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Good People, Good Work

The Kind Work of the Blue Peony Foundation, Part 1 of 2

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While the world has watched on with the utmost compassion and empathy for those affected by the invasion of Ukraine, many kind individuals have come together to assist in whatever way they can. The Blue Peony Foundation in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, was established to welcome and support the Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in the country. Thus far, the Foundation has assisted over 800 displaced Ukrainians, helping them to start new lives in Australia.

The founders, including Zoia Douglas and Iryna Dohadina, met each other through their genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of displaced people. “We started mid-March (2022). Four complete strangers came together. We found each other on social media. And we wanted to make a difference because of this Ukrainian crisis situation that a lot of people are facing at the moment. And we learned that Ukrainians are fleeing the country and not going just to Europe or nearby countries, but also arriving to Australia. And we saw the need of helping them, so we wanted to create a hub where people can come, collect the donations, but also feel like they're not alone, feel like that there is support in this foreign country, very far away land.”

“Australia is a multicultural country, so we speak three languages here. Some of us don't speak Ukrainian. Some people don't speak English. So we find a way of communicating and this is just a language of help and a language of love - whether that is the Russian language, Ukrainian, [or] English. We just try and we see what works, and people understand us. But they see that what we bring is hope and happiness, and light, and we help them to start again. So that's our mission here.”

The Blue Peony Foundation also provides a very necessary place for people to connect, make friendships, build new links with the local community, and realize that they are not by themselves.

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