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Mission Ukraine

Thanks for visiting the Mission Ukraine project page.

The dates we are planning for the trip are 3-14 June 2019, and will be recruiting the team in October/November 2018.

To apply to join this project, please fill out the relevant form below, our health questionnaire and the volunteer agreement:

Open Information Event

To find out more about Mission Ukraine (and the other ICE Projects) and how you can get involved, please come to the Open Information Event held on the main campuses a follows:

Cambridge: Tuesday 2 October, 1230pm in COS312
Chelmsford: Thursday 4 October, 1230pm in SAW102

Important dates to take note of:

Monday 1 October 2018: Applications open.
Friday 9 November 2018: Applications close at 09:00.
Monday 12 November 2018: Notification if you are shortlisted.
Monday 19 November 2018: Interviews for shortlisted candidates.
Friday 30 November 2018: £150 non-refundable Deposit due.
Thursday 14 March 2019: £75 second instalment due.
Thursday 18 April 2019: £75 final instalment due.

Compulsory briefing meetings, 6-7pm
Thursday 7 February 2019
Thursday 14 March 2019
Thursday 9 May 2019

Thanks for your interest in Mission Ukraine, and if you want to talk about it further, please contact me:

Rev Tony Cant, Chaplain to ARU Chelmsford Campus
Room MAB118
Bishop Hall Lane
Essex CM1 1SQ
Tel: 01245 68 7722
Mob: 07860 407722
Email: tony.cant@aru.ac.uk


On April 26 1986, Ukraine and the earth recoiled from the world's worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, which spewed out many times the radioactive fallout of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Two and a half decades have passed and the effects of this disaster continue and increase. In fact, hundreds of thousands of people, mostly children, are still suffering with physical and psychological disorders.

The Ukrainian society is made up of a few who have plenty and a majority who have much less. People with disabilities are always low on the priority list, but in a country where poverty is a reality for many, they can find themselves on the margins of society.

What's happening now

Chernihiv Medical Centre, or Revival as it is better known, carries out complex medical and social rehabilitation for children with problems of the central nervous system, learning difficulties and other conditions that lead to social exclusion.

ARU has developed links with the Centre through organisations such as Aid UK, which has been a constant support for the last 12 years to the children cared for at Revival.

The Centre is unusual in Ukraine as it adopts a holistic approach to care, viewing the child as more than a complex set of conditions or issues. Medical interventions go hand in hand with humanistic therapies such as massage, music and art. The teachers work closely with the children to find creative ways to address any challenges they may face. For example, someone gave the Centre an immense number of buttons, which have helped children develop their fine motor skills as well as shape and colour recognition, while making pictures that adorn the walls.

Music is a big part of the Centre and children are taught to play instruments. One young man now plays piano at concert standard and has won many competitions with his sensitive interpretation of classical pieces.

In addition to the work in the Centre itself, Revival also supports people in their own homes. Often these people are socially isolated and have poor living conditions, with little money or physical ability to improve their environment. This work in the community is a growing part of the Centre's activity, and Aid UK is hoping to offer some skill-building help to these people. If they do, it offers Mission Ukraine a chance to take over where they finish, by decorating, refurbishing and generally 'making good' for these people who have so little.

What we have done so far:

In 2013 the team the inaugural Mission Ukraine team did a mix of things while there in sub zero weather and snow, including:

  1. Designing and painting an indoor mural in the reception area of the new residential wing
  2. Visits to families in the community
  3. Some general maintenance around the Centre
  4. Some cultural visits to rural communities and schools.

Because of the outbreak of civil war and the invasion from Russia, the 2014 trip was cancelled.

In 2015 the team were able to realise a long-held dream of the Centre staff – to paint an outdoor mural on a very large wall facing the children’s playground. They also painted a lot of outside railings with the help of a local school, The Lyceum. And there were visits to families in the community, and a cultural visit to an historic town, Baturyn.

2016 saw the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the Centre, so much of the work done was in preparation for that, which included repairs to the large outdoor mural that was damaged over the winter; painting more railings; developing an edible, sensory garden for the children in partnership with The Lyceum School; and working with the children in their various therapies each morning.

Our hosts are very keen for us to continue our partnership with them and want to stress that its only 5% of the country that is affected by the war, that safety for our team is paramount, and that the area we go to is 600km away from any danger areas.

Who we need for the next trip

We'll be looking for a mixed team of students with particular skills in nursing, building maintenance, primary teaching, music therapy, and gardening skills.

A total team of seven is what the Centre can handle with accommodation arrangements.

What we hope to achieve

For further enquiries about ICE trips, please contact the Chaplain, Rev Tony Cant, on ext 7722, mobile 07860 407 722, email tony.cant@aru.ac.uk.

Read more on what we have done to help