Mobilizer for Life

Mobilizer for Life
27 Вересня 2022
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Public organizations of people with disabilities (Disability NGOs) have been actively involved in helping victims since the very first days of the full-scale war. The female leaders of disability NGOs often do the impossible to help those in need. Such women are described in the project “Enhancing the Leadership of Women with Disabilities in Gender-Oriented Humanitarian Responses”, being implemented by the National Assembly of People with Disabilities of Ukraine (NAPD) and funded by the United Nations Women’s Fund for Peace and Humanitarian Aid (WPHF).

For many years, our society has had a stereotype that women are the weaker sex! Indeed, sometimes they, perhaps, even want to be like that, but… Yes, there are many ‘buts’ that prevent them from behaving that way and motivating them to move ahead, develop oneself, and help others instead.

Olesia Perepechenko is a woman who, despite being almost totally blind, is a strong, actionable, and active mobilizer in life.

Since the very first days of the way, she has been with the team of other like-minded activists, and together they have been arranging assistance to people with disabilities to move to safer areas, specifically to evacuate them to various countries of Europe. Being actively involved in the activities aimed at helping people with disabilities and families raising children with disabilities, Olesia has not only saved people’s lives, but also her mental state from disorders and feelings of hopelessness, as she has become an important part of the effective mechanism.

Her consciousness remembered the first month of war as a chain of phone calls, meetings at railway stations, searching for temporary accommodation opportunities, preparing the lists of groups for evacuation abroad, searching for volunteers, transportation vehicles and fuel, accompanying the groups to the state border points, seeking partners capable of hosting people, meeting them safely, and providing them with comfortable accommodation in a host country.

It is good that there were many countries which were ready to host our people fleeing from war; unfortunately, the number of people in need of shelter was also incredibly high.

As a mobilizer since the beginning of the war, Olesia Perepechenko also became a mobilizer and active participant in the project “Enhancing the Leadership of Women with Disabilities in Gender-Oriented Humanitarian Responses” in June this year. It has become possible with the support from the National Assembly of People with Disabilities of Ukraine.

That was very useful experience and a step forward to gaining new knowledge and structuring the activities being implemented. It opened the door to attending

interesting informational and useful trainings, and independently organizing similar events for the groups of population with visual impairments.

“Unfortunately, cooperation with authorities,” says Olesia, “was not productive in my case. In some regions, executive bodies are just not working; their phone lines aren’t responding, official letters sent to them remain unanswered, and the delivery of social services is suspended.”

When the war started, disability public organizations staying in Ukraine quickly and actively started to work in the new circumstances. They are providing considerable support to people with disabilities concerning the issues of evacuation, provision of humanitarian aid, legal and psychological support; they are helping with technical means of rehabilitation, transport, medications, hygiene products, and food sets.

Recently, our heroine helped to distribute food sets among people with disabilities in Kyiv city and region under the UN World Food Program. Each distributed food set is a new story of hard life of people with disabilities in these hard times, devastation, and inflation. And she keeps listening to all the stories to support and cheer up the people, as she is always friendly and smiling.

This terrible war has been going on for more than 7 months already. It is exhausting each and every one. To be able to continue working on our front, we need to protect our mobilizers and public activists from emotional burnout and depressive states. Now it is high time to support their emotional sphere from burnout for the sake of further effective productive work!



The United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) is a unified global financial mechanism designed exclusively to support the participation of women in peacebuilding and humanitarian responses. WPHF is a flexible and rapid financing tool supporting quality interventions to enhance the capacity of local women to prevent conflict, respond to crises and emergencies, and seize key peacebuilding opportunities. WPHF is an innovative partnership among its member states, the UN, and the civil society, with all the stakeholders represented in its global Financial Council.

Additional information on the UN Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund and its activities across the globe can be obtained on the Fund’s webpage: and