Shining the spotlight on mental health, especially during a crisis

Watch our video that highlights the importance of mental health.

Azadi Team

We’ve been busy, and in a good way! Over the last couple of months, we have been continuing to make a greater impact in the field of gender equality. Our interventions have helped empower Ukrainian refugee women currently living in Poland to own their narrative and become leaders of change. We even facilitated a visit to Krakow, Poland by a delegation of women Nobel Peace laureates who bore witness to the plight of refugees and called for an end to the war on Ukraine. 

What’s more – we have also been creating male allies by conducting programs for men and boys from marginalized communities  in India and highlighting issues including human rights, women’s rights, sexual and gender-based violence, personal hygiene and toxic masculinity.

Here are some key insights:

Ukrainian refugee women and mothers in Poland need your help!

Ukrainian Refugees In Poland

Mental health support for Ukrainian refugee women in Poland:

Our first Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) program to help Ukrainian refugee women in Krakow, Poland successfully finished last month. And our second session will start soon in October. Thanks to the generosity of donors, we were able to hire and train 2 Ukrainian women – a Facilitator, and an Assistant Facilitator – to lead the program in Poland. This not only provides them with a livelihood and financial support but also inspires other Ukrainian women and builds a community of support and care. Our gratitude to the Jewish Community Centre, Krakow, for giving us the venue to host these sessions.

Over the course of 6 weeks, 12 Ukrainian women attended weekly group therapy sessions conducted by our facilitator who is also a certified psychologist in a safe space designed to allow them to talk about their fears and experiences and learn simple methods to handle stress, anxiety, and their emotions. In addition to the free weekly group sessions, we also offered free one-on-one counseling sessions as well. 

Many refugee women from Ukraine arrived in Poland in a state of distress and anxiety having left or lost family members and we recognize the importance of MHPSS interventions especially in such situations.

If you’d like to support us reach our goal of offering MHPSS sessions to 100 Ukrainian refugee women in the next few months, please donate here

Delegation of Nobel laureates to Poland:

In honor of World Refugee Day (June 20), we partnered with the Nobel Women’s Initiative to facilitate a visit to Poland by a delegation of three Nobel Laureates. Over the course of four days, Jody Williams of the US, Leyman Gbowee of Liberia, and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen met with Ukrainian refugee women and local community leaders who have been leading the effort to provide support to Ukrainian refugees. They also met with with local feminist and LGBTQ+ organizations, and peace activists in Poland who have been on the frontline fighting relentlessly for women’s rights and gender equality.

Psychosocial support for marginalized communities in New Delhi:

We have successfully completed the first phase of our MHPSS workshop for migrant and local women and girls in New Delhi. 12 women participated in our sessions which were aimed at raising awareness and discussing issues related to human rights, women’s rights, gender-based violence, fears and anxieties and various other challenges they face as migrant women. Azadi aims to empower these women and build confidence as well as support them to seek comfort within their community. This workshop was in collaboration with our on-ground partner, Ummid ki Udaan, a not-for-profit organization that works with marginalized children in Delhi. This program was sponsored by Lean In Foundation, a non- profit started by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Meta, and Seleni Institute, a non profit dedicated to women’s physical and mental health. 

We also understand how important it is to build male allies and we just concluded a four-day workshop for 12 men from local and migrant communities, raising awareness around topics such as toxic masculinity, child marriage, gender rights, women’s rights, peer pressure and sexual health. The aim of these workshops is to make men and boys champions of gender equality while also addressing the societal pressures they experience.

We will soon be starting the second leg of our New Delhi workshop.

Fundraiser for Ukraine:

So far, we have been able to run our program in Krakow, Poland thanks to a small grant. In order to meet the rising demand for MHPSS interventions, we have recently launched a fundraiser with an aim to raise at least $10,000. With this amount, we will be able to expand our program, and hire additional psychologists and assistant facilitators who can support over 100 Ukrainian women access weekly mental health sessions and one-on-one counselling. 

Here’s how you can help us make a difference:

40 dollars helps a Ukrainian refugee women attend private counseling session.

100 dollars helps 10 women attend group therapy.

If you’d like to contribute to our fundraiser to make mental health services accessible to Ukrainian refugee women in Poland, please donate here

Should you have any questions or feedback, please get in touch with me on

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