Ukrainian Refugees Women

We often hear how war and conflicts disproportionately impact women and girls and the numerous obstacles they face. War impacts everyone, however with social communities and networks broken down and existing inequalities exacerbated, women are most impacted. They lose access to healthcare, education and many other social services and remain particularly vulnerable to Sexual and Gender Based Violence as well as are at risk of forced early marriage and other forms of exploitation.

Azadi’s Priyali Sur and Shreyas Jayakumar visited Poland in May, met with many refugee mothers and children and heard their journeys of resilience. They also met Polish activists and organizations working to support refugees coming into their country. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced more than 3 million people to flee to nearby countries, and many are displaced within the country. Poland has seen the maximum number of Ukrainian refugees – mostly women and children.  “My message to everyone is this – do not get comfortable with the idea of war!”, shared Kate, an English teacher back in Ukraine, who was living in a shelter in Rzeszow, Poland with her 2 children when Priyali and Shreyas met her.

At The Azadi Project, our aim is to change the narrative around Ukrainian refugee women, transforming them into leaders and agents of change, enabling them to not only improve their own mental health but also empower them to identify gender equality issues and solutions to mental health within their own communities.

 “I am here all by myself with my three children and it is very difficult”  – Liudmila, Ukrainian mother in Poland

Ukrainian Refugee women suffer from anxiety and the fear of what the future may have in store for them and their children. For women refugees especially, access to mental health services can be very difficult.

In June, we trained and hired 2 Ukrainian refugee women to start our Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) workshops in Krakow, Poland.  Through our mental health interventions, we invest in the power of women refugees to rebuild their lives, families and their communities. In the presence of a certified psychologist, these workshops provide a safe space for refugee women and with the help of creative techniques such as storytelling and art, they address their feelings of trauma, grief and loss caused by forced migration. Through a combination of group therapy and one-on-one counseling, we empower refugee women with the confidence, agency and the skills to share their life changing stories and journeys. 

We are raising funds to help provide Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) sessions for Ukrainian refugee women who have escaped the war and are currently in Poland. Unfortunately, mental health is often overlooked, especially in the time of crisis. For the cost of a meal ($40), you can help women attend a group therapy session with a certified psychologist. Or for $120, you can help three women attend weekly sessions.

Your generosity will also help us hire and train additional facilitators and psychologists in Krakow, Poland and reach more Ukrainian refugee women in need.  

Donate today and see your gift doubled thanks to a matching grant of up to $5,000 by an anonymous donor.

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