KEY POINTS

  • Volunteers threw a "clean-up rave" as part of rebuilding efforts in the Ukrainian village of Yahidne
  • These raves bring people together who lost their nightclub community as a result of Russia's invasion
  • They also bring a sense of normalcy and fun while contributing to the recovery of damaged areas
  • Volunteers said they plan to expand to the nearby town of Lukashivka

Volunteers aiding in the reconstruction of previously Russian-held areas in Ukraine's northern Chernihiv region threw raves as a way to contribute to recovery efforts.

Hundreds of volunteers joined in a movement to clean and repair damaged buildings in Yahidne, a village that was occupied and devastated by Russian forces months ago, the Associated Press reported.

As part of the rebuilding efforts, the Repair Together initiative organized a "clean-up rave” in a cultural center that was destroyed by a Russian rocket strike in March.

Volunteers worked or took breaks as a DJ spun techno and house dance music on turntables that were mounted on a stack of ammunition boxes.

"I like electronic music and I used to party. But now it’s wartime and we want to help, and we’re doing it with music," said Tania Burianova, an organizer with the Repair Together initiative, according to AP.

Ukraine's club scene was brought to a halt when Russia invaded on Feb. 24.

These clean-up raves bring together people who lost their nightclub community as a result of the war, as well as help them regain a sense of normalcy and fun while contributing to the recovery of damaged towns, according to Burianova.

"We miss (parties) and we want to come back to normal life, but our normal life now is volunteering," she said.

The rave in the bombed-out cultural center was the Repair Together initiative's eighth project so far. They have already helped repair 15 damaged homes in Yahidne.

Locals are grateful to see young people coming together to help the village recover.

"They already repaired our windows, doors and entrances. We couldn’t do it ourselves with our salaries or pensions. I’m thankful that they helped us," said Nina, a 68-year-old Yahidne resident, according to AP.

Most of the volunteers were in their 20s and 30s and came from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, which was a two-hour drive away.

Others were from different parts of Ukraine, but there were also volunteers from the United States, Germany, Portugal and other countries.

All of the volunteers were connected by a sense of optimism and responsibility, DJ Oleksandr Buchinskiy said at the end of a set.

"These are all young people that still have a passion for life, but they feel pain and are very sad and angry because of the war. But they feel a need to take part in this historical moment, and help people, and make Ukraine a better place with a smile on their faces," he was quoted as saying by Associated Press.

The Repair Together initiative now plans to expand and hold a building camp event in the nearby town of Lukashivka, where they will construct 12 houses for people whose homes have been destroyed, according to Burianova.

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Representation. Volunteers are throwing "clean-up raves" in previously Russian-occupied areas as a way to contribute to recovery efforts. 453169/Pixabay
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