Two years after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Alliance2015 members keep working united to ensure more help to Ukrainians in need in war-affected regions. ​Joint emergency Response in Ukraine (JERU) is a partnership of Alliance 2015 members Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe

As part of JERU, mini grants are provided to self employed individuals wanting to start their own line of work or expand their business to financially sustain themselves and their families. JERU and our Ukrainian partner Posmishka UA provided 1 200 EUR per person and supported 10 self employed entrepreneurs.

YULIA, showroom owner

Behind 47 year old Yulia’s extremely charming smile lies an incredibly tragic story. Russian troops entered her native Melitopol on February 24, 2022. She, her husband and younger 12 year old daughter planned for 50 days to evacuate the city.

“We passed 25 checkpoints, mined roads, and inspections. We just threw our belongings in the car, didn’t even pack anything. And what was the point? Soldiers were going through them anyway”.

In Melitopol, the family left the business they had been developing for 20 years. It was a women’s clothing showroom right in the center of the city, a small atelier and own production of embroidered T shirts.

“We were told that if we didn’t re register it under Russian law by 2024, it would be taken away. I know that some potential buyers have already come to see our showroom. I cannot influence this; I can only watch helplessly”.

The displaced woman from southern city of Melitopol decided to rebuild everything from scratch in a small western town in Ternopil Oblast. A mini grant of 45 thousand UAH from JERU and the Posmishka UA Charitable Foundation will allow Yulia to get closer to her dream. The entrepreneur rented a space in a local shopping mall and created an incredible women’s space.

“I want it to be more than just a women’s clothing showroom , not just a place to come, buy and leave. We organize women’s meetings here. We had a training with a girl who does face yoga, we put 5 chairs here and she told us how to take care of our faces. It was then when I realized that I needed a sofa here”.

Yulia is an aesthete. It is important for her that everything that catches an eye is aesthetically pleasing. That’s why she has already replaced the old hangers and racks with new ones. Yulia believes that people buy with their eyes. The future that the owner of the atmospheric showroom visualizes iscreating her own clothing brand. A dream she never had a chance to fulfil in Melitopol.

Read more about our projects in Ukraine here.

Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine, October 2023
Author: Oleksandra Titorova, JERU Communications Officer
Editing Advisor: Carly Ziska
Photo credit: Oleksandra Titorova, Volodymyr Opyr/Posmishka UA

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