First Community Centre “Oplich HUB” Opens Its Doors in Zaporizhzhia With Support of UN Global Compact and Metinvest Group

Metinvest Group’s Saving Lives humanitarian initiative and the UN Global Compact in Ukraine with the assistance of the Zaporizhzhia Regional Council and other partners have opened the first community centre “Oplich HUB” in Zaporizhzhia on 18 July.

The aim of the centre is to unite the city’s residents for mutual support and assistance in times of uncertainty. This initiative is a continuation of the Mental Help project of the UN Global Compact in Ukraine, which aims to provide free psychological assistance to Ukrainians in wartime.

Metinvest’s Saving Lives initiative has helped to equip and furnish the premises for the centre at the Steelworkers’ Palace of Culture, and also engaged psychologists and staff.

«Oplich HUB» is a safe, inclusive space where visitors are offered individual psychological counselling, group art therapy for adults and children, yoga, lectures, workshops, and legal advice. All services of the centre are free and confidential. The hub employs the best professionals in psychology, art therapy and yoga, who have been trained by international experts from the Israel Trauma Coalition, UCLA and the University of Denver.

The humanitarian project plans to set up similar centres in other cities where Metinvest operates so that as many people as possible can receive psychological support.

At the opening of the hub, on June 18, 2023, the representatives of the UN Global Compact in Ukraine, Metinvest Group and the Zaporizhia Regional Council held a panel discussion on the importance of uniting communities for mutual support in conditions of uncertainty. All the project partners who contributed to the launch of the community centre took part in the opening of “Oplich HUB”. Aside from Metinvest Group, they include Carlsberg Ukraine, Biosphere Corporation, Caparol Ukraine, Epicentr-K, Zaporizhzhia Regional Council, Foxtrot Group, Bob Snail, Hungarian Interchurch Aid’s (HIA), Free Legal Aid and V.G. Magar Zaporizhzhia Academic Regional Ukrainian Music and Drama Theatre.

Tetiana Petruk, Director on Sustainable Development and People Management of Metinvest Group:

“With the war now in its 17th month, each of us is psychologically exhausted. But we have all learnt to keep this exhaustion to ourselves. This negatively affects our mental health. We understand that the need for psychological help, especially in interesting and comprehensible formats, is enormous. There are a large number of women who have to provide support to their children, for their loved ones who will return from the war. Their mental health is a priority. And many children may have certain psychological traumas caused by stress, even if they are not on the surface.  Understanding all of this, we are providing an opportunity for such groups of the population to receive assistance. “Oplich HUB” is exactly the place where you can always go and where you will never be turned away.”

Director General of the UN Global Compact in Ukraine Tetiana Saharuk:

“Unity and mutual help at all levels and in all spheres is what will help us as a nation win this war. We are pleased to open “Oplich HUB” in Zaporizhzhia, standing side-by-side with our partners. Together, we have created a psychological safety hub for Zaporizhzhia residents. Here you will be able to open up and share your fears, as well as feel part of a community and find the strength to face the challenges of our time. The hub’s specialists have been trained in psychological assistance by the world’s best experts. You can trust them and rely on their help.”

Head of the Zaporizhzhia Regional Council Olena Zhuk:

“There is no physical health without mental health, and mental health without physical health. For a very long time, Zaporizhzhia residents and internally displaced persons have been constantly under stress: aid raid sirens, explosions, destruction, news from the frontline, worries about loved ones – all this has a great impact on mental health. Many people try to repress all their emotions, but this can only do harm. On behalf of the regional council, I would like to thank the entire project team for uniting around such an important initiative and finding the best way to bring it to life. It is very important to feel the support now and try to build your future life. That’s why I urge all people who have even once thought about the need for psychological help to visit “Oplich HUB”.

Roman Slobodyanyuk, CEO of the “Zaporizhstal” plant of the Metinvest Group:

“Metinvest” and “Zaporizhstal” are, first of all, metallurgy, which ensures the flow of currency into the economy. However, we have long gone beyond the scope of only production activities. We actively participate in the life of the region, its development and support of the community, responding to urgent requests of society. At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, we were accepting displaced persons in Zaporizhzhia at our social facilities, we quickly formed food kits and sent them all over Ukraine. Next we opened rehabilitation and reintegration centres in the cities of Metinvest’s presence to help people start building a new life. “Oplich HUB” is a response to the internal demand of society, to the need for mental health care. I am convinced that this platform will become a space of help in restoring inner balance for many people who really need it today and who now know exactly where to get it in Zaporizhzhia.”

Anyone wishing to receive assistance from “Oplich HUB” can visit us at : 7 Dobroliubova St., Zaporizhzhia. You can find the hub’s opening hours in the Telegram channel and Viber channel. You can sign up to participate in the centre’s activities by calling +380 66 853 78 98 or by visiting the centre.

As reminder, in April 2023, Metinvest Group’s Saving Lives humanitarian initiative, the UN Global Compact in Ukraine and the Zaporizhzhia Regional Council signed a memorandum to establish a psychological rehabilitation and support centre for civilians affected by the war.

The Saving Lives humanitarian initiative was created by Metinvest Group in coordination with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation at the beginning of the russian invasion of Ukraine. For more than 15 months of the full-scale war, the project has helped almost 500,000 people in 70 territorial communities. Ukrainians have received more than 4,200 tons of foodstuffs and hygiene products, and hospitals have received medicines, consumables, and equipment worth €250,000. Nearly 200 companies from around the world, 400 volunteers and 10 foundations and public organisations have joined the project. For more than a year of its activities, assistance from donors has surpassed €2.7 million. The Saving Lives’ main areas of activity include prosthetics and rehabilitation for the military and civilians, as well as psychological recovery of women and children.