The therapeutic benefits of working with wool are very well known and documented. At the Zywiec Development Foundation we have launched a programme to assist with supporting and providing relief to refugees from the Ukrainian War. This is a "Wool for Ukraine" programme which uses the therapeutic benefits of working with wool to offset the effects of the distress and growing spread of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders caused by this conflict and focuses on support for both children and adults.
We need not remind people that more than 5mln refugees crossed into Poland. Many stayed or moved as refugees to many other European Countries and also a growing number now moved to other continents. The Foundation has partnered Wool groups, such as EWA, involved in knitting, crochet, felting, spinning and weaving from around the World to provide support to these refugees in Poland, Ukraine and anywhere else that groups of them have found refuge.
Refugees fled their homes and took very little with them. Providing them with knitting needles and a few balls of wool, for example, may not sound like something significant to many, but we can assure you that in many cases this is difference, for many, between coping with their new reality and for them not to fall into a traumatic dark place difficult to find their way out from. During knitting meetings, participants can spend time together, talk and get to know each other.
This project is to be a safe space for the participants where they can meet, work together and create. We hope that for some of them this activity will become a way of professional work over time. In Zywiec, at the Foundation headquarters we are going a step further and we are currently establishing a knitting workshop ( craft team) where some refugees will be able also to earn an income.