Klatovy: Nad hrncem přátelství

To keep the sky from falling – Remarkable stories of human unity


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In Klatovy, journalist Fatima Rahimi visited the Women's Ukrainian Club, which brings together over sixty Ukrainian women. The club is run by a Ukrainian woman, Anna Shevchenko, who found refuge for herself and her family in Pošumaví. Two energetic women from Klatovy, Sarah Sofie Huikari and her mother Eva Huikari, have become an important link for the Ukrainian group. Listen to the story of emancipation and the power of friendship. 

The town Klatovy has become a new home for many people from Ukraine who had to leave their homes because of the war. It was also here that the so-called Women's Ukrainian Club (ZUK) was founded, which brings together over 60 Ukrainian women today. Its members meet regularly and ZUK’s story is also the focus of a new podcast from the International Organization for Migration on the hidden strength of our communities.

The idea to start the club came from Anna Shevchenko, who came to Klatovy with her three children after the outbreak of war in Ukraine. Sarah Sofie Huikari and her mother Eva Huikari, who live in Klatovy, helped a lot in its realization. Together they have made the club a safe place to meet, to share sorrows and joys. 

The first project of the club, which Sarah and Eva came to Ukrainian members with, was a mobile food stand, which they took to the festival for several hundred people. The sudden collaboration on the big joint cooking and the whole preparation was one of the many activities that contributed significantly to strengthening relationships and developing communication, which was one of the main needs of the women from Ukraine to come up with different ideas and to have a chance to get to know Czech society better. 

"We wanted to enrich our society. The people who came here have big hearts and wanted to do something for us. Investing some work back into the community is important to keep the energy spinning," says Sarah Sofie Huikari about the role of the new community in Klatovy.

"All of us girls are that strength. I can be the strength today. Tomorrow, Tanya or Ola or someone else will give me strength," answers Anna Shevchenko in the podcast when asked where they get the energy to overcome emotionally challenging situations and conditions that they experience on a daily basis despite their warm welcome. "We are still hurting because we all want to go back to our lives and reunite with our families who stayed in Ukraine because that is our home," Anna Shevchenko adds. 

The story of ZUK in Klatovy has become the subject of the first episode of the new podcast To keep the sky from falling – Remarkable stories of human unity from the International Organization for Migration. The podcast is hosted and narrated by journalist Fatima Rahimi, who travels through five Czech cities to meet groups supporting Ukrainian refugees and their families. Rahimi gradually discovers how a consciousness of togetherness is emerging that has helped us cope surprisingly well with the unprecedented migration situation over the past year. 

A five-part podcast series So the sky won't fall - Extraordinary Stories of Human Cohesion created by Kineticon. It is publicly available for listening on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or YouTube. Voiceover of the podcast is narrated by Petra Bučková. The selection of the communities for the podcast was made in cooperation with the Via Foundation, which supported the projects of communities from Beroun, Klatovy and Jablonec nad Nisou from its From Ukraine Among Us programme. The project is commissioned by the International Organization for Migration - IOM Czech Republic and is based on the global It Takes a Community movement celebrating how all people, regardless of where they were born, contribute to making our communities better places to live and call home.