"What is the beginning of war? The beginning of war is when everyone was thinking about what else to give or how to help." Story about the social enterprise "Ba and Di Club"
Until February 24, the team of the "Ba and Di Club" enterprise, founded by Halyna Plotnytska, helped elderly people realize themselves and have an interesting and active life. "Ba and Di Club" employed people of retirement age, which is one of the vulnerable categories of the population. The company solved not only the problems of the elderly, but also of young, working and too busy mothers/daughters, fathers/sons and, of course, children. Precisely this unification of generations, the creation of the most comfortable space in the city for all its residents was the essence of this enterprise.
Today, the social enterprise has partially transformed. Now the "Ba and Di Club" has its own kindergarten, which takes care of children from IDP families. The previous activity of the enterprise has been partially changed but the team does not plan to abandon its efforts and main mission - to unite and employ active elderly people.
How did the idea of creating a kindergarten come about?
"Our building has an excellent location; there are basements that meet the need for bomb shelters. Therefore, the authorities decided to organize here a shelter for our internally displaced citizens. I received a call from the administration and was informed about this. I also asked whether there were many children. For now, we decided to open only a children's room. Throughout March and April, we came in the morning and stayed until late evening, working with the children. In addition, a volunteer psychologist and physical education teacher came to us. We understood that it is necessary to take care of children because their mothers are in despair, their grandmothers are in despair, and besides, they have a lot of work to do regarding the registration of IDP status," Halyna, the founder of the company, shared with us.
Later, former clients began to call us and ask for assistance with their children. Seeing the demand, the team immediately responded to the circumstances and decided to create a full-fledged day care center with food, teachers and a program. Enlisting the support of the Ukrainian Social Venture Fund, "Ba and Di Club" held a School of Babysitters, where elderly people got acquainted with modern approaches to raising children. In addition, thanks to the Grant Program “Social Enterprises for Emergency”, the payment of the kindergarten team was established. After all, the main value of the social enterprise "Ba and Di Club" is people, and people need to provide for their basic needs.
Today, the company's team includes 7 employees: 1 IDP, 5 pensioners and 1 female student. 10 children of preschool age are currently attending kindergarten and 7 schoolchildren come from time to time. In the near future, the team plans to announce the enrollment and finalize the group. "We see psychological progress. At the beginning, the children did not even tell what they experienced, how they came here. After about a week of being in our kindergarten, the children started to share among themselves. We have a girl from Irpin. I remember how she came up during a walk and told me that not a single bullet hit her kindergarten. She said that she would go home and attend this kindergarten. And you are not allowed to show this child that your hands are numb from hearing this and your eyes are wet. But you only say how great it is that she will go home and visit her kindergarten. It's really difficult," said Halyna Plotnytska
About the difficulties faced by the enterprise today
"Today, the biggest difficulty we face is the fear of leaving the room. Here, we basically have a shelter. We are in the basement, which reliably protects everyone from the threat. However, sitting and simply persuading them to leave does not make any sense, you need to switch something in them. This is exactly what we do with both children and their parents. We go to puppet theaters, museums, painting workshops and much more. We work and it helps, we can see it"
Watching the development and growth of the "Ba and Di Club" enterprise is very inspiring. The team of the Ukrainian Social Venture Fund is happy to support such enterprising and courageous teams because the future of our country is behind them. Support is provided under the “Collaborate for Impact” project, which is implemented in partnership with EVPA and with the support of DG NEAR EU Programme. The project aims to support and develop social entrepreneurship ecosystems in the Eastern Partnership countries. The main project partners in Ukraine are SILab Ukraine and the Ukrainian Social Venture Fund.