Welcome Back to Creator Habits!
This is the Ukraine edition of Creator Habits...read on to learn more about a special project helping refugees. Honestly, it's worth a read :)
As you may have noticed, it’s been quite a long time since my last Creator Habits post. Usually, I would take this opportunity to write about falling off the bandwagon, strategies to overcome creator roadblocks, and so on. And to be sure, on Thursday, we’ll be back to regular programming (with an awesome podcast episode). But, hopefully you’ll read on for a minute, as this time I’m going to write about what I’ve been doing during this hiatus, why it’s been important to me, and how you can participate in this important new project!!!
A short backstory
Ukraine has been in the news for weeks now, and while it’s a situation that hasn’t been improving by any measure, it’s also been inspiring to watch people finding creative ways to help people across the world.
For those of you who don’t know me, I was born in Ukraine. My family immigrated to the US as refugees when I was a child, and these last weeks I’ve been, for obvious reasons, thinking a lot about the crisis. I’ve been thinking about nationhood, identity, how to most effectively deliver aid; I’ve been having conversations about how to combat disinformation, and more. Like many people, I’ve been asking how I can do more.
Often when a crisis happens, there is an initial period of enthusiasm to help, and then we all (myself included) move on with our lives. In this particular crisis, there has been an unprecedented rate of displacement (if you’re interested, this article has some nice infographics putting the rate in context). The refugee experience, the experience of finding a home, learning a language, starting from scratch, job retraining, and more, is just starting for many refugees. It’s an experience I remember quite clearly from my childhood. While my situation was by no means as traumatizing and dire as this one, I spent most of my childhood and into adulthood as the resident language expert (kids learn languages so fast!). It meant helping family and community members navigate the world of written documents and in turn enabling them to get jobs, deal with landlords, and countless other daily necessities. I’m hoping that we can scale this service, as I know many people need just this kind of support. And I hope you can join in!
Announcing Home & Refuge
Home & Refuge helps newly arrived refugees translate documents.
What kind of documents?
Documents of every day life - the email asking for an apartment, the cover letter that makes a resume stand out, the message to secure a crucial spot at school. We’re helping with the documents that make all the difference in securing moments of stability.
We’re starting by translating documents from Ukrainian & Russian into Polish, German, English, Spanish, but we are actively working on adding additional languages that represent the countries refugees are currently based in (including Romanian, Moldovan, and more).
How does it work?
At this stage, we’re providing this service to refugees for free thanks to a network of native-speaking volunteers. It takes a few days, but we’re hoping to shorten that timeframe as we build up our network.
How You Can Help?
I know this isn’t an email about Creator Habits, but I’m a big believer that creators are the absolute best when it comes to spreading the word. I’m also sure there are some brilliant polyglots among you, so here are a few little asks for help.
Spread the word
Volunteer your language (or other) skills
Help In Other Ways
There are myriad ways I know I haven’t imagined. If you have connections to media that can help spread the word and get more refugees assisted, or if you have other thoughts on how to make this even more helpful, please feel free to reply to this email. I’m all ears. The goal is to help as many people as possible.
Thank you 🙏 😊 for bearing with me as I’ve been MIA, and for all the brilliant ways that I hope we can collaborate going forward! Back soon with more regular programming.