In March 2022, as Russian aggression in Ukraine escalated, Viktoria Malinuk and her 13-year-old daughter fled Kharkov and crossed the border into Slovakia with solely their suitcases.
The weeks become months of battle, and whereas they waited in Slovakia, Malinuk was capable of assist different newly arrived individuals from Ukraine. At present, I’m a program supervisor for League for Psychological Well being, a non-profit group in Slovakia. League for Psychological Well being is a Slovak non-profit group based final spring to offer psychological well being help for Ukrainian refugees by Ukrainian refugees.
In response to UNHCR, there are presently about 105,000 Ukrainian refugees within the nation. Since Could 2022, Direct Reduction has contributed $3 million in full to League for Psychological Well being for psychological well being tasks launched nationwide to assist Ukrainian refugees residing in Slovakia.
Anxiousness of two worlds
The league is presently staffed by 112 Ukrainian refugees as psychological well being professionals who present counseling, help teams and Different free psychosocial companies are offered. At present in Slovakia provide emergency medical services It’s free for Ukrainian refugees and doesn’t cowl psychological well being. The league is filling a necessary hole in care, and doing so with groups that share the distinctive refugee experiences of those that assist them. The League serves Ukrainian refugees residing in refugee facilities and Ukrainian refugees being hosted by native households.
Final October, Direct Reduction employees visited the league and spoke with a number of employees concerned within the undertaking. A lot of the employees are girls with youngsters who share their experiences of getting to go away their properties and be resettled in new international locations like Malinuk.
Andrei Vranska, govt director of the Federation of Psychological Well being, met Malinuk via a mutual pal and instantly understood her ardour for the concept of serving to different Ukrainians. After a ten minute cellphone name and assembly she was employed the subsequent day. It was solely later that I discovered what Malinuk and her daughter had gone via only a few weeks earlier. She’s extra of a supervisor than I’m. I can not think about she might have began and run a undertaking with out her,” he mentioned.
Direct Reduction additionally spoke with Svitlana Muravska, Chief of the Skilled Panel. It is a subgroup of employed psychologists who present supervision, coaching and HR help throughout regional groups. She described the distinctive challenges this group faces abruptly as refugees, (typically) moms, and psychological well being suppliers to fellow refugees.
Together with her son and daughter nonetheless in Ukraine, she feels pulled in reverse instructions by the anxiousness of two worlds: the previous and the brand new. She should put her private scenario apart in an effort to assist the group in entrance of her. “I really feel like somebody making an attempt to start out a automotive that will not begin, and somebody says to me, ‘Let’s go. We are able to begin the automotive later,'” she mentioned. I obtained
The league additionally takes precautions to guard the psychological well being of its personal staff. Ukrainian employees members got every week off, provided Slovak language lessons, and took part in common staff constructing actions. create and promote There may even be knowledge-sharing classes on the day of the convention the place varied groups will current on matters associated to their work, resembling how youngsters are dealing with conditions and the way greatest to help youngsters.
Making a vibrant house
One of many League’s groups of psychologists is predicated on the Gabey Ikovo Asylum Seeker Lodging Middle, a refugee middle 40 minutes from the capital, Bratislava. The middle presently hosts about 1,000 Ukrainian refugees, greater than a 3rd of whom are youngsters.
The league has 4 totally different assembly rooms, embellished with yellow and blue paper sunflowers and crowd pleasing coloring books that distinction with the remainder of the constructing. In these rooms and communal areas, the League’s employees will host a movie and shadow theater membership for seniors, quite a lot of group actions for kids, night concert events and poetry readings, and particular person rooms for callers. facilitated counseling companies for A time helpline was clearly seen in every doorway, displaying schedules, nameless query/remark votes, and different useful info in Ukrainian.
The cooking class was helpful for an older man who was an expert chef again house. Malinuk mentioned he was so depressed that he by no means left the room. Every unit has a small kitchen space, however the fridge and different home equipment usually are not powered, so residents can’t put together their very own meals. The United Nations distributes lunch bins each day, so everybody can eat.
Malinuk mentioned all their actions had been carried out in a psychosocial framework tailor-made to every group served. A number of the youngsters had been utterly silent after they first arrived and had been unwilling to work together with their friends. We had been collaborating within the crafts. The employees retains monitor of our progress and is encouraging. “Day by day, the ladies write what has been achieved, and each month there’s a common report of this exercise,” she shared. This manner we will see what is going on.
Because the battle nears a 12 months, Malinuk, Muravska, and the complete staff are dedicated to the psychological well being and well-being of the group. “That is a part of the lived expertise that her members of the staff share with their shoppers,” says Vranska. “They’ve had the identical expertise, proving that regardless of how tough the scenario is, it’s definitely worth the effort.”
For the reason that struggle started, Direct Reduction has offered £2.3m of medical help and $23.9m of economic help to fulfill the well being wants of individuals residing in Ukraine and people displaced elsewhere. I used to be.