It has been just over a year since the beginning of Russia's mad war on Ukraine. Many people were forced to flee from the horrors of war and many found their new homes here, in Austria. The majority of these consist of moms with children. Many are lost and trying to somehow, albeit temporarily, restore their lives. The Austrian government is doing significant work to help them, yet it can only provide them with the bare minimum.

From the beginning of the war, we, a group of Viennese women from different countries, have organized a help center for moms with children. Our goal was (and still is) to organize a space where, outside of bureaucratic proceedings, outside of politics, these families could feel human support and children could play in a warm and welcoming environment. As well as that, children could find themselves toys and books which they could then then take home with themselves. At the same time, moms could find much needed things for their kids. Things like clothing, shoes, strollers, chairs, tools for children's hygiene (shampoos, soap, diapers etc.), baby food and other stationery (pencils, paints etc.). 

We have seen that this concept works. We have seen moms come to us over and over again (we have created a visiting schedule: once in two weeks, to deal with the massive influx of people). Our center has become a sort of a club, where people could also exchange opinions and information not only with the volunteers but also with others who come to the center. Apart from that, we have become a hub for exchange of children's toys (they grow up so fast!), clothes, books, strollers etc. 

For a while, our center existed under the wing of a charity organization known as "Austria Helps Ukraine", in the tenth district of the city of Vienna. But in December of 2022, in light of problems with space, we founded our own charity organization: "Matusya". We found our new home which was kindly provided to us by the Consulting Center "Ukraine" /  International charity organization "Diakonie", in the 16th district of Vienna. That gave the families that come to us a wonderful opportunity  to get consultation about different social, medical and housing questions. 

Apart from that, our concept remained the same at the new location: To create a warm and caring environment, to support and ease the living process of moms with kids in a foreign country.