Photo 18:00 10 Mar 2023

Solutions from Ukraine: charity invites displaced to dine and enjoy "life's simple pleasures"

Restaurant for displaced persons: the "Enjoying Life" charitable foundation helps internally displaced persons to restore the taste of life.

The "Enjoying Life" charitable foundation launches the "Taste of Life" project with the grant support of Dorcas Ukraine (a Christian organization that supports people in need – ed.).

What is the problem?

The war took away relatives, friends, and homes from many Ukrainians. The number of internally displaced persons in Ukraine has exceeded 8 million.

What is the solution?

To support displaced people morally and remind them of the small joys that can be found in any life situation, the "Enjoying Life" charitable foundation, with the grant support of Dorcas Ukraine, launched the "Taste of Life" project in January 2023. Within the framework of the project, people with the status of internally displaced persons from 2022 can receive certificates for free lunches in a chain of restaurants in Kyiv. Certificates have already been received by 8,986 immigrants from Mariupol, Bakhmut, Severodonetsk, Sloviansk, Melitopol, Kherson, and other cities. The certificates can be used until the end of March.


"Enjoying Life" has always sought to cover not only the basic needs of its wards but also to enable them to live a full life under any conditions, says the founder of the foundation Tina Nikolova (Mykhailovska).

"Now we help internally displaced persons and do everything so that their life in the new city does not stand on pause – so that they continue to find small joys in it, time for themselves and their family. Not all displaced people now have the opportunity to go to cafes and maintain the lifestyle they had before the full-scale war.  To give them this feeling is the main aim of  the "Taste of Life" project."


How does this solution work?

Among the people who received certificates for going to the cafe are volunteers of the internally displaced persons' support center "Enjoying Life: Care." All of them are also immigrants, and now they are helping other people with the status of internally displaced persons to settle in Kyiv.

68-year-old Natalya, who has been volunteering every day since June at "Enjoying Life: Care," was miraculously able to leave Mariupol after three weeks in the basement due to heavy shelling. The russian invaders bombed the drama theater in front of her eyes. The woman took only her passport and her talisman – a piece of consecrated paska (traditional Ukrainian Easter bread – ed.). She went first to Zaporizhzhia, then to her children in Kyiv. Now she helps other displaced people and finds the taste of life in this and her hobby – making soft toys of gnomes and giving them to other volunteers.

"Before the war, in my last years of retirement, I fulfilled my dream and traveled – I was in Egypt, Europe, and even China," Natalya says. "I loved when guests came to my house, and I set the table for them. This was my taste of life, and now it's gone. So I'm trying to find it in other things. I made friends at the support center with other female volunteers who were also forced to move to Kyiv. Together we'll have lunch in a cafe. And after the victory, I'll return home and gather friends at the table there again."

Certificates for lunches in the cafe from the "Taste of Life" project can be used until the end of March. Next, the foundation will look for new ways to give people with the status of internally displaced persons the opportunity to distract themselves from the war and experience the small joys that make every person's life full.

For reference:

Since May 2022, the Support Center for internally displaced persons, "Enjoying Life: Care," a branch of the "Enjoying Life" charitable foundation, has assisted 15,000 people with internally displaced person status. At the center, such people receive clothes, dishes, bed linen, toys for children, food for animals, as well as legal and psychological support, an opportunity to find a social circle for themselves and their children in a new city.



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