B50 – two years!

On April 6, the B50 community celebrates its second anniversary, as the first volunteer trip organized by B50 took place on that day. Shortly before that, a team of caring people came together in search of ways they could be useful to their city and the people affected by the invasion.

The first trip took place just a few days after the final liberation of the Kyiv region from the russian occupiers. Adopting the code name “B50” for the address of the Territorial Defense Forces headquarters at 50 Bratyslavs`ka Street, where the future founders of the community met, the volunteers of the future community were among the first to go to help the newly liberated Irpin.

Almost every day, the volunteers gathered and went to the de-occupied Bucha and Irpin in an organized column, stopped in front of the destroyed bridge and continued on foot. Initially, all coordination was carried out in messengers, and the tasks to help the volunteers were determined by local authorities. Later, an effective system of interaction, coordination and direct contacts with the beneficiaries of the B50 community’s assistance was built.

“First” year of the B50

In the first year of its existence, the B50 community united more than 500 volunteers, making more than 150 trips together to help the victims. Throughout the spring and summer, volunteers provided training, helped clean the streets of liberated cities, dismantled rubble from houses destroyed by shelling, repaired and preserved victims’ homes, delivered humanitarian supplies, and helped set up modular camps for IDPs. Throughout the summer, teams of volunteers worked in Moshchun, one of the most destroyed villages in Kyiv region.

Having started its journey by organizing tactical medicine training, weapons training, and dismantling destroyed buildings, by its first anniversary the community had already implemented projects to decorate children’s bomb shelters called Shelters and the first media project Interviews with #heroesB50.

“Second” year of the B50

Over the past two years, we have adapted as an organization, developed assistance programs, expanded our geography, and established projects to promote volunteering. We actively cover our work on media platforms, engage volunteers, organize fundraising, and through our media projects show the world the consequences of the russian invasion.

The mission of our community is to rebuild communities affected by the war. Although we are located in the capital, we also help in the frontline and de-occupied territories – delivering humanitarian aid and books to children’s libraries – and repairing children’s bomb shelters in our region.

We are proud of the work we have done over the past 2 years and how we have developed as a community: more than 370 volunteer events, projects to promote volunteering, numerous stories about the work of our activists in Ukrainian and foreign media, hundreds of families who have received assistance and children who now have access to modern Ukrainian-language literature, and the creation of a separate organization, B50 Frontier, which supports the military.

The B50 community is made up of all kinds of people. People of different professions, ages, interests and talents, active people who are not satisfied with just signing petitions or supporting from afar. They come to volunteer to help eliminate the consequences of the invasion with their own efforts, to use their free time to do something useful. Everyone in B50 works to the best of their abilities, choosing their own tasks and pace, working at the locations or helping with the administrative team.

For me, the B50 is…

people with whom I am not afraid. This is my safe zone during the war.

Yuliia Horbasenko

what keeps me from going crazy. It’s my necessity, my addiction.

Anastasiia Baranova

... a place where I can do something to help and which helps me.

Alla Pavlyshyna

… a community that restores my faith in humanity.

Oleksandr Prokofiev

… a community of like-minded people, as well as the opportunity to realize oneself in volunteer work.

Ivan Krokhalov

… events where you can usefully spend your free time in a team with
cool people.

Sofiia Lazarenko

… atmosphere. Importance. Familiar and unfamiliar people who become friends, who reveal themselves in new ways. This is a special world.

Lidiia Strelchenko

… is an organizational resource for doing good deeds; it is people. Neither a couple of words nor a page nor even a whole book will suffice here, because each person is unique, each person is a personality.

Serhii Mohilin

Many volunteers say that helping with the B50 is not only an opportunity to join a good cause and help clean up the aftermath of the invasion, or vice versa, to help communities adapt to the challenges of war. For many of them, it is an opportunity to be in the company of people who care. It is extremely important to be able to make the world around you a better place together with people who share this inspiration and charge each other with the necessary energy. This is what will allow us to keep going and not give up.

A community of indomitable, best, most sincere, smartest, wittiest, most outstanding, most creative, most open and best like-minded people, neighbors and friends. How unexpected, but it was here that I met many new friends! I’m incredibly excited about what the organization has grown into now, like “by leaps and bounds”!)

I love our little, tender child)

Oleksandr Kramarenko

For me, B50 is motivation and support, people who will come to the rescue in any situation, people for whom you are ready to get up at 7 AM on your day off in any weather and go to Moshchun or any other place (it doesn’t matter), because you have been waiting for this meeting for a week.

B50 are friends, they are family, they are very strong people in every sense of the word, they are hard workers who sometimes work to the limit of their abilities)) In general, B50 are incredible people whom I am very lucky to have met in my life 💜

Oleksandra Poliakova

It is a group of cool people who do useful things together and support each other. This is my therapy and my gym.

It’s also a way to prove to myself that I can do more than I think))

Svitlana Rudokvas

B50 is a place where I do what I like: I help people by bringing positive things with me and taking the negative things apart brick by brick; it is a community where I forget about my personal work or home problems while working and communicating with interesting people; it is a work team where, despite a lot of differences, you feel like you belong and are useful; it is a spiritual family, without which you miss it on a weekday, because warm greetings and farewells, deep conversations and humorous arguments on a day at the location fill you with sincere positive energy that inspires you.

Nataliia Tsyhanenko

The main purpose for which I started going to clear the rubble was to help people affected by the russian invasion. Two years later, the goal has not changed, and I want to do it to the last brick.

At the same time, B50 has launched new projects that allow us to engage in other volunteer activities. The other side is meeting wonderful people with whom we communicate outside of volunteering.

Oleksandr Tishura

A community of incredible people who are ready to help without ceasing, without tiring, for free, with jokes and a light) A well-organized community that makes it possible to help people with the dismantling of destruction, repair and decoration of shelters, and more.

A community of friendly people with whom it is a pleasure to work)

Ksiusha Zhokovska

B50 is a community of caring people who do not consider it possible to be inactive in times of great challenge. It is a community of those who, through their regular hard physical work, their own example and the close ties that inevitably form in difficult conditions, create an image of a positive future for the country in the present, the one we all want.

In general, like the whole current situation, I see B50 as a challenge to myself. And if I plan to be a part of the community for a long time (and I do!), I perceive this challenge in all its pros and cons. How could it be otherwise? Because B50 is… it’s a big part of my life now.

Bohdan Holovchenko
B50 community