Volunteers in Ukraine organise 'rave' clean-up parties

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By Mark Armstrong  with AP
A DJ spins the tunes as volunteers clear up
A DJ spins the tunes as volunteers clear up   -   Copyright  AP Photo   -  

It's not the usual venue for a party but these revellers in Ukraine are here for a purpose.

They've come to Yahidne to help clear up and rebuild bombed-out homes while enjoying themselves at the same time to some dance tracks. 

The daytime 'clean-up rave' was organised by young Ukrainians who have been using dance parties as a way to contribute to the recovery effort in parts of the country's north, which have suffered significant damage during the Russian invasion. 

"We came here and wanted to support people who survived after the Russian occupation, explained Tatyana Byrianova, a volunteer with Ukraine's Repair Together organisation.

"In Kyiv it was a normal situation, but here it was really awful. People left their homes, and their houses were broken, a lot of houses were ruined," she said. 

"We wanted to help them rebuild, fix their houses and clean the territory."

Most of the volunteers are in their 20s and 30s and came from Kyiv but others have come from the western city of Lviv, while some foreign volunteers have arrived from Portugal, the United States, Germany and elsewhere.

"Techno parties, especially rave festivals, it was our lifestyle before so we miss it and we want to come back to normal life but our normal life now is volunteering," said Tatyana

The clean-up at the cultural centre in Yahidne was the group's eighth event so far, and they have already helped repair 15 damaged homes in the village.