Copyright © 2024 Euromaidanpress.com

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Soldier uses disability compensation to launch eco-friendly business

Soldier uses disability compensation to launch eco-friendly business
Translated by: Christine Chraibi

After losing both legs at the front, Oleksandr Chalapchy invested all his disability compensation in an eco-friendly business that he launched a few months ago. He opened a factory producing biofuel made from straw and sunflower waste in Ulyanivka, Kirovograd Oblast.

 “I don’t like feeling sorry for myself or asking for handouts. At the hospital, while others lay in bed, I raced along the corridors in my wheelchair. When the war started, I worked as a volunteer, but when I saw my former students on the front lines, I went to the recruitment office and signed up. I used to work as a lecturer at a technical college where I taught welding. I was mobilized and joined the 34th Kirovohrad Battalion. In late September, I was severely wounded in the village of Leninske. Of course, I was hospitalized, but didn’t lie in bed very long… soon I was up and about, moving around in my wheelchair.”

Oleksandr was sent to Austria for rehabilitation where he spent a lot of time reading and communicating with the local Ukrainian diaspora.

“I read that this small country ensures much of its heating needs through eco-friendly fuel. It interested me. When I returned home, I began implementing the idea into practice. I got 300,000 UAH in disability compensation that I used to purchase a pressing machine. I made the dryer myself and saved 100,000 UAH. I knew how to do this as I’d worked as a welder and made boilers before the war.”

12076_6UnTUkjhnfGd_w_700

Oleksandr makes pellets that are in no way inferior to coal. He believes they are more cost-effective and ecological than other fuels:

“You have to pay 4,000 UAH for a ton of coal, a truckload of firewood costs about 4,500 UAH, but a ton of my pellets is only 1,800 UAH. We produce about six tons of biofuel per week. I’ve just signed a contract with the local hospital to supply them with our product.”

When information on Oleksandr’s project appeared in social networks, many people offered help and advice to the young entrepreneur. For example, one man wrote that he was ready to create a free website for Oleksandr’s company.

Oleksandr does not expect a lot of business in the near future, and thinks that the first year will be difficult because people are suspicious and know very little about pressed pellets.

“Well, I’ve started something and I want to continue helping my country. I have three people working with me. This is just the beginning. I’d like my company to grow and reach a certain commercial importance at the regional level. I don’t want us to be constantly dependent on Russia.”

Our hero claims that he did not need to get into business. But, he hopes his experience will inspire other disabled soldiers.

“I can go back to what I did before… welding and making boilers. But, I want to show our soldiers that life goes on and they can help change our country.”

 “At the hospital, there were many young guys who had lost a leg, and they believed that their life was finished. One fellow even jumped from the window, but fortunately he survived. I don’t even have my knees anymore! It would be much easier to move around if I did, but I won’t give up! I started walking as soon as I stood up on my prosthetic limbs for the first time. I’m not used to complaining and don’t want other Ukrainian guys to give up. After all, we have to rebuild our country.”

12076_a75yU2TctmYW_w_300

 

Translated by: Christine Chraibi
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here


    Will the West continue to support Ukraine?
    • Know what moves the world.
    • Premium journalism from across Europe.
    • Tailored to your needs, translated into English.
    Special discount
    for Euromaidan Press readers
    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!