We would like to announce the launch of Sestry, the first international online magazine for women from Ukraine

Projekty międzynarodowe

The team behind the initiative are former editors of the daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and the weekly women’s magazine Wysokie Obcasy: Jerzy Wójcik, Joanna Mosiej-Sitek and Aleksandra Klich, who together have founded the Media Liberation Fund. The magazine will launch with the support from the Kulczyk Foundation headed by President Dominika Kulczyk. The Editor-in-Chief of the new medium will be Mariya Gurska, a seasoned Ukrainian journalist, known for her work for the Ukrainian Espreso TV Channel, which started during the Maidan Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine.

‘This project is a natural follow-up to our current activities targeting girls from Ukraine and initiated at the outbreak of the war, namely the ”Hi Girls!” campaign and the Polish-Ukrainian Sisterhood. Now, it’s time to take another step forward. We have provided support for the Sestry magazine project because our fellow women, our sisters, migrants, deserve to have access to free, independent media’, says Dominika Kulczyk, President of the Kulczyk Foundation.

About 1.5 million women refugees from Ukraine are currently staying in Poland and further hundreds of thousands are staying elsewhere across the EU. Since the outbreak of the war, 5 million people have emigrated from Ukraine. The war, migration, returns and contributions to the recovery of the country are all catalysts of tremendous social change that also affects women’s rights and women’s participation in the political life of Ukraine, Poland and the wider European Union. Initiated by the Media Liberation Fund and the Kulczyk Foundation, the digital magazine Sestry is intended to meet those needs. Its aim is to bring together a community of female readers from Poland, Ukraine and beyond, reaching out to migrants from our neighbour country across the EU and in Canada and the US.

‘The female perspective on this horrible war is missing from the media in Poland, Ukraine and in the West. Millions of female refugees have no media or representation of their own. The media in Ukraine focus on what is happening there while media in the host countries focus on the domestic issues of their respective states. There is a real need for a news feed targeting the millions of women driven from Ukraine by the war’, says Jerzy Wójcik, co-founder of the Media Liberation Fund.

Sestry is to be distinguished, above all, by quality original journalistic content. The core of the Ukrainian team comprises female journalists who were forced by the war to leave their homes to live abroad. With an international network of female refugee correspondents, they can become a bridge between the West and those fighting in Ukraine.

‘Sestry is a medium which has no counterpart anywhere else in the world. We create it for women like us, Ukrainians who have found themselves scattered by the war to various corners of the globe and those staying behind. Now, we will have a common platform to fight, solve issues, share knowledge and inspiration and reveal the European Ukraine to the whole world’, says Mariya Gurska. ‘The magazine’s tagline is “The Road Home”. I know that we can’t stop Russian missiles with our words but we will get an important message across to each other that no matter where we are, whether in Kyiv or in Warsaw, Copenhagen, Lisbon or Helsinki, we are at home because, through its heroic defence of freedom, Ukraine has ultimately won its right to a European future as well as our right to return to a real home in Ukraine’, adds Mariya Gurska.

Sestry is another initiative of the Kulczyk Foundation aimed at women from Ukraine. Dominika Kulczyk, President of the Kulczyk Foundation, has initiated the Polish-Ukrainian Sisterhood, among other projects. Members of the coalition of women from Poland and Ukraine include figures such as Olga Tokarczuk, Oksana Zabuzhko, Agnieszka Holland, Janina Ochojska, Henryka Bochniarz or Ewa Ewart. In response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Polish-Ukrainian Sisterhood has launched a grant programme which has provided close to PLN 2 million of funding to date.

‘We are now at the point where girls from Ukraine are no longer just guests in Poland. They have become part of our communities and have an impact on their strength and future. As any other resident in this country, they deserve to have access to free and independent media. Empowerment of women is the most important mission of the Kulczyk Foundation and, as such, we could not fail to get on board the Sestry magazine project’, says Dominika Kulczyk, President of the Kulczyk Foundation.