Partner of the Week: Dorcas Aid

Dorcas Aid was founded in the Netherlands more than 30 years ago. The organisation works in 17 countries all over the world through development and social assistance projects. Since the 1990s, Dorcas has been working with projects in the field of social development in Ukraine.

When the current military crisis in the Eastern part of the country began in 2014, Dorcas had a large network of partner organisations working on projects in various cities and villages. Dorcas began responding to the crisis immediately, by establishing a helpline, providing food aid, helping in evacuation, repair and medical care. Since December 2015, the efforts of the Dorcas organisation have been recognized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the organisation was appointed to lead a consortium of joint response of Ukraine which is funded by the Government of the Netherlands. The partners in this consortium were the Caritas, Save the Children, Dorcas, Terre des Hommes and SOS Children’s Villages International.


The Dorcas Humanitarian Aid projects are in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and the development projects are in Zaporizhzhya, Dnipropetrovsk, Volyn, Transcarpathian and Luhansk regions. Their work focuses on psychological and social protection, financial support, food and non-food goods for households, start-up grants and training for international and local NGOs in different directions. The assistance focuses mainly on the most vulnerable groups of the population, such as families with children and single mothers, people with disabilities and illnesses, members of minority groups, unemployed young people and the elderly.

In 2018, the Dorcas Aid in Ukraine launched a new project in partnership with the Terre Des Hommes and with the financial support of the UNICEF Children’s Fund. The focus of the project is the financial and social education of youth under the international programme Aflateen. The main objective is to provide psychological assistance to adolescents and youth affected by a military conflict in the East of Ukraine. The Aflateen programme aims to change the quality of life for the better, to break the circle of poverty in which young people are living and to create new perspectives on life, in which each person can fully realize themselves.

Five educational institutions in Eastern Ukraine have been selected to implement the Aflateen Programme This will be facilitated by 15 trainers for students between the ages of 14-24 over the span of 32 weeks. The teenagers are encouraged to transform theory into practice and to create and implement social and financial activities oriented to the needs of local community. There are now five social and financial projects that have already been implemented, and by the end of the academic year five more are expected to start. The total number of students trained under the programme so far is 198.

Some of the goals of the programme are to increase teenagers’ ability to analyze and reflect on their identity, their values ​​and beliefs, as well as their relationships in society, family, and friends, increase awareness on how their rights can be respected or violated in society, understand what financial, environmental and other resources (people, planet, income) are and what would be the most effective way of using them, be able to plan and budget their projects, their live and to set the goals and to achieve them and be able to organise an an enterprise with a positive impact on society.