By Dina Volynets, Sphere trainer and Head of Supervisory Board at Tvoya Opora
The ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine is causing serious humanitarian challenges both in Ukraine and in other countries that are offering temporary protection to displaced people. This is why Sphere launched a programme in July 2022 to promote their minimum standards for humanitarian response in Ukraine and Eastern Europe.
Charitable Foundation Твоя опора (which is pronounced “Tvoya Opora” and means “Your Support”) actively engaged with this programme and is now recognised as Sphere’s focal point for Ukraine, bringing the total to 13 in Europe and 71 globally.
“When Russia invaded Ukraine, we opened a shelter in Lviv for people fleeing the war and began to actively deliver humanitarian aid to affected people in other parts of the country.
“It became clear that our work should be based on principles and standards: to help people efficiently; to respect their rights; to behave ethically; and to account for every Hryvnia.
“We started looking for international experience… and found Sphere. We then ensured the entire team at the Foundation, including our Supervisory Board members, received Sphere training,”
said Valeria Tatarchuk, Founder and Chairman of Tvoya Opora
William Anderson, Executive Director of Sphere, reacted to the appointment of the new focal point:
“I am so pleased that the Your Support Foundation has joined our focal point network. I know they passionate about advocating for principled humanitarian action and working with others to use and contextualise the Minimum Standards.
“As I saw for myself in Odesa last year, it is important that the Foundation trains as many other assistance providers as possible in the months and years ahead through widespread promotion of the new Ukrainian version of the Sphere Handbook.
“We are confident this close collaboration will bring a new focus on both quality and accountability in assistance during this terrible conflict which is having such devastating consequences on the population.”
Sphere develops and promotes the most well-known and internationally recognized set of principles and universal minimum standards in the field of humanitarian assistance. Integrating these standards into the work of Ukrainian NGOs will help them to plan and implement programmes that are high quality, timely, targeted and appropriate.
Sphere standards are based on human rights, ethics and real-world data obtained during responses to various crises around the world over more than 25 years. Instead of only learning from our own mistakes, it is great to be able to learn from the best practices, recommendations and experiences of people and organisations in various contexts. Sphere distils this knowledge into an accessible form, the Sphere Handbook, and brings together a community around the Handbook so we keep learning together.
What’s next? Tvoya Opora will offer Sphere training to Ukrainian organizations and foundations that provide humanitarian assistance. Please watch our website (https://tvoya-opora.org/) or follow our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/tvoyaopora) for information.
The 2018 Sphere Handbook is now available in Ukrainian, in additional to Polish, Slovak, Romanian and at least 20 other languages. Browse all available versions and download free Sphere Handbook PDFs from the Sphere website.
This post is based on a press release in Ukrainian.