One year after the Ukrainian Women Refugees Association was founded, the statistics show that the need for help of various kinds is undiminished.

On 1 June last year, UWRA organized its first Dutch language class. Within a week, volunteers were teaching not only Dutch but English as well. The total number of hours languages have been taught currently stands at 399. So far, the classes have been attended by a total of 2,905 students.

Teaching languages is just one of the services UWRA offers fellow refugees from war-torn Ukraine. The following table lists all its activities, and what has been achieved in its initial year.

Language classes (English): 241 hours  and 2,116 participants

Language classes (Dutch): 158 hours and 789 participants

Employment-related events: 27.5 hours and 253 participants

Social integration meetings: 38 hours and 332 participants

Mental health support: 128.5 hours and 543 participants

Sports: classes and events: 21 hours and 163 participants

Mindfulness, yoga and art classes: 233.5 hours and 998 participants

Kids’ club: 154.5 hours and 813 participants

Project manager Olena Tiutiunnyk, who joined UWRA in July 2022, is understandably proud of the first year’s results. “The first participants shared their struggles and challenges on social media and Telegram channels. Over the past year, we have been able to identify the seven key areas we need to focus on [listed above]. Our own team joined forces with United Way staff and volunteers for each of these activities. The 1,000-odd hours of diverse classes, training sessions, presentations and events that we organized were attended by more than 6,000 people.”

On a personal note, Olena adds: “This past year has been a lifeline for me. The constant demands of coordination, communication and organizational tasks have left me little time to rest. However, that is precisely what keeps me going, because working with people and providing help give me strength and inspiration.”

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