Feminist EmPOWERment Grant:
Support for refugee families of children with disabilities fleeing the war in Ukraine.
“We are feminists, because above all we support women, who carry the burden of caring duties (…) We want to be part of a movement, a feminist community.”
About the group
The “Patchwork” Association are immigrant mothers, raising children with disabilities (including intellectual disabilities and developmental difficulties) in Poland; and a facilitator supporting them. The mothers come from Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.
The experience of the members of the association is the challenges associated on the one hand with living in a foreign country, and on the other – with being the mother of a child with disabilities. As self-advocates, Patchwork members know what their needs are and what the everyday life of women in their situation looks like.
These experiences turned out to be crucial when the war broke out in Ukraine and there was a need for crisis support for women in a similar life situation, who were leaving the war-affected areas.
“We want families to be integrated, but also independent. (…) We know their needs and understand them, because our organization is made up of mothers of persons with disabilities.”
About the action
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “Patchwork” members have been supporting refugee families of children with disabilities. Their support included evacuation, ensuring a place of residence in Poland, organizing medicines and material assistance, as well as accompanying in managing all formalities, in particular those related to the child’s disability.
After a period of intense crisis aid, it is time for systemic solutions. At the time of submitting the application, more than 50 refugee families, mainly living in Krakow, were supported by the association.
Therefore, the members of the Patchwork Association launched the Integration and Support Center in July – a physical place enabling meetings of persons using the association’s offer. The Support Center offers a day room for children, space for work, conducts Polish language classes and rehabilitation. Part of the support will be allocated to the necessary rehabilitation equipment, sworn translations required by Polish law, and subsidies for renting apartments for individual families. At the end of September, more than 130 families had already benefited from Patchwork’s support.
Grant amount: PLN 80,000
Photo Association for Immigrant Families of Persons with Disabilities “Patchwork”