Новина

NGO “Responsible Citizens” 10 Years

On this day ten years ago, our organization, Responsible Citizens, was founded in Donetsk. To be precise, it was on June 10, 2014, when the four founders first met and decided to form an initiative group, which later became a fully-fledged organization a year later. The name “Responsible Citizens” was coined a bit later, on June 18.

What does this name signify? It means that a group of concerned citizens is ready to take responsibility for helping those in need. We are committed to doing this under any circumstances, even when facing opposition.

Over the past ten years, our organization has gone through various phases. From 2014 to 2016, we were the only organization advocating for the territorial integrity of Ukraine while operating in non-government-controlled areas. This was a period of heroism and daring volunteerism, where we fearlessly delivered aid to the most dangerous zones. From 2016 to 2018, working in government-controlled areas, we embarked on major projects in partnership with organizations like the World Food Programme, the International Organization for Migration, and others. Between 2018 and 2020, we began focusing on development projects aimed at youth and psychosocial programs for families with children.

Then came 2022, a year that changed everything. We could not stand by idly. For us, the period from 2022 to 2024 has been marked by large-scale aid programs, rapid organizational growth, and the launch of new activities. We took on new responsibilities to assist our people in these new circumstances.

Today, Responsible Citizens is a major partner in the implementation of international aid in Ukraine. Currently, we are managing projects with a total budget of 200 million hryvnias, operating in four regions: Donetsk, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Zaporizhzhia, while keeping Luhansk in our thoughts. Our activities extend beyond direct humanitarian aid to include psychosocial support for families with children and educational initiatives.

Our greatest asset is undoubtedly our people. Now, we are over 250 strong, and it is your daily work that makes our organization successful. Most of us are from the affected regions, so we understand the challenges the residents face. Many of our employees are internally displaced persons, and we take pride in not only helping others but also providing our staff with a dignified livelihood through noble work.

Your dedication literally saves lives. Therefore, my warmest words and best wishes are for you today. I hope you see our organization as a reliable support for yourselves and your families. We will always focus on developing our employees and be ready to assist in difficult times.

Special thanks go to our partners and donors, whose unwavering support enables us to continue our good work. UNICEF, World Vision International, and Mercy Corps provide us with immense support during these dark times for Ukraine. We highly value these relationships, which have evolved from professional to genuinely friendly partnerships over the years.

New horizons and new achievements lie ahead. Five years ago, when I wrote a similar letter, I dreamed that peace would come to our land within five years, allowing us to shift from emergency response projects to recovery and development. Sadly, that has not happened, and we must continue to help people survive. But I believe that one day, peace will come, and our organization will find a new role in restoring normalcy. We must start preparing for that now.

For now, we will do everything possible to fulfill our mission and vision – to ensure a dignified life for people in Eastern Ukraine.

Sincerely, Enrique Menendez
Co-founder of the Humanitarian Organization “Responsible Citizens”

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