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For Ukrainians, Restoring Gas is a Glimpse of Hope

CORE restored vital gas infrastructure for more than 400 households in Oleksandrivka village in Ukraine, including Lidia and her husband.

Day after day, Lidia, her husband, and her daughter’s family endured seemingly endless missile strikes outside their home in the Russian-occupied Oleksandrivka village in Ukraine’s Kherson region. They fled to their basement to seek safety from the barrage.  


But what started as one night of refuge in the crammed space quickly turned into almost two months of hiding. The danger was inescapable. Lidia recalls worrying about her two-year-old granddaughter, not to mention that she herself is over 70.  


“We were so scared; it has been a nightmare. There was so much shelling, we had to hide for so long in the basement, even with the children,” she said.  


Eventually, the family fled to a neighboring area, and though Lidia felt relieved to have found temporary safety, the thought of returning home with her husband was all that she hoped for. After all, this was the home they had known their entire lives.  


Lidia hugs a CORE staff member after she shares her story of living through bombing in Oleksandrivka. (CORE Photo by Oleksandr Riabkin)

When Oleksandrivka was finally liberated in November 2023, Lidia and her husband were among many elderly villagers who chose to return.  


But they faced a grim reality. In addition to ongoing shelling, there was barely a home in sight without broken windows, cracked walls, or a damaged roof. Relentless bombs had destroyed or gravely damaged the village’s infrastructure, leaving residents without gas. And another frigid winter was fast approaching.  


The damage rendered basic needs like heating their homes, cooking hot food, and accessing hot water impossible.  


CORE worked with local government authorities, our longstanding partner Global Sae-A Co., Ltd., and organizations on the ground to restore gas lines for the community. We installed yellow boxes outside homes that connect them to the main gas infrastructure. After more than a year of interruption, 420 households—over 1,000 villagers—could finally spend the frigid winter in warm homes.  


Lidia felt especially grateful, sharing that having gas in her home has helped make life feel a bit more normal.  

CORE installed the yellow boxes that enable residents to have gas in their homes to cook, provide heat, and run hot water. (CORE Photo by Jaya Vadlamudi)

Another village elder, a sweet woman who CORE staff met in her home, said, “We’re so grateful for the gas and heat for the house. There’s no place like home. We are very thankful to be able to return.” 


Her sentiment is one that rings true for many Ukrainians living on the frontlines of the war who, despite persistent danger and often without basic necessities, are rebuilding their lives after two years of nightmare-ish reality. It became clear that the gas restoration was a vital step toward restoring their comfort, dignity, and autonomy. 

A village elder shows her newly working gas stove. She was one of many elderly residents who returned to their village despite significant damage. (CORE Photo by Oleksandr Riabkin)

CORE has implemented similar initiatives in other frontline communities since 2022. We delivered diesel generators to a village in Donetsk Oblast to provide electricity for local central heating and water supply stations. More recently, we also distributed firewood to 1,500 households in Donetsk, as the resource has become expensive and difficult to access since the war began. In Zaporizhzhya Oblast, CORE is providing fuel briquettes to heat 2,000 households during the winter. Since the beginning of the war, we’ve provided 10,100 tons of fuel across Ukraine. 


Operations like these can greatly improve the quality of life and support families as they adapt to a “new normal”. Looking forward, CORE will continue working with communities to tailor solutions that meet the needs of Ukrainians where they are at.  


Learn more about our work in Ukraine