Veterans of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, activists of non-governmental organisations, community initiative groups and representatives of international organisations gathered in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv for a friendly football match on 10 July.
The event was organised by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with the support of the country’s Ministry of Veterans Affairs and the EU.
The game, which gathered 20 players, was conducted in the framework of the EU project “Reintegration Support for Veterans of the Conflict in Eastern Ukraine and Their Families” to foster dialogue and team-building among Kyivites and veterans.
The game was held in the format of a “match for human rights”. As a friendly match, the participants picked the teams and refereed the game themselves.
“Veterans have already shown by their actions that they are willing to defend their country,” said Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. “[…] the EU believes that providing assistance to veterans and their families is such an important contribution to Ukraine’s safe and secure development.”
The EU-funded project has been implemented by the IOM in three pilot regions – Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Lviv – from January 2019 until June 2020. It supports social cohesion activities, such as sports events, master-classes and round table seminars with representatives of local authorities. Up to 400 veterans who pass the competitive selection will be provided with grants of up to €400 for vocational courses, re-qualification or advanced trainings. Another 400 veterans will receive grants of up to €1,000 for business development.