Wool for Ukraine over the 9 months since it was initiated by the Zywiec Development Foundation has grown considerably in its reach and scope of activities. Apart from the gratefully received monetary support through GlobalGiving we have also received an approximate 30,000 USD of wool and wool craft tools have been donated to the programme from all over the World. To emphasise this is a globally supported programme that we have received ongoing monetary and wool donations in December from Australia, From the Western Seaboard of the USA, from Iceland and the Faeroe Islands among many other places.
The Wool for Ukraine programme now supports three main activities are:
1) the distribution of craft bags to refugees
2) the organisation of refugee groups into craft groups with whom we can work with in skills development, but most importantly on social integration and providing psychological assistance and
3) Support to profession and/or highly wool crafters who maintain and make an income from producing high quality products which we can showcase at trade fairs.
With your donor support we will deliver workshops on a weekly basis through to end of April 2023 but we still need other funding. Our programme has expanded across Europe with workshops planned with a Ukrainian Master Crafter now located in Hamburg in cooperation a German felt artist from the region. To promote the programme we also will attend a big sheep event in an open air museum in the Stuttgart Region. This will be a large event for kids/visitors and we hope that we can collect donations and sell products from the Wool for Ukraine program.
We are also in the process of organising a refugee craft group in conjunction with German crafters in Ausburg in Germany in the Spring of 2023 and in February we have an event planned combining wool crafts and solidarity with Ukrainian refugees currently living in Wallonia, Lorraine and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Our funds are still limited and these event need to receive some programme support to cover costs of putting them on.
Finally we have a group of professional wool crafters out of Ukraine and also displaced within Ukraine which is growing in number. We currently have an estimated 50 individuals supported by wool supplies and also given market support to exchange their wonderful products for more donations. An ongoing plan is to provide additional support to Ukrainian Internally Displaced Persons. We have to date managed to get wool supplies through to individual crafters, however an ambition in 2023 is to improve this and find or establish crafter groups. These will be of different character dependant on the motivation of the participants. In some case we expect the groups to produce warm clothing which is extremely necessary for all parties caught up in the conflict. A wool sock campaign and a Warmth for Ukraine initiative is already running and we will look to see if we can link and contribute to these other worthy programmes. We will also look to the hubs of Traditional Wool Crafting within Ukraine now badly affected by loosing materials supplies and also markets for their goods. It is seen as important that this element of the heritage and history of Ukraine is maintained and even developed at this time. Information about this is starting to be posted in our Facebook and other social media sites with momentum expected in the first months of 2023.
Zywiec December 29th 2022.