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Anfisa Yakovina MTV EMA Generation Change Award

Anfisa Yakovina MTV EMA Generation Change Award

On Sunday 13 November, at the MTV EMA Awards in Düsseldorf, our psychologist Anfisa Yakovina will be honoured with the Generation Change Award as one of three 'inspiring women from Ukraine' for helping those affected by humanitarian crisis and war.

The honour is awarded in partnership with Choose Love, a leading humanitarian and advocacy group for refugees.

The MTV EMA event is about music and entertainment - it’s significant and wonderful for us there is an opportunity to raise the issue of refugees and the challenges they face. Refugee women, especially single mothers and pregnant, are especially vulnerable. In Poland, women and children make up over 90% of refugees from Ukraine!

This great award for Anfisa is a clear signal to us - and we hope to the rest of the 'world' too (the event is watched by 450 million people!) - that we are not going to be silent about refugees, that help matters!

Anfisa Yakovina

Anfisa Yakovina is 30 years old, orginally Crimea. At the Polish Migration Forum she runs birthing schools and support groups for young mothers.

"We do not impose emotions on anyone, we do not attribute traumas. We support the healthy, strong part of the personality. It is amazing how many challenges and difficulties young mothers can overcome. Childbirth, postpartum in an unfamiliar place, in a country with a foreign language, when there are no loved ones around..." - Anfisa talks about the people she works with with great admiration and respect.

"A very big challenge, also in psychological work, which is difficult to overcome, is the instability, the precarious living situation of refugee women. A person after experiencing trauma needs to have a sense of security first and foremost. At least a roof over her head and food. She needs to know that she will have this tomorrow too. Meanwhile, 90% of people do not know where they will be in a month's time. That's why the work often has to be planned as short-term'. This is why Anfisa focuses on resources in her work - she helps to find and regain strength based on her clients' experiences. At the same time, she emphasises the importance of trying to normalise psychological support as such, so that people reach out for it when they just need it.

Women's programme at the Polish Migration Forum Foundation

What is it like to prepare for childbirth in a foreign country, in a hospital where the staff speak a foreign language; when you have pregnancy tests described in a foreign alphabet? What is it like to choose a hospital, to put together a layette, to face the difficulties of confinement when there are no relatives nearby, when you are living with strangers? When you do not know if, how or when you will be able to be independent?

We are committed to speaking out about the perspectives, the possibilities, the difficulties, the needs of the women who have ended up here - to raise awareness, to widen the field of vision, to deepen empathy, to recognise difficulties and to look for solutions. We are also keen to share our knowledge and experience, to support and advise.

At the Polish Migration Forum Foundation we run:

- birthing schools for migrant and refugee women,

- support groups for women, mothers of babies and young children,

- we provide free midwifery consultations, help with pregnancy management,

- We train health care professionals on maternity care in a culturally diverse environment.


Many of these activities were carried out by the Foundation long before the war - we are currently operating on a much larger scale, but according to well thought-out and tested methods. We see that our activities, competence and experience have now become valuable and needed by many people. We want to share them!

Activities for pregnant women, young mothers and children with refugee and migration experience are implemented by the Polish Migration Forum Foundation thanks to the support of CARE International.


photo JuliaPankeeva
photo JuliaPankeeva
photo JuliaPankeeva
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