As part of the initiative’s first phase, more than 140 female employees of Metinvest and their children affected by the war, as well as women and children of Group employees killed, will undergo a specially designed programme to help their emotional recovery. The first joint session, which is taking place in the Carpathians, began on 17 November and lasts three weeks.
The Unbreakable Mum project will be the first joint initiative of Metinvest’s Saving Lives humanitarian initiative and the Masha Foundation to rehabilitate women and children affected by the war. This is not the Group’s first project focusing on mental health during wartime: it previously provided assistance in rehabilitation and reintegration centres for internally displaced employees and purchased medicines.
Why is this important?
Since its inception, the main mission of the Saving Lives humanitarian initiative has been to help Ukrainian civilians to overcome the hardships, pain and consequences of the war by involving partners and Metinvest’s own business. From the outset of the war, Group employees found themselves at the forefront of the resistance to the aggressor in cities on or near the front line. Cities such as Mariupol and Avdiivka have been heavily damaged during the hostilities. Others where Metinvest’s enterprises are located, including Zaporizhzhia and Kryvyi Rih, have also experienced enemy shelling. The war has created stress and become an extraordinary challenge for tens of thousands of Group employees, who continue to support Ukraine by contributing to the economy at work, helping the military and local communities, and joining the ranks of the Armed Forces.
In such circumstances, the Saving Lives humanitarian initiative decided to start working on a comprehensive programme to physically and psychologically rehabilitate civilians in regions where Metinvest’s businesses are located: veterans, members of their families, women and children. The first focus of the new initiative was a project to provide prosthetics for war veterans. The second was involvement in the Unbreakable Mum project, which will help to stabilise the emotional state of Group employees, their children and civilians: women and their children have been through difficult times during the hostilities.
Commenting on the launch of the project, Yuriy Ryzhenkov, CEO of Metinvest Group, said: “Metinvest is a big family. The war has become a difficult test for our family, since the aggressor’s shelling forced a large number of our employees to leave their home towns. Unfortunately, among our family, there are more than 1,000 employees and their family members who were killed or wounded in the war. Most affected are Mariupol and Avdiivka, cities that were almost destroyed by the aggressor. However, the Group’s main humanitarian task now is to support and rehabilitate employees who continue working at Metinvest, who support it and Ukraine, as they do everything possible to bring our victory closer. We realised that we should start with emotional rehabilitation for those who had been through the hardest trials: with female employees and their children. We have found Masha Efrosynina and her foundation to be an ideal and experienced partner for such an initiative. I hope that Unbreakable Mum is the first of many projects of the Saving Lives humanitarian initiative that will contribute to rehabilitating our employees, their families and thousands of civilians from Ukrainian regions most affected by the war.”
What is special about the project?
The Unbreakable Mum project was launched in June 2022 by the Masha Foundation, co-founded by Masha Efrosynina and Oksana Nechyporenko and chaired by Tetiana Muratkina. An emotional state stabilisation programme for women and children affected by the war, the project was specially developed by experts on psychotherapy and post-traumatic syndromes. They will work intensively with participants of the sessions and their children for three weeks in the Carpathians. After that, those who need further therapy will receive up to three months of psychological support and online supervision.
Masha Efrosynina, co-founder of the Foundation, commented: “War destroys not only our power grids and houses. War destroys lives, and destroys Ukrainians from within. We are already facing a huge problem: the psychological and physical trauma of women. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian women have been already affected by the war. The Masha Foundation takes those most traumatised under its wing. So far, we have helped more than 1,000 people. But every day the war continues, the number of psychologically traumatised women increases. As such, it is vital that large charitable foundations or businesses join our project. Together, we can do even more. And I am pleased to announce the start of the first session of Unbreakable Mum, together with the “Do It Together” charitable foundation that is part of Metinvest Group’s Saving Lives humanitarian initiative. Together, we are reviving women for the revival of Ukraine.”
For project participants, there is daily programme divided into hour-long sessions, both group and individual, with psychotherapists, art therapy and body therapy. Overall, 24 psychologists are involved. The purpose of the Unbreakable Mum programme is to prevent the development of post-traumatic stress disorder and stabilise the psycho-emotional state by processing traumatic experience, learning self-regulation methods, forming successful coping strategies, developing adaptive skills and self-awareness, creating new social ties, increasing the social activity of participants, improving family relationships and increasing sociability.
Who are the organisers?
The “Razem Damy Radę – Do It Together” charitable foundation is part of the Saving Lives humanitarian initiative, established by Metinvest in coordination with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation at the beginning of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. The initiative provides large-scale continuous assistance to Ukraine in the form of food and basic necessities. For this purpose, two hubs have been set up in Poland, where wholesale shipments are collected, sorted and prepared for further distribution. In coordination with the government of Ukraine, they are delivered to cities and regions where assistance is needed. Alongside food, the initiative has started to provide assistance to medical institutions. Now, the focus of the Saving Lives project is rehabilitating employees affected by the war: war veterans, their families, female employees and their children. To learn more about the initiative and join it, see https://savinglives.scm.com.ua.
The Masha Foundation, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO), was established to combat all forms of violence and support general charity throughout Ukraine. The co-founders are Masha Efrosynina, actress, TV presenter, honorary UN ambassador for gender equality and the fight against violence, and Oksana Nechyporenko, director of the GoGlobal NGO and coordinator of the Ukrainian Anti-Crisis Centre in Warsaw. The Unbreakable Mum programme is a flagship project of “Masha Foundation. Women”. Every day, the foundation receives hundreds of applications from women who need help. Almost 60% of them have experienced the occupation and the rest survived the blockade or were in terrible conditions in flashpoint areas of Ukraine. Some 25% have witnessed violence. In 2022, more than 1,000 women and children have been through the rehabilitation camp of the Masha Foundation’s Unbreakable Mum project. The plan for 2023 is to double the number of participants in the programme. For more information about the Unbreakable Mum project, see https://mashafund.org.ua/projects/nezlamna-mama/.