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Ukraine: Helping women navigate unfamiliar systems to get help

Photo by Raegan Hodge/CARE

Photo by Raegan Hodge/CARE

As Ukrainian refugees arrive and find themselves in a completely new place, they can find foreign health and legal systems and hard to navigate. In Poland, CARE has partnered with local organizations primarily specializing in helping women with their specific needs.

With CARE’s help, they have expanded their capacity to cater specifically to the added Ukrainian population:

  • Through our partnership with Federa, CARE is helping pregnant and struggling Ukrainian women find health services in the complicated Polish health system. CARE and Federa are helping Ukrainian refugees with pre- and post-natal care, including the hiring of a Ukrainian gynecologist.
  • With Feminoteka, CARE is supporting psychosocial care for victims of sexual violence and corresponding health services. Feminoteka is a Polish women’s organization providing holistic services and support for survivors, especially survivors of sexual violence. Their services and support include psychosocial support (individual and group), trauma counseling, hotline, and legal services including services in Ukrainian and Russian. CARE’s partnership will provide essential support to their rape crisis center, an economic integration program as well as self-care and security activities for Ukrainian women.
Image of CARE staff member sharing an information card with a refugee woman
Photo by Raegan Hodge/CARE
  • Polish Migration Forum (PMF) provides broad services from direct support to migrants (psychological, job market, legal) as well as trainings (for teachers, psychologists, government officials). CARE’s partnership will focus on supporting their women’s program which includes childbirth classes and support groups for mothers of young children. PMF is expanding its programs to specifically support women and children fleeing Ukraine, including hiring Ukrainian speaking midwives and psychologists.
  • CARE’s partnership with Autonomia focuses on supporting their Solidarity Feminist Center in Krakow – safe space services and activities for all women, including women from Ukraine; and violence prevention activities through building capacity to prevent, recognize and respond to violence.

Our efforts and commitment to helping Ukrainian women in Poland is adaptable; in addition to expanding services, we found that many refugees did not know about many services available to them. In response, we gave out more than 6,000 info cards and placed them at refugee centers and border crossings. The cards, available in Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and English, outline the specific services available and the hotlines and websites of service providers.


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