The USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) and the Polish American Freedom Foundation, a non-profit private foundation and one of the partners that helped develop a concept for the restoration of Mariupol, arranged the transfer of four public buses to the Mariupol City Council (MCC) on May 12, 2023. The buses, of the brand Scania Omnicity 280, were donated by Jaworzno Municipal Utility Company (Poland), and will assist with strengthening the work of the I am Mariupol centers. ERA supported MCC with the transfer process, ensuring communication between the parties, preparing documents for customs, their translation, and consulting on the options of the vehicles’ safe delivery. As part of this initiative, a total of 10 city buses have so far been handed over to the MCC, which are to be distributed among the I am Mariupol centers.
“We will use these buses for the humanitarian needs of the “I Am Mariupol” centers,” said Serhii Orlov, the Mariupol Deputy Mayor. “We are already using these buses to transport Mariupol residents to educational, cultural, entertainment and tourist events in our largest centers in Vinnytsia, Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa and other major cities. We will also use these buses to transport Mariupol residents to summer recreation camps in Vinnytsia and Morshyn. Currently, the buses are operated by the Mariupol Tram and Trolleybus Department, and after the city is liberated from the Russian occupiers, we will take them with us to Mariupol.”
I am Mariupol centers are already opened and operational in Cherkasy, Chernivtsi, Dnipro, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kalush, Khmelnytskyi, Kropyvnytskyi, Kryvyi Rih, Kyiv (2 centers), Lviv, Odesa, Rivne, Ternopil, Uzhhorod, Vinnytsia, and Zaporizhzhia. These centers provide assistance to over 56,000 displaced Mariupol residents, enabling them to return to normal life, get employment, housing, and vital material and psychological support.