My name is Julia. I am Ukrainian from Donetsk and I have been living in Poland for 10 years.
There is a saying in Poland and Ukraine that life is a path to go. However, how different is the path taken by migrants. I walked this path, although I did not run away from the war. It was a family fate that brought me here. I learned the language, found a job, started my own business, continued my education and raised my children in a new culture and local customs. I did everything so that the world I found myself in wouldn’t treat me like an outsider. I was lucky to end up in Poland where people don’t treat you like that. Maybe it’s our common experiences, formed in the generation of our ancestors, that made us feel close to each other today. The tragic events of war made me feel angry. They awakened despair and disagreement within me. I felt there was nothing I could do. But then I thought this anger is a great force that can be turned into good, strong emotions. And that I can do something that will work.
This is how the "Ukrainian woman in Poland" was created in March 2022 - a project for Ukrainian women who escaped the war.
The project is aimed at preventing professional degradation and integrating Ukrainian women with the local society. So that, just like me 10 years ago, they would not feel like strangers and would not be afraid of living. However, the first months of operation showed that this project is not only about women and for women. It is also about business people, local governments, non-governmental organizations, private individuals and everyone who supports us during this difficult time. Immediate support is easier, but long-term help is difficult and requires a comprehensive approach. We will not stop thanking the Poles for being patient with us, for supporting us, and most importantly, for seeing potential in us and reckoning with the fact that a large part of war migrants will one day become Polish citizens. Our objectives are common, we are people who know the feeling of oppression and powerlessness. We know that together we can build a new society.
Lack of professional activity causes social degradation and mental crisis.
Our goal is integration and in order to be ready for it, we create a place where Ukrainian women will gain psychological balance and believe in themselves again by adapting their skills and experiences to new living conditions. It is the relations between us that build mutual respect and make impact on international relationships.
We would like every Ukrainian woman to be financially independent or to open her own business in Poland and be able to employ others. We conduct trainings aimed at creating own business in Poland, legalization of business, development of marketing competences, social media, design thinking etc. We cannot and do not want to count on the kindness of Poles, who have welcomed us and our children. We are aware that the lack of professional activity causes social degradation and mental crisis.
Our men are fighting hard for independent Ukraine and their victory largely depends on how their women live and feel in Poland. Ukrainian women are the examples of power who are longing to learn and integrate with Polish society and input into local community, create mutual support groups and participate in the project as volunteers.
The force that connects people and institutions, regardless of the distance is the female desire for help and solidarity.
The Foundation Ukraine and the Soroptimist International First Club in Wrocław became our partners from day one. They support us financially and organizationally. In June 2022, we became a beneficiary of the “Cześć dziewczyny” Grant Program from the Polish-Ukrainian Sisterhood of the Kulczyk Foundation. The amount of the grant – as much as PLN 100K gave us the power to act. Thanks to this support, which is expressed in the words: “We want to create a second home for you”, we know that we are accepted, wanted and needed here. Because that’s what a happy home feels like. A home built by women’s hands is able to survive the most terrible times and give strength to build a new future. Thanks to the Grant Program and the support of BNP Paribas Bank, we started in November 2022 a pilot course for accountants at the Wrocław University of Economics, along with launching a Polish language course and a marketing business school. On top of that, thanks to the local business, we received branding support for the project, copywriting and printing materials.
There is entire universe inside of each person. I believe that the most beautiful truth about life is that we are made up not of the general, but millions of details. We find ourselves in the details and explore them, we connect with each other to create a driving force, energy that can break the greatest evil. The force that connects people and institutions, regardless of the distance is the female desire for help and solidarity. Let’s use it to make the thing that devastated my country, our sense of freedom and takes away our dignity every day, finally disappear. Let’s defeat this inhuman attack on every front. Together we can!
I invite literally everyone to support and cooperate with us!