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Pavlo Kushtym

FROM Kharkiv, Ukraine

From childhood to full-scale invasion. From pigeon with broken wing to bomb shelter with over 600 people, 78 of them children.

MY PROFILE Pavlo Kushtym

Greetings, my name is Pavlo Kushtym. I was born in Ukraine, in the Kharkiv region, in the city of Lozova, on April 17, 1980. In general, I am a furniture maker. I deal with upholstered furniture. I've had my own workshop for furniture restoration and a small store.
Everyone goes their own way to volunteering. And I will tell you about mine. I am sure volunteers are not born, they become them. My path began in childhood. 
This is thanks to my parents who allowed me to bring home injured pigeons, crows, bats and cats for treatment. My parents instilled love and kindness in me which I wanted to share with the world. I helped injured animals as a kid. Then working in adulthood, I donated to volunteers who helped those in need.
Well, on February 24, 2022, I myself became a volunteer. I was one of the first to meet the war from the window of my apartment in the very north of the city of Kharkiv. Severnaya Saltivka is one of the most affected areas of the city.
Actually, for me it started in 2014 after the occupation of Crimea and the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Even then, I understood that a war between Russia and Ukraine was inevitable, but I had no idea what scale it would reach.
I anxiously packed a suitcase three days before the war after Putin's statement: "I will show you decommunization." You had to see that expression... 
Just fifteen minutes after the start of the invasion, in the early morning of February 24, we took our bags and went to the shelter. I found it at the school in advance when I was packing our emergency suitcase and inspecting the basements in the district.
Staying in the shelter, my wife and I united with musicians, artists, actors, and poets who came to help the hundreds of people in need. This is how our cooperation and volunteering began.
Our shelter was packed with people. They just slept on the floor in four rows, about 600 people, 78 of them children. 
I organized assistance with medicine, food, warm clothing and bedding. Another big job was evacuating many to safer regions of Ukraine or to other countries: Poland, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Norway and even Canada.
This is my volunteer way: from childhood to the full-scale invasion, from a pigeon with a broken wing to a bomb shelter with hundreds of people, and pets too. 

Our volunteer work

Internet and mobility


Concerts for Victory