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 refugee groups currently in Poland, Ukraine, Germany, the USA and anywhere else that groups of them have found refuge.
We began by providing refugees with knitting needles and a few balls of wool as wool crafting is a simple but effective way to deflect many of the problems they faced running from a war zone and adapting to a new reality asa refugee. We now have established wool groups in Poland, Ukraine, Germany and the USA as well as a group in Zywiec undergoing professional training and skills development in wool crafting. We still provde immediate support to new refugees and long term help for others.
This project has provided an activity through craft bags to hundreds of refugees and also a safe environment where they can meet, work together and create with local people. We ahve shown already that this activity can develop into professional work over time. In Zywiec, at the Foundation headquarters we have established a knitting workshop ( craft team) where some refugees aere using their developed skills also to earn an income. This we want to replicate to other groups we have started.
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