Volunteers in Poltava organized a workshop for making trench candles

Volunteers in Poltava organized a workshop for making trench candles
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Volunteers in Poltava organized a workshop for making trench candles Regions at war 28 Sep 2023 at 15:32

During the full-scale war, many people had to retrain or acquire new skills and abilities, all for one common goal – victory.

Poltava journalists were no exception. In addition to their professional activities, they began to engage in volunteering, organizing a small community that manufactures trench candles for the defenders on the front lines.

To make these candles, they need tin cans from condensed milk or corn, corrugated cardboard, wax, and paraffin. These trench candles, essentially made from recycled materials, serve as a valuable source of light and heat. They can even be used for cooking or boiling water.

Svitlana Bondareva, a Poltava journalist and media personality, started making these trench candles with like-minded individuals. Her first recipient was her own brother Denis, who tragically lost his life in May in the Zaporizhia region.

This profound loss served as motivation to work even harder, protecting others and helping our soldiers more effectively.

Initially, they made the candles at home but later moved to a new location near the Svyato-Uspensky Cathedral. They continued their work until the onset of cold weather. Therefore, there was a need to find a place where volunteers could work year-round, regardless of weather conditions.

The girls took on the communication aspects, creating reports about their activities, inviting colleagues from other publications, and posting updates about collecting materials.

Thanks to media coverage, they started to receive more attention and support, which allowed them to expand their efforts.

Local private entrepreneurs offered them a permanent workspace, and they receive materials for their work from concerned Ukrainians both within and outside of the country. For example, a woman from Lviv sent them about 200 kilograms of paraffin and wax.

In April, the volunteers received about 11 tons of paraffin candles for making trench candles.

This generous gift came from "Vyhidna Pokupka," which many people know as the "Aurora" store chain. This organization has repeatedly contributed to various volunteer initiatives, this time in the form of paraffin.

There were so many candles that they had to be unloaded quickly. Once again, with the help of social media and the media, they found people willing to assist physically, including friends and relatives of the "candle makers," acquaintances, volunteers from the "Poltava Battalion of Concerned Citizens," police officers, and even champion athletes. A team of freestyle wrestlers led by their coach also joined the unloading efforts.

Volunteer Marina Levchuk, a journalist herself, emphasizes that media visibility and consistent information in the press and social media enable them to gather materials quickly, exchange experiences, or find necessary equipment.

They aim to provide regular updates on their activities to show their supporters the results of their work. They also value feedback from the soldiers as it helps them improve their work. The soldiers share their experiences, such as which candles burn better or produce less smoke, and this information is then disseminated in their reports.

As autumn approaches and the weather gets colder, the demand for trench candles increases rapidly. Everyone can make a meaningful contribution to this process by collecting empty tin cans, paraffin, and wax. Even a small candle handed over to the volunteers represents a great source of warmth for our defenders.


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