Who are the displaced people in Ukraine?

Is it a figure of 1,7 million? Statistics? Of course not. There is a
personal story behind each number. Thomson Foundation helped Hromadske
journalists to tell three stories of the displaced through Looks Like
Home documentary.

Looks Like Home film was presented by Thomson Foundation and Hromadske.Ua on 7 December, 2016, during a charity pre-release screening in Kyiv cinema in Ukraine. It is about internally displaced people (IDPs), who became hostages of the ongoing conflict in the east of Ukraine and were forced to flee their homes.

Dyvyna Folklore Band, featured in Looks Like Home documentary, performs before screening

Film authors: Hromadske journalists Angelina Karyakina, Oleksandr Nazarov, Anastasiya Kanaryova and Bohdan Kinaschuk, and Thomson Foundation consultant, David Hands, who mentored Hromadske in a framework of the Regional Voices project: Strengthening Conflict Sensitive Coverage in Ukraine’s Regional Media, supported by the European Union.

EU Ambassador to Ukraine, Hugues Mingarelli, welcomes guests

“When we speak about IDPs in Ukraine, we speak about 1.7 million people. There is a notion that these people are anonymous. When we say IDP, we don't often realize that there is a personal tragedy behind each person," - says Hugues Mingarelli, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. "The role of the media and film-makers is to uncover these human stories and remind us that behind each IDP there is a personal tragedy."

Its filming started in February 2016, and the documentary is aimed at increasing the awareness of challenges faced by people who were forced to flee their homes, to give them a chance to tell their stories.

Authors of the the film (from right to left), David Hands of Thomson Foundation, Oleksandr Nazarov and Angelina Karyakina of Hromadske

"One of the goals of the film is to destroy stereotypes about the displaced. We wanted to show who these people are, to understand them. To show their life as it is," - says Oleksander Nazarov, co-author of the film.

IDPs featured in the documentary: Oleg Shurygin, Yuliya Kulinenko and Nataliya Bedusenko

“Our film became an experimental movie of its kind. For mainstream media, IDPs ‘major drama’ –  the war and leaving home behind - has already been a accomplished in terms of reporting. “So, what these weirdoes want from us? – I guess, some of our characters had these kind of thoughts when we approached them. But to let us into their lives, in a moment of uncertainty and vulnerability, when the drama is no longer on the surface, takes real courage. And I am endlessly grateful to our heroes for this,” – summarized, Angelina Karyakina, co-author of the film.

Thomson Foundation Director of Development and master of the event, David Quin (left), thanks Dyvyna band for excellent performance

Pre-release screening of Looks Like Home was aimed at fundraising for the “Rukavychka” shelter for single IDP mothers in Orlivschyna, Dnipropetrovsk region. The shelter is founded by Martin Club NGO, which had to relocate from Donetsk region itself.

More than 100 people attended the premier

Following the event, 14 226 UAH (approx. 510 Euro) has been raised for Rukavycka shelter and will partially cover construction of a playground where IDP and local children will play together.

Raised 14 266 UAH ready to be handed to Rukavychka Shelter, Olena Sadovnik, Thomson Foundation project coordinator in Ukraine

The documentary will be submitted to international festivals in the EU countries.

* * *

The Thomson Foundation is a media development charity based in London, United Kingdom but operating worldwide. It was founded in 1963 and was the first charitable foundation with the specific aim of training journalists in developing countries.

The Regional Voices project is implemented by a media consortium led by the Thomson Foundation and financed by the European Union. The overall objective of the project is to decrease potential areas of conflict through balanced news output in the regional media, thereby contributing to a decrease in communal tensions, specifically between internally displaced persons (IDPs) and their host communities. 

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