Volunteers Are Key To Rebuilding Ukraine

Since the war began, thousands of Ukrainian volunteers have worked tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of the population trapped in the occupied areas. After the liberation of the kyiv province, they are now cooperating with the emergency services to sweep away the vestiges of Russian bombing and clean the few buildings that are still standing so that, one day, they will be inhabited again.

Borodianka is the worst-ranked town in the region. Freedom Street, once called Lenin, is the graphic definition of death and destruction. The buildings that flank this avenue are on the verge of collapse and the emergency services have not yet been able to evacuate all the bodies buried under the rubble or charred on the floors.

“For the Russians, the idea of ​​war was to bring peace. Well, we are cleaning up the shit of peace that they left us,” Igor, a member of the emergency services who today coordinated the access of a group of 40 volunteers to sweep the streets of Borodianka, tells Efe.

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clean before rebuild

The dozens of volunteers spread out around the city center with gloves, helmets, shovels and brooms. They move tons of debris away so that emergency teams can get through with their trucks and cranes.

“I have never seen so much destruction in my entire career,” the director of the emergency department of the kyiv region, Vladislau Horban, tells Efe. His team is tasked with checking out a nine-story block with a huge hole in the middle. A bomb hit right in the middle of the building.

Other members of the emergency team ascend floor by floor via a cable hanging from a crane and throw the debris that is about to fall. The block cannot be rebuilt, a new one will have to be built.

Vladislau says that 12 people were crushed to death on Freedom Street alone, while his unit has found “dozens” of charred bodies inside some homes.

Serguei is a 44-year-old volunteer who had a tunnel car wash before the war. Today is his first day in Borodianka, and he is sweeping the street, in which “there is a lot to do”.

“I can’t stay home doing nothing. I need to help because it is my responsibility as a civilian and we want to restore the place, ”she assures.

A duty

Helen and a group of women have been cleaning up the Borodianka cultural center all morning, which was badly damaged by the shock wave of the bombing.

“I’m here because my country needs me,” Helen, who joined the volunteer corps as soon as the war broke out, first cooking for the soldiers and transporting food to remote villages and, now, in reconstruction tasks, tells Efe.

The building has been cleaned room by room and he hopes it can be rebuilt to once again host cultural events and plays for children.

In the midst of this mixture of destruction and hope, Ludmela walks out through what remains of the door of one of the most devastated buildings in Borodianka. There is her house, where she has gone to collect belongings to take them to another temporary accommodation.

She was locked up at home during the Russian occupation and, miraculously, the bombs did not fully hit her block: “There is no way to live, we don’t know if it’s possible, but we hope they can rebuild the building,” she says, as she watches how volunteers strive to make Borodianka a more recognizable place.

“We are very grateful because without them (the volunteers) it would be very difficult to endure in this situation,” he says.

Reconstruction possibilities?

According to official data, more than 70% of Borodianka was devastated by Russian troops and the reconstruction of the town “cannot yet be evaluated,” the deputy of the kyiv regional council, Halina Yerko, tells Efe.

“The priority now is to clean the streets and houses and we still don’t have a budget for reconstruction,” he says, adding that the city council is already in contact with architects to see how to revive Borodianka from its ashes.

But is it possible for this small town of 15,000 people to come back to life?

“Ukrainians do things quickly and in the best possible way. We are superheroes: we have the power of love, of the heart and of our land. They cannot stop us”, sentences the deputy. Since the war began, thousands of Ukrainian volunteers have worked tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of the population trapped in the occupied areas. After the liberation of the kyiv province, they are now cooperating with the emergency services to sweep away the vestiges of Russian bombing and clean the few buildings that are still standing so that, one day, they will be inhabited again.

Borodianka is the worst-ranked town in the region. Freedom Street, once called Lenin, is the graphic definition of death and destruction. The buildings that flank this avenue are on the verge of collapse and the emergency services have not yet been able to evacuate all the bodies buried under the rubble or charred on the floors.

“For the Russians, the idea of ​​war was to bring peace. Well, we are cleaning up the shit of peace that they left us,” Igor, a member of the emergency services who today coordinated the access of a group of 40 volunteers to sweep the streets of Borodianka, tells Efe.

clean before rebuild

The dozens of volunteers spread out around the city center with gloves, helmets, shovels and brooms. They move tons of debris away so that emergency teams can get through with their trucks and cranes.

“I have never seen so much destruction in my entire career,” the director of the emergency department of the kyiv region, Vladislau Horban, tells Efe. His team is tasked with checking out a nine-story block with a huge hole in the middle. A bomb hit right in the middle of the building.

Other members of the emergency team ascend floor by floor via a cable hanging from a crane and throw the debris that is about to fall. The block cannot be rebuilt, a new one will have to be built.

Vladislau says that 12 people were crushed to death on Freedom Street alone, while his unit has found “dozens” of charred bodies inside some homes.

Serguei is a 44-year-old volunteer who had a tunnel car wash before the war. Today is his first day in Borodianka, and he is sweeping the street, in which “there is a lot to do”.

“I can’t stay home doing nothing. I need to help because it is my responsibility as a civilian and we want to restore the place, ”she assures.

A duty

Helen and a group of women have been cleaning up the Borodianka cultural center all morning, which was badly damaged by the shock wave of the bombing.

“I’m here because my country needs me,” Helen, who joined the volunteer corps as soon as the war broke out, first cooking for the soldiers and transporting food to remote villages and, now, in reconstruction tasks, tells Efe.

The building has been cleaned room by room and he hopes it can be rebuilt to once again host cultural events and plays for children.

In the midst of this mixture of destruction and hope, Ludmela walks out through what remains of the door of one of the most devastated buildings in Borodianka. There is her house, where she has gone to collect belongings to take them to another temporary accommodation.

She was locked up at home during the Russian occupation and, miraculously, the bombs did not fully hit her block: “There is no way to live, we don’t know if it’s possible, but we hope they can rebuild the building,” she says, as she watches how volunteers strive to make Borodianka a more recognizable place.

“We are very grateful because without them (the volunteers) it would be very difficult to endure in this situation,” he says.

Reconstruction possibilities?

According to official data, more than 70% of Borodianka was devastated by Russian troops and the reconstruction of the town “cannot yet be evaluated,” the deputy of the kyiv regional council, Halina Yerko, tells Efe.

“The priority now is to clean the streets and houses and we still don’t have a budget for reconstruction,” he says, adding that the city council is already in contact with architects to see how to revive Borodianka from its ashes.

But is it possible for this small town of 15,000 people to come back to life?

“Ukrainians do things quickly and in the best possible way. We are superheroes: we have the power of love, of the heart and of our land. They cannot stop us”, sentences the deputy.

Reliable, trustworthy and easy. Multimedia news agency in Spanish.

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