Books offer a substitute for peace. The joyful moment of sharing a book and talking with a loved one is empowering and builds the foundation for our social competence, self-esteem and mental well-being. This is true for any child, but for Ukrainian children who have just experienced trauma, it is especially important.
Almost immediately after the war in Ukraine broke out we sprang into action to provide support for refugee children and Ukrainian publishers. That happened to be the beginning of our campaign, later called Books Give Refuge.
Our foundation began receiving email files of children’s books from Ukrainian publishers. Polish printers donated their services to print and distribute the books; publishers offered warehouse space and transportation. The next step was distributing books through Polish orphanages, day care centers, kindergartens, schools, libraries, and train stations where Ukrainian families are arriving, and, in some cases, sheltering for the short term.
We received numerous donations from all over the world, which lead us to supporting Ukrainian publishers with $155,000, to help them stay afloat throughout this crisis. During the war many of the country’s publishers, warehouses, printing houses, and bookstores have been destroyed by missiles, and most Ukrainian publishing professionals have been forced to flee.
Providing each refugee child in Poland with a book would require $1 million. As the war continues and the refugee crisis intensifies, donations have slowed significantly, even as the need increases. We need to change to a long-term, well thought-through strategy. We need financial support in order to make that happen, obviously, but my hopes are high that we will be able to do so.
Our campaign were mentioned in Publishers Weekly by Joanne O’Sullivan and in The Washington Post by Ron Charles.
We want to offer children a moment of normality, warmth, closeness and peace.
Thank you for your support!
If you want to contact us please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.