Thousands of women have been forced to leave their homes in Ukraine, fearing for their lives and those of their children. Now they find themselves in a new reality. We want to provide Mothers from Ukraine with a place where they will be able to receive long-term support and become independent in this difficult situation. We want to create a safe Home for Independent Mums from Ukraine, where women with children can feel comfortable and cared for, while building a community that understands and supports each other. Unfortunately, despite the great desire and commitment of many volunteers, we are unable to do this without adequate financial support. That is why we are counting so much on your help.
The Homes for Independent Mums from Ukraine will not be just a temporary shelter. We will help each woman to obtain a PESEL number and necessary documents allowing for a long-term stay in Poland. Both mothers and their children will be provided with education, including Polish language classes. We will also guarantee the women the possibility of employment so that they can afford to support their family and the House, and after achieving financial stability, begin an independent life in Poland. Each House will also have a babysitting service that will enable women to focus on their work without worrying about the safety of their youngest children. Medical care, including dental care, will be available if needed.
We are committed to building a safe, inclusive, and nurturing community. Women who are struggling with the reality of being forced from their homes have largely had to leave their husbands or sons behind in the danger of war and will be a valuable support resource for each other. We expect the residents of each house to take care of the common space and the members of other families, i.e. to carry out daily chores such as cleaning, cooking or childcare. Of course, no one will be left alone – each house will have its own coordinator who will make sure that the relevant house rules are followed.
We have already opened the first Home – it is located in Jakubowizna in the administrative district of Gmina Chynów, within Grójec County. About 30 people will be able to live in the house with an area of 450 metres.
The first cosmetic renovation carried out by our reliable volunteers has been completed. As a result, we have already been able to welcome the first 11 people and help them adapt to a new life. We would like to invite another 15 people to the House, but we cannot do it without your help.
For the time being we do not have enough money for the basic upkeep of the Home, with food being especially difficult to source. We also do not have enough beds. In addition, we need to renovate the next floor of the Home so that it is suitable for living. But we really need any support we can procure – many of the people we help have left their homes in a hurry, taking only one suitcase with the most essential things, without fresh clothes, underwear or baby items. We want to give them the freedom to start a new life without being embarrassed or feeling out of place in their new workplace. There will also be space for families with animals, so that they do not have to leave their four-legged friends behind.
For the time being, we are concentrating on preparing one House and providing adequate care for its community. However, we are already planning to rent other buildings, so we will need your support for the foreseeable future as we continue to ramp up our efforts.
The costs of maintaining a Home full of people are, of course, not just the rent and its basic furnishing. In order to equip only the first Home, we still need funds for the purchase and installation of, among other things, two boilers, tiles in bathrooms and kitchens, lighting, replacement of sockets, shower cubicles with shower trays, as well as for repainting walls and purchasing basic household appliances such as cookers, fridges and pots.
At the Homes we will also want to provide each guest with:
- assistance in finding a job, meeting with a vocational counsellor, support in obtaining necessary documents or qualifications,
- food and clothing, including underwear,
- hygiene items for children (e.g. diapers, bath products) and women, including menstrual items,
- access to medical consultations,
- specialist psychological support,
- regular Polish and English language classes for both adults and children,
- access to general education for children and young people,
- transport to school, work or to the above-mentioned extracurricular activities,
- constant support from the coordinator of the Home and other volunteers of the Foundation,
- organising free time for children in a creative way in the form of free workshops and meetings with animators or teachers.
We plan to create about 3 – 4 such Homes, which will be able to house up to 120 people total (depending on the housing capacity of the places we manage to rent). We estimate that the cost of maintenance of one Home and about 30 people living in it is about 250 thousand zlotys per year. This amount includes renovations, purchase of necessary equipment, providing all the things mentioned above, as well as charges for media consumption, internet and waste disposal. As more people move in and the community develops, further needs may arise, which are hard for us to determine now. But at the same time, once the residents have become independent in their new place, are ready to start working and are financially able to afford e.g. food, hygiene products and other daily needs, the money collected will be given to the next Homes and the next mothers in need coming to Poland.
Unfortunately, we are not in a position to say how long our Homes will be needed. The goal of our collection is 1 million zlotys, which, according to our estimates, will allow us to maintain four Homes and thus provide a safe place for about 120 people. Such a financial assumption is a certain minimum to ensure stability. However, as in any family, not all expenses can be predicted. As the hosts of your own house or flat, you are certainly aware of unexpected expenses resulting from equipment repairs or sudden illness. We want to avoid the situation where one month we can’t pay the electricity bill, have to refuse to help someone because we don’t have enough money to buy beds or enough food and have to constantly ask for additional support, race against time. So if we exceed our minimum goal, we will have financial security for the Homes for months to come, and possibly the ability to open more of them. We are counting on your big hearts!
Every single zloty brings us closer to our goal and is able to change the lives of refugee women. Your every support creates new opportunities and brings them closer to independence in this difficult situation. It will help create a safe place for children and give them at least a little bit of joy and return a portion of the childhood that has been stolen from them.
Thank you for any support for our initiative! We encourage you to share the information about the fundraising campaign among your friends: https://zrzutka.pl/dommam