consequences of the nuclear catastrophe.

During her working visit to the Mother and Child Club in the Chernihiv region, Maria Vitagliano visited the school in the village of Repki, where Green Cross provides help to the families affected by the Chernobyl disaster and living in the Chernobyl 3-4 areas. There was a meeting with the head of the school Sergey Lebedko, as well as with the teaching staff. The main achievements of the school were discussed, which became possible thanks to the assistance in the framework of the SOCMED Program in Ukraine. In addition, they spoke in detail about the pressing problems, the urgency of new projects and further cooperation. The children of the school prepared a program dedicated to the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and a small concert. A meeting with members of the Mother and Child Club took place, which ended up with photo session.

In the days that followed, Maria Vitagliano visited the office of Green Cross Ukraine and held a number of meetings in Kiev. Negotiations were held with the director of the National Ecology and Nature Center, Vice President of GCU Vladimir Verbitsky on the possibility to develop partnership and cooperation in the future.

In Kiev, the meeting was also held with the Mayor of Slavutich, Yuriy Fomichev, where new areas of work and opportunities for strengthening the SOCMED activities in the region were discussed. Y. Fomichev spoke about the complexities and problems of the city faced by families, and thanked Maria Vitagliano for the help that is provided to the city and expressed his hope for further cooperation and assistance to people and especially children in the framework of the SOCMED Program, and with hope wished to successfully develop new projects and Green Cross activities.

At the end of her visit Maria Vitagliano visited the city of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky, the Mother and Child Club, and also participated in the official opening of the first ecotrail in the territory of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky region. Together with the representatives of the regional administration and village councils, the Program Director went through the main attractions of the tourist ecological path, and solemnly opened a new eco-path and cut the ribbon and thereby commenced number of new environmental projects. Afterwards a concert was organized, where letters of thanks and gratitude were given for volunteers, schoolchildren and everyone who took part in clearing the territory. The most active participants received prizes and tickets for summer camps. Maria Vitagliano delivered a speech for all those involved and thanked for the opportunity so she could take part in the significant event. Later she gave an interview for local television.

Green Cross directs its efforts to help affected families and children who live in the territories contaminated by the Chernobyl accident in Ukraine. Thanks to the support of international donors and close cooperation with Green Cross of Switzerland (GCCH), assistance has been provided for many years to the most vulnerable segments of the population, children, mothers and large families with low income.

"Many of the problems faced by the population remain unresolved, require further attention, commitment and involvement of many parties in the future", said Maria Vitagliano, International Program Director Social and Medical Care.

GCU

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