Ein Transporter mit zwei Personen an der geöffneten Hintertür vor einem Industriegebäude.
Die mobile Werkstatt im Einsatz in der Ukraine. ©CADUS

Eine mobile Werkstatt für die Ukraine

With the mobile Makerspace, an open workshop on wheels, we will be on the road in Western Ukraine over the next few months. There, we will work together with the local population and partner organizations to develop projects that would benefit from the support of craftsmen, tools and materials from Germany.

Much has changed in the last three months as a result of Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine. The effects of the war are clearly noticeable everywhere, even if bombs are not falling everywhere and air alarms are being sounded only in certain parts of the country. The west of the Ukraine is currently home to about 6 million additional residents who have fled Russian forces from the east. At the same time, many building materials are no longer available in the regions due to disruptions in the supply chains. To support this, the first project of the mobile Makerspace and partner organizations is to make an old hotel habitable again.

First projects underway

In Ivano-Frankivsk, a city south of Lviv in the Carpathians, our team  is on its first assignment. Here, together with the local organization MetaLab, shelters for refugees from the eastern part of the country are to be built. MetaLab, an NGO that focuses on urban planning activities, plans to build a total of six dwellings in the Co-Haty project. One of them has already been completed.

An old hotel is being converted into accommodation for refugee families from eastern Ukraine. ©CADUS

The current construction site is a former hotel, which is to be filled with life again after seven years of vacancy. Here, 30 displaced Ukrainians will find a long-term home, mainly students from Kyiv and families with children. Many of them are already helping to renovate the five floors and are finding their feet in the new neighborhood. Together with about fifty volunteers, the accommodation is to be completed in two months.

MetaLab has been planning this and similar shelters since the beginning of the war. The CADUS team is supporting them for a few weeks until they move on to the next project.

Mobile Makerspaces - a concept with many possibilities

The mobile Makerspace is a converted van that offers all the possibilities of a workshop. Equipped with various tools and machines for working with wood, metal or other materials, it is the perfect mobile hub for artisans and makers. With the capabilities of the mobile makerspace, makers, residents, and communities can maintain and repair local infrastructure and find alternatives for missing products. A mobile makerspace also creates space for shared learning, community engagement, connection and discourse.

Organization and safety are especially important on any construction site. ©CADUS

Our partner organizations

In the pilot phase of the project TOLOCAR we cooperate with many other organizations from Ukraine and Germany.

MetaLab are a laboratory for urban development in Ivano-Frankivsk. Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression, they not only provide a safe space for their colleagues from Kyiv and the east of the country to work, but also develop new projects. One of them is Co-Haty, in the course of which a total of six abandoned apartment buildings and hotels are being renovated and transformed into shelters for internally displaced persons. What's special: The renovations are carried out by local organizations and many volunteers together with the IDPs themselves, which also creates new friendships.

The non-governmental organization Insha Osvita works with culture and art as forms of collective learning and exchange, and creates and uses spaces for this. This aspect is also very important in the project: Through diverse, holistic and living learning from each other, we develop more trust in ourselves and others, and join together to strengthen ourselves and our communities.

Platform Ostriv, which also runs a makerspace in Kyiv, and Building Ukraine Together (BUR), Ukraine's largest volunteer organization, have been helping various communities in Ukraine build spaces for exchange - and grow together as communities - for years. They are now developing new construction projects but also scalable project ideas such as developing ecological sanitation solutions for host communities in rural regions in Western Ukraine.

MitOst e.V. has been connecting active citizens:inside in an open and diverse network in Europe and its neighboring regions for years, and is managing the administration, communication and networking during the pilot phase of the overall project, which is being implemented by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Verfasser*in: von Jonas Grünwald

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