This is my country – but not now
She is a bit of an odd one out and also places herself somewhat outside the group.
The rest of the group consists of women who fled the Ukraine due to the war.
She is from Belarus and is therefore viewed differently by a number of Ukrainian ladies.
In a sense, she is also a refugee. If her country had been different, she would certainly not have been in Poland!
But she can’t go back…
During the session in which we work with wool felt on a brooch, she immediately knows what she wants to make. She had been brooding over this for a few days. She then gets to work straight away.
This is my country, but not the way it is governed now.
This is my country, where the country is run for the people who live there. Where there is safety, where there is freedom.
She becomes very emotional and doesn’t want to say anything more than this: this is my country, but completely new…
Sadness about the situation, feeling displaced, the pain of missing loved ones who she cannot see now. These are all aspects that also apply to refugees from Ukraine, but they (Belarus) are not generally accepted…
There is even a discussion – “but your country is not at war, what could be worse than war?!”
I intervene because, like anyone who is deeply involved in their own situation, looking at and understanding someone else is not easy.
We are not going to compare suffering. We’re not going to put them on a scale. Absolutely not!
Perhaps, when they are further along in their process, they will also see the suffering of others. Because although the country of origin is different and the circumstances are different, there are quite a few similarities in the pain that is felt.