To keep the sky from falling - Extraordinary stories of human unity
In Jablonec nad Nisou, a community centre with the cute name Sokolka was established in the Sokol Hall, later moved to a new address and given the new name Krajanka. It has been functioning as a base for Ukrainian newcomers since the beginning of the war. Journalist Fatima Rahimi met the large local community at one table. She asked Veronika Iblova and Anna Tsantsala what makes Sokolka work so well. Hear the story of a community where everyone has a place.
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Originally Sokolka, now Krajanka, is the name of a community centre in Jablonec nad Nisou that has been bringing together new arrivals from Ukraine with local citizens since the beginning of the war. The helpfulness and solidarity of individuals have given birth to a large local community, which now, in addition to language courses, also offers art programmes and creative workshops for children and adults. Sokolka is also the focus of a new podcast from the International Organization for Migration about the hidden power of our communities.
Shortly after the arrival of the first people from Ukraine who had to leave their homes because of the war, the Sokolka Community Centre was established in the Sokol Hall in Jablonec. In the beginning, people collected humanitarian aid there. Gradually, this initiative of enthusiastic people from the Czech Republic and Ukraine grew into a functioning organisation, with which the city administration established cooperation as an official partner for work with Ukrainian families.
"We had a huge advantage that on the one hand there was the Sokol, which had facilities, and on the other hand we had a non-profit organization behind us, with which we organize Tatrhy (Markets) in Jablonec. This brought together a lot of incredibly dedicated and capable people, through whom we managed to create a huge wave of solidarity and cooperation," says Jura Ibl from the community around the Sokol.
The story of Sokolka from Jablonec also became the subject of the third 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 to five Czech towns 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.
"I have the feeling that in Jablonec they can predict where help is most needed. They are looking for people in residential hotels who have not come to Sokolka on their own. It's actually quite a professional outreach service," Fatima Rahimi comments on the Sokolka podcast.
After almost a year of operation in the Jablonec Sokol Hall, the activities of the community centre are moving to a new address at 4 Generál Mrázek Street. With the abandonment of the former premises, where a long-planned reconstruction is beginning, the Czech-Ukrainian centre is getting a new name, Krajanka.
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.