10 June 2024, Gdynia, Poland - On Friday, 7 June, Adjoa Andoh, British actress and ambassador of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), best known for her roles in Bridgerton, Invictus, and Doctor Who, visited the safe space curated for women and children who have fled Ukraine in Gdynia, Poland.

Reflecting on her experiences meeting with women and children from Ukraine, Adjoa said

“As a mother, it is deeply shaking to hear the stories of ordinary women having to make unbearable choices: whether to stay with their husbands, partners, and perhaps elderly family relatives, or to grab their children and run as the bombs get closer and closer. All the women I met on Friday have had to make those heartbreaking choices.

“The IRC’s centre for women and children in Gdynia offers refugees a warm embrace, providing them with a space to recreate a sense of community and thrive. As we made artworks based on reflections of home, one of the women, Mariya, shared that for her, home is her father back in Crimea, whom she has not seen since 2014. Recounting how much she misses her father, Mariya cried. In this safe space, women nod quietly, reflect, and hold the space for one another to say the unsayable, to comfort and encourage one another.

“We need to ensure that we see the person and the story behind the word ‘refugee.’ With war and natural disasters ranging around the world, we need to look at all the people who are just like you and I, but suffering terrible circumstances beyond their control, and see ourselves.”

Photos from the visit are available free of charge here© International Rescue Committee