I lived with activists of the “Building Ukraine Together” movement in Berdyansk for four or five days in August 2017. This time was enough to get acquainted and communicate with the leadership of the movement and many volunteers, to visit all construction and restoration sites of BUT in Berdyansk, and most importantly – to understand what this movement really is.
“Building Ukraine Together” was founded by three members of the Lviv Educational Foundation Vitaliy Kokur, Andriy Levitsky and Yurko Didula. It was they who carried out the first BUT project in Kramatorsk in 2014 to help people affected by the war.
After Kramatorsk, there was Sloviansk and many other cities in eastern Ukraine. The following year, volunteers decided to conduct a geographical experiment and invited activists from eastern Ukraine to help rebuild homes in the Lviv region.
“We felt that construction was a new formula for human communication. This is a catastrophe for any country, if such an abyss in the communication of people from different regions. In Kramatorsk, we felt that physical presence there and concrete action is a tool that will help build trust between people who have not known each other for a long time and are even to some extent hostile”, – said Yurko Didula, one of the founder of BUT.