Clean Up! project and restoration of the village of Moshchun

The B50 volunteers from the Clean Up! project have been working on the aftermath of the russian invasion in Kyiv region for 22 months, 20 of which have been in Moshchun. This was the first full-fledged project of the B50 community, and it was the beginning of the history of our activities.

After the liberation of the occupied territories of the Kyiv region, we went to Irpin, Bucha, Borodianka. We arrived in Moshchun on May 29, 2022, and after seeing the scale of the destruction, we stayed here for a long time. They started by delivering important aid to the village’s humanitarian headquarters: plastic sheets for temporary window coverings, drinking water and fresh food for the locals. They also dismantled destroyed buildings, cleared rubble, removed debris, preserved and repaired buildings where possible.

According to a report by RebuildUA and the KSE Institute, two thousand buildings were destroyed and damaged during the war in Moshchun. This includes 921 private houses and the same number of outbuildings and structures. About 30 industrial, public and commercial buildings were also destroyed or damaged as a result of the hostilities.

After 20 months, B50 volunteers continue to help Moshchun, bringing the village’s reconstruction and recovery closer, while providing moral support to the locals, as they see that they are not left alone with their problems.

During this time, we made more than 150 volunteer trips to Moshchun, during which more than 500 volunteers joined the work in the village. Journalists from many Ukrainian media outlets (such as ICTV or Hromadske), as well as from Poland, Turkey and other publications/channels/countries came to cover this assistance.

Moshchun has become our second home, we have met the villagers, helped dozens of families take the first steps towards reconstruction, and we are pleased to see the burned houses being restored, damaged houses being repaired and destroyed houses being rebuilt where we helped.

Proper documentation of B50’s work also plays an important role. After all, the dismantling documents provided by B50 to the owners enable them to apply for funds under the “E-Recovery” government programme.

At the same time, the B50 administration anticipates possible changes. We follow the trends and the activities of other participants in the process. We understand that if more systemic players who have the resources to engage heavy construction equipment are fully involved in the dismantling of destroyed housing, the Clean Up! project will complete its life cycle, at least in the current format. That is why we are developing other areas of our activities that are more relevant to the challenges of the modern era.

We also understand that the transformation and scaling up of the reconstruction processes in the country and the region will require the public sector to be involved not only as a direct participant, but also as a subject of supervision and control.

At the same time, while we are able to continue to help repair the damage, we continue to do so so that people in need can receive support as soon as possible. Because these years and months of waiting are priceless time in their lives.

With this in mind, a decision was made in early 2024:

  • reduce the number of trips to Moshchun under the Clean Up! project to one per week, while starting to look for possible options for continuing the project in other communities or in other (related) directions;
  • instruct the project coordinator to prioritise those locations where heavy machinery cannot work, and where volunteer help with hands is therefore indispensable;
  • look for new formats for the B50’s participation in the recovery sector.

So now, in the medium term, our plan for the Clean Up! project is to transform it to make the most of the potential of its established team, and in the context of B50’s role in the recovery in general, to develop existing projects and find new areas of activity that will be relevant and useful in three and five years.