PAX has been working in Ukraine since 2014 in different areas of work: among others fostering cooperation between civil society and local authorities; building capacities for peace through an educational program in conflict resolution skills (the so-called Peace Engineer School); supporting interreligious dialogues; research and advocacy on approaches towards the Donbas; monitoring the use of weapons and the effect thereof on the environment. We have always worked closely with Ukrainian civil society and continue to do so.
Since the full-scale invasion PAX has built on its existing network and experience to work on:
- Social recovery in liberated areas (mainly Chernihiv region): small scale humanitarian support, strengthening agency and social cohesion, setting up participatory processes for inclusive reconstruction, including elements of truth-finding and storytelling. We have supported an exchange on lessons learned about the first phase after occupation, which resulted in a ‘roadmap’.
- Support Peace Engineers to provide first response to trauma and community healing processes in communities affected by hostilities or significant influx of IDPs.
- Monitoring consequences of the war for religious groups and specific crimes against religious communities of different affiliations. We also support resulting advocacy.
- Investigating damage as a result to the war with special attention to the use of explosive weapons, environmental risks, energy and drinking water.
- Training support to UN and EU missions on forensic investigations and Protection of Civilians.
- Publish alerts about inclusive reconstruction and the EU accession process: Guiding principles for comprehensive, citizen-based reconstruction in Ukraine & Ukraine needs and EU accesson plus.
PAX always works with local and/or national partners in conflict areas, having developed a policy and practice on local ownership and equal partnerships. Various categories of actors, both on local and national level, play crucial roles in PAX’ partners network, such as: peace and human rights organisations, victims associations, women and youth associations, media outlets, church leaders and religious initiatives, military chaplains, cultural associations, subnational governments and relevant ministries, formal educational institutions (primary schools, secondary schools, universities), academics and university faculties, archives, documentation centres, museums, judicial institutions (local and national courts, international courts and tribunals).