MitOst e.V. is an international network to promote cultural exchange and active citizenship with a focus on Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe and its neighbouring regions. Founded in 1996 as a platform for networking and project work, the association today works as an umbrella for several foundation programs, numerous international projects with over 1300 members from 40 countries.
Momentous events are happing in Ukraine. What started as a protest by students in favor of an associate agreement with the European Union, turned into a people’s uprising against an autocratic and corrupt regime. The revolution came at a very high cost. Thousands of demonstrators were wounded, some losing eyes or limbs, and at least one hundred activists were shot dead. During this period, hospital services were set up at the Maidan, for a very urgent reason: wounded demonstrators who were delivered to regular medical services were abducted by riot police, beaten up and in some cases killed. The Maidan medical teams, all volunteers, performed heroic deeds. They worked at the front line, rescuing wounded activists, while they themselves were under constant attack.
Many MitOst members and friends are amongst the courageous activists and volunteers who put their own lives at risk for the well-being of others. At MitOst we have received several signals that professional support is needed for the traumatized as well as their counsellors.
MitOst e.V. supports now the Maidan Medical Support Fund, the Global Initiative on Psychiatry and the Ukrainian Psychiatric Association with their efforts to develop local trauma centers in Kyiv and other cities following the violent events of the protests leading up to the revolution. With the money we would like to support 4 training sessions with Georgian trauma counsellors, reaching around 480 medical professionals. The Georgian team doesn't accept payment of fee; all costs are directly related to the seminar logistics. A donation of 16 Euro supports one person to take part in one of the seminars.
Who is it for? While the work of the medical teams can now gradually be taken over by regular medical services, the main challenge is now to take care of those traumatized by the events. These include activists who fought at the front line, who saw their buddies being wounded or killed; these include the relatives of those killed; these also include the volunteers of the Maidan hospital, who saw the wounded and killed being brought in by the dozen, and who had to perform operations in hotel lobbies and churches and treat the wounded right at the battle zone.
What is needed? Through this campaign, we want to support the Global Initiative on Psychiatry (GIP) and their long-standing partner the Ukrainian Psychiatric Association (UPA) to help those dealing with trauma and grief by providing specialized trauma care. This support will be offered by experts from the region (Georgia) who know the circumstances and environment, and who speak the language of those affected. GIP and UPA work closely with centers and individual specialists in the region, who have a long‐lasting experience in similar situations. They will train Ukrainian personnel, who can follow up and develop their own expertise.
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