USAID/Ukraine’s “Forged Together” campaign aims to show how Ukrainian volunteers find creative ways to overcome challenges caused by Russia's war, forging a stronger, more resilient Ukraine. Follow the #Forged_Together campaign @USAIDUkraine on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Angelina Scherbyk is just 24 years old, and was already forced to flee her hometown of Kherson after it was occupied by Russia’s armed forces in 2022. She could not return home to a city under occupation, but also could not stand aside and be a passive bystander to the events happening in Kherson and in Ukraine more generally. Angelina decided to become a volunteer, joining Building Ukraine Together, a civil society organization that, with USAID support, unites more than 6,000 volunteers operating from eight regional branches across Ukraine. Together, they renovate and rebuild housing for Ukrainians displaced by Russia’s aggression.
Angelina decided to get involved in Building Ukraine Together’s construction and renovation camps, learning valuable skills with a plan to later coordinate reconstruction activities in liberated Kherson.
“I chose this organization because it combines two opportunities: to help rebuild what was destroyed in Ukraine and to develop myself personally,” Angelina says.
So far, Angelina has participated in 13 construction and renovation camps (where volunteers come together to renovate and rebuild housing in a specific area), three as a volunteer and 10 as a camp leader. She recently graduated from the organization's administration school and now wants to support construction work as an administrator.
“It is very pleasant to see volunteers from the camps where I was a camp leader at the school of administrators and masters,” Angelina recalls. “This means that I did my job and successfully presented volunteering and the organization, because they want to continue to develop within the organization.”
Angelina credits USAID with helping Building Ukraine Together grow into a successful, sustainable organization that empowers young people to contribute to the country’s reconstruction. “In 2014, the organization operated in Kramatorsk mainly on its own funds. After completing the first stage of our rebuilding campaign, we were offered assistance from USAID.” In 2016, USAID helped Building Ukraine Together expand its activities across the country by opening seven youth centers and building a national network with regional branches. The organization has continued to partner with USAID in 2023, helping restore communities affected by Russia’s war and occupation and empowering young people to participate in volunteer activities.
For Angelina, the main thing is helping her city and country recover from the war.
“After the victory, we will face many challenges, not only reconstruction,” Angelina says. “After the war, I would like Ukraine to recover quickly and become a place where progressive people live who want to develop themselves and help others. I want this future to become a reality, so I will continue to develop young people together with Building Ukraine Together.”