Building Ukraine Together X Razom: Rebuilding Homes and Communities

Building Ukraine Together (BUR) is a non-governmental organization empowering youth through volunteering. Originally a volunteer camp, BUR unites volunteers from Ukraine to renovate homes and lives affected by the war since 2014. Following the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, BUR scaled up to support thousands of people, renovating homes and shelters for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and common spaces for people to meet and learn

Partnership with Razom: A Synergy for Greater Impact

BUR and Razom started partnering in 2016. Razom has been instrumental in promoting BUR’s projects in the U.S., recruiting international volunteers, and securing funding for them. Since the 2022 escalation of the war, Razom has supported BUR initiatives, recognizing the importance of community and developing future leaders during these violent times. Last year, we supported a number of volunteer camps that were pivotal in assisting populations directly impacted by military actions, IDPs, vulnerable populations, and youth.

Project Overview and Implementation

The partnership between BUR and Razom focuses on developing young people  through volunteer activities, aiding communities affected by Russian aggression, and enhancing social infrastructure. This project encompasses three main activities:

  • Community School: A preparatory training program for community representatives where BUR camps will be held.

  • Volunteer BUR Camps: Hands-on volunteer camps focused on renovating selected premises, engaging local youth and fostering community cohesion.

  • Local Volunteer Actions (BURchyk): Smaller, local initiatives driven by volunteers.

Despite the ongoing war and associated risks, BUR successfully implemented all planned activities, demonstrating remarkable resilience and commitment.

Community School

Held on June 17-18, 2023, this two-day training session equipped 10 participants with the necessary skills to organize and conduct BUR camps in their communities. The curriculum included team-building exercises, presentations about BUR and Razom, and fundraising strategies. This initiative aimed to enhance the capacity and self-sufficiency of local teams, ensuring they are motivated and prepared to drive positive change after BUR’s intervention.

Volunteer BUR Camps

Thanks to Razom’s grant, BUR organized 16 volunteer camps across three communities (Chernihiv, Rivne, Kharkiv). Each camp, attended by approximately 25 volunteers aged 16-35, focused on renovating critical social infrastructure. Projects included renovating an inclusive resource center, a youth space, and housing for IDPs. Overall, with our help, BUR renovated 3 IPD shelters, 2 event spaces, 9 houses and flats damaged by war, and 3 bomb shelters. Seven hundred thirty-three volunteers from all over Ukraine got involved into BUR projects. Volunteers not only engaged in physical reconstruction but also participated in a comprehensive cultural and educational program, fostering leadership, problem-solving skills, and civic engagement.

Have you heard about BURchyk?

It’s not just a construction project, it’s a movement and it’s changing the lives of countless Ukrainians. BURchyk is a special volunteer project of BUR; it’s a short-term construction initiative that unites local volunteers looking to make an impact. Joining BURchyk means being part of a mission to restore homes, create shelters, and rebuild Ukraine. Thanks to Razom’s grant, BUR organized 14 BURchyk camps across the Ukraine.

Impact Stories: Transforming Lives

Renovating a Community Center in Bar City

From July to September 2023, BUR volunteers renovated a facility to engage in cultural and educational initiatives. This project focused on renovation and promoting social inclusion through cultural events and education. The community celebrated the successful project with a reopening ceremony. The center, which supports 240 children (half of whom are IDPs) with assessments and consultations, is now a more welcoming space thanks to the efforts of BUR and local volunteers.

Restoring a Home in Trikhsvyatska Sloboda, Chernihiv Region

In August 2023, BUR volunteers helped an elderly couple whose home was destroyed during the occupation. Living in an unsuitable outbuilding for over a year, the couple faced harsh conditions. With the support of Razom, local NGO “Mozhemo” and BUR volunteers, they transformed the outbuilding into a habitable space, installing windows, doors, and heating. This project was a testament to the power of collective effort and the profound impact of community support.

Renovating a Bomb Shelter in Korets, Rivne Region

From August to September 2023, volunteers worked on converting a radiation shelter into a creative space for youth. The initiative involved preparing and painting walls, decorating with artwork, and assembling furniture from pallets. This safe community space serves as a bomb shelter and now hosts various events, fostering creativity and social interaction among local youth. The project highlighted the successful partnership between municipal governments and community organizations.

Conclusion: Building a Brighter Future

The partnership between Building Ukraine Together and Razom exemplifies the power of unity and volunteerism in rebuilding war-torn communities. Through the combined efforts, they continue to transform lives, foster community cohesion, and inspire hope. As Ukraine faces ongoing challenges, the resilience and dedication of these organizations and their volunteers remain a powerful force for positive change.

Donate to Razom Relief today and join us in supporting Ukrainians and their efforts to rebuild their lives and communities!

We invite you to learn more and support Razom’s Relief Program.

/* */