Kherson Initiative 

In late February 2022 the Russian Army started to deploy missiles and bombs in Kherson. Despite the valiant efforts of the local population and Ukrainian army in late April 2022 the Russian-army took control. In December 2022 the brave Ukrainian forces and civilians pushed the Russian army out of the main city on to the east/left bank of the Dnipro river. This put most of Kherson back into Ukrainian control but the Russians continued to bomb the city and area from their left bank position. Life in Kherson city and the area continues to suffer the uncertainty of when bombs will land along with trying to rebuild their city following its destruction and looting when the Russian troops left. 
Through a contact we have known for over 20 years and through a local minister we are able to provide weekly support for some people in greatest need (including those who have been bombed out of their houses). In addition we support a Cooks project where the local community buy food and cook each day to support orphans, those in hospital as well as emergency service workers. 
Due to our local contacts and effective way of working, there are many times when we are able to continue operating where other aid agencies and charities, including the UN, are not able to. 
Please see the link here to the latest photos and videos from the Kherson area. 

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News & Information 

21/2/24 As another month rolls by, we continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in the Kherson region of Ukraine - an area that has been under continued daily and relentless attack. 
Oleksandr Prokudin, posted on social media today that the city of Kherson had been subject to 27 individual shelling attacks in the last 24 hours. 27 attacks in 24 hours... it's hard to imagine... and yet this is the reality for the people of Ukraine.  
However, it is beautiful to witness and play a part in the rebuilding of family homes - by funding employment for tradesmen as part of the Kherson roofing rebuild, that would otherwise be unable to earn and also funding the foundations for pre-fabriacted small houses where original homes were beyond repair. 
8/1/24 The New Year brings little new hope to the people of Kherson. We continue to have regular contact with our key contacts and the rocket attacks continue daily.  
We are still able to provide funds for our projects to allow essential food to be delivered regularly to those in most need. Our contacts in Kherson continue to identify those who are struggling, whether it is young families or older people. Jobs are almost impossible to find and many are finding it hard to get money for the basic essentials for day to day living. Your money allows us to provide this on going help and makes a massive difference to those who find daily life a struggle. 
Your money also allows us to continue our support for the repairs to war damaged houses of those who cannot do the repairs themselves. The government provides the materials but there are few men around to do the actual work. We are continuing to fund the pastor's initiave to pay for some of the men to carry out this work, providing them with an income to support their families that they would not have otherwise. 
This project is vital to help prepare for the harsh weather that is now on the region and we are ramping up our efforts to get as many repairs done as possible before the worst of the winter comes in February and March. 
There are now over 20 homes that have been made liveable again in the villages we have been working in. With your generosity we have been able to add the villages of Kyselivka and Blahodatne as well as some more homes in Kherson city itself. 
We are constantly getting messages via our main contacts from those who you have helped. They are so grateful and often are in tears knowing the love and support we continue to give. 
Please go to our "How Can You Help?" page to provide any support you can. Please also point friends, family or anyone you think may want to support our efforts. 
Wishing all who are reading this a blessed and peaceful new year. Thank you to all those who have helped in so many ways over the last few years. Let's work together to achieve even more in the year ahead. 
26/12/23 Christmas in Kherson saw little to celebrate. Over the last few weeks the number of rocket attacks and drone strikes has increased significantly often with 60 attacks each day. 
Houses continue to be badly damaged and need repair. Your help is enabling this work to continue but we need to increase our efforts, especially for those who are unable to do any repairs themselves i.e. young families with fathers away fighting, pensioners, and homes where men have returned from the fighting and are badly injured and cannot do any repairs. 
On Christmas Day the pastor in the church in one of the villages had to stop the service as a rocket attack started and meant it was too dangerous to continue. He spoke to us a few days later to tell us this news and how difficult daily life has become. Without the financial help from UCP many of the people in Kherson and the surrounding regions would be facing even more desparation this Christmas time. 
Along with this financial help, your support demonstrates a care and love that helps sustain and encourage many of those in Kherson. They send their thanks to you all for not forgetting them, it means so much to them in these desperate times. 
15/11/23 Here is some more information about the project to weather proof some buildings to make them habitable during the winter. We need your help to get more funds to support this initiative and help as many people as we can in the few months before winter sets in. This is a call to action. 
The initiative was started by one of our main contacts, a Pastor in the region. The pilot project has ensured we have a robust plan to start a programme that will have a significant impact.  
The pastor is leading the programme which will help the most disadvantaged people in his community to prepare their war-damaged houses for the winter. 
Since the pilot project has finished, eight more houses have been made liveable: 
4 in Chornobaivka 
4 in Posad-Pokrovske (former frontline village) 
The materials needed to repair windows and rooves etc are provided by the local government but there is no labour provided. 
With your help we are funding local men, who have no other work, to help those who do not have anyone to do their rebuilding i.e. elderly, mothers with young families etc. 
The more money we can raise now the more people will have the chance of surviving the winter. 
31/10/23 Despite the UK news not reporting much from the conflict things are getting worse as the Russian are sending an increasing number of shells and other missiles into Kherson. 
Today, Kherson and the region remain a war zone: 
The city is constantly attacked – now often with glide bombs. People are choosing to sleep in the corridors, to increase their chances of survival, if their houses are hit. 
Those who have stayed in the region are still struggling to find work: the few existing companies are increasingly closing, as it is too dangerous to operate in the city. 
With winter approaching the outlook is bleak and we are on a push to raise as much money as we can to help prepare for the cold winter alongside our normal support for the people of Kherson. 
Following a successful pilot project we are now setting up a regular programme to support the rebuilding of bomb and flood damaged houses to make them habitable before winter arrives. 
20/9/23 Bombings across the city are severe, and the dry spell over summer has also resulted in frequent fires starting because of the bombings. 
Occasionally news from the left bank also comes through: 
“Today in our central market drunken soldiers have shot 2 civilians, mechanics who refused to provide their services to the soldiers. The military militia has arrived, and there was shooting between the soldiers and the militia, but no other civilians got hurt” 
As an example of the work your financial support allows here are some of the things in the last month that has been achieved: 
financially supported 55 families in extreme hardship – mainly single mothers with children, invalids and pensioners 
distributed supplementary food handouts to 20 disadvantaged families in two multi-story houses in Kherson 
helped the most disadvantaged people area to mend their houses before winter. 
19/8/23 The recovery from the flooding has been slow and many families are still displaced with some houses are still needing a lot of repair. We continue to help those in most need using our trusted partners on the ground who know the people who need help and how to get this to them. 
Our volunteers on the ground are involved in the two high-rise buildings in the city of Kherson looking after the disadvantaged people there: right now, they have 20 families. Our volunteers are identifying the needs of these families and are regularly providing the beneficiaries with some supplementary food, which these people cannot afford 
Your money also helps with ongoing work to provide food and support to as many people as possible both in the city and surrounding villages. This all being done with the danger of shelling from the Russian forces on the east of the Dnipro river.  
The people that we help send us regular photos and messages grateful thanks for our support at a time when their lives feel hopeless. They thank us all for not forgetting them. 
15/6/23 The horrific destruction of the Dnipro river dam has resulted in our Ukrainian friends (on both sides of the river) being flooded out. 
Homes of over 40 thousand people are in the risk area, much of Kherson is flooded, people are being evacuated, there are electricity outages and the bombing isn’t stopping. 
The ecological damage is unimaginable - and the the full impact on the agriculture and food production is not yet fully clear - Unfortunately with all the dead animals and sewage now in the water, experts are expecting serious health consequences for people with highly contagious diseases likely to become more prevalent over the next few weeks unless action on clean water and sanitation can be taken immediately. 
Through our tried and trusted network, we are deploying emergency help where it is needed most - but we cannot do this alone and would value your generosity at this time. 
Please visit the 'how can you help?' section of our website for ways to donate. 
7/5/23 We continue to have monthly Zoom calls with some of the key members of the team, on the ground in Kherson. The situation is still very desperate as bombings are a daily danger and resources are still very scarce. The bravery of our trusted partners who keep contact with those in need is incredible. 
We continue to support those remaining in the area with food and medicines, along with other daily needs so that they have some degree of normality in their lives. 
Clean water is a challenge as much of the infrastructure is damaged/destroyed. We have been able to help fund some water purification systems to help in this regard and these are now up and running, done in really quick time. It is great to have trusted partners in the heart of the city so that we know the money we send is used effectively and efficiently. 
The people we are helping continue to be so grateful for our ongoing help and support. We are one of the few organisations that are providing sustained, sutainable, and targeted help. Some of the peope tell us that they would not have survived without the support of UCP each month. 
Please continue in your fundraising efforts to help us continue our support and to do more where it is needed. Thank you. 
9/4/23 Thank you to everyone involved in the 2 events that happened recently. We really appreciate all the effort and both evenings went very well and lots of people had a great time. 
We told our friends in Kherson about the events and they were thrilled to think that there is still concern and support for them. They are very touched, knowing that they are not forgotten. 
12/3/23 COMING UP ....... here are details of 2 events coming up in the run up to Easter. Get your diaries out and make it a date so that you can have a great evening and help raise funds for UCP to allow us continue supporting people in Ukriane. 
Friday 24th March 7.30pm (ticket only from £18) 
Ukrainian Women's Choir "Two Colours" with Hugh Bonneville 
Venue: Churcher's College, Petersfield. GU31 4AS 
(tickets must be bought in advance; money raised is for a medical evacuation vehicle) 
Buy tickets online: 
Wednesday 5th April 7.30pm (free entry) 
"Lent Music for Ukraine" The Free Radicals 
Venue: St Peter's Church, Petersfield. 
Put these dates in your diary and please come along and support one or both events. Thank you.. 
12/3/23 Last night (Saturday) saw a wonderful "Concert for Peace" from The Petersfield Choir at St Peter's Church, Petersfield. Funds were raised for UCP and we want to thank everyone involved for their ongoing support. It was a wonderful night and there are a few more coming up in Petersfield in the next few weeks ..... watch out for more news here about them. 
1/1/23 Christmas has seen the ongoing consequences of the conflict effecting the lives of everyone in the Kherson region. The continual rocket attacks and disruption to heating and electricity has made meant a time of ongoing hardship, danger and uncertainty. 
We continue to get our money to our dedicated and brave team on the ground and they continue to tirelessly help those in most need. 
The winter means that our efforts at UCP need to increase so that we can keep up the support for the various iniatives we have going, and to also find ways to help the new challenges that the people of Kherson are facing. 
Supply of food, the Cooks' Project and finances where needed means that the money donated through UCP continues to have an immediate impact to those in most need on the ground. 
We are finding ways to help support the need for heat and light as the effects of the rocket attacks on the countries infrastructure have devastating effects during this harsh winter time. 
18/11/22 We welcome the news that there has been some success in pushing back the Russian army to the east bank of the Dnipro River. We have had encouraging reports from the people we are managning to support in the Kherson region in recent weeks. 
However, dealing with what the Russian Troups have done before they pulled out, along with the rebuilding of the towns and city is a challenge. The coming winter only adds to the suffering. 
We continue to have regular meetings with our friends on the ground in Kherson and direct the donations we receive directly to those in most need. 
We need everyone's help to keep donations coming in so that we can continue to do what we can during these difficult times. 
15/11/22 A huge thank you to Duddingston Kirk who raised over £1000 at their Craft Fair on 5th November. Your incredible hard work and the generosity of everyone who donated will help ensure more lives are touched and help is given where it is needed. 
Thank you from all at UCP. 
21/10/22 We continue to get our financial support to our trusted partners on the ground, despite the escalation in the situation over recent weeks. 
We are one of the few organisations who are able to get support directly to those who need it. Even the UN recently said it could not reach Kherson. Some of the large aid agencies have the same challenges. 
The situation in Kherson is getting worse as the conflict has escalated in other regions again too. There is talk of forceable evacuations from Kherson and this is effecting many of the people who are part of our support network. Despite the increasingly difficult and dangerous daily life our support is still making a difference to the lives of so many. 
06/10/22 At HTC Church in Claygate on Sunday we had a flying visit from one of our main people who is helping co-ordinate our efforts in Kherson. She was interviewed during the service and met people afterwards who wanted to hear more. 
It was humbling to hear the messages coming back from the people in Kherson and how important it is for them to know that there are people in the UK thinking of them and caring enough to send support and to pray. We also heard that they are praying for us too. 
20/09/22 As the situation in Kherson escalates we have taken the decision to blur the faces of supporters and beneficiaries in this region in order to protect their identity. 
As the Russian Army continue to carry out house to house searches, including searching through social media, our photographic updates are becomming a security risk for our contacts. We will endeavour to keep our news updated as much as possible but our primary focus is keeping our support lines open and safe.. 
06/07/22 Thanks to UCP funding, the Minister has been able to extend help to a further 54 individuals in his area. This is despite increasingly dangerous situation, where both driving around and especially taking photos can be highly risky. 
The Kherson Initiative is exercising extreme caution, to protect beneficiaries and volunteers. 
01/06/22 Today we received a quote from one of the beneficiaries in the houses which we support with food: 
"My name is Valentina, I live in the house that was damaged during shooting. Now at least we got our windows installed back. Thank you for that. 
Because neither my husband nor I are receiving our pensions - we have no money, whatsoever, and we thought how are we to live? Thank you so much for this help - Because right now this is our only means of existence. 
Thank you so much." 
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