Project

Retreats for Ukrainian journalists

In 2022 and 2023, n-ost organized three retreats in Germany and Poland for Ukrainian journalists with a primary focus on providing mental health support during the war.

"Recharge, Reflect, Connect: A week off for Ukrainian journalists" (July 24 - 30, 2022, Gut Siggen, Heringsdorf, Germany)

The European journalists network n-ost (Berlin), the Alfred Toepfer Foundation (Hamburg) and the Institute of Mass Information (Kyiv) offered a group of Ukrainian journalists a week-long trip to Germany where they had an opportunity to share and reflect their experiences during a full-scale war.

17 journalists from both national and regional Ukrainian media outlets were selected to participate in the retreat. Many of them had been working as war reporters and hailed from various regions, including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Kherson, and others.

The retreat took place at the seminar centre of Gut Siggen, nestled along the Baltic Sea coast in Heringsdorf, northern Germany. The location provided a secluded environment conducive to meaningful exchange.

The retreat program featured a combination of group and individual therapy sessions facilitated by experienced psychotherapists. Such support was vital for journalists, allowing them to address the emotional toll of their work and providing them with a much-needed break to recharge.

The retreat took place at the seminar centre of Gut Siggen, nestled along the Baltic Sea coast in Heringsdorf, northern Germany. The location provided a secluded environment conducive to meaningful exchange.

The retreat program featured a combination of group and individual therapy sessions facilitated by experienced psychotherapists. Such support was vital for journalists, allowing them to address the emotional toll of their work and providing them with a much-needed break to recharge.

Participants of the retreat in Gut Siggen, Germany. July 2022.
Participants of the retreat on a city tour in Gdanks, Poland. May 2023.
Participants, trainers and project managers of the retreat during the farewell evening in Sopot, Poland. July 2023.
Participants of the retreat in Sopot, Poland. July 2023.

The program offered a holistic approach to well-being, encompassing group and individual therapy sessions conducted by Ukrainian therapists. Beyond addressing their mental health, participants had the chance to assess their physical well-being and receive necessary medical treatments, contributing to their overall health and recovery.

Participants of the retreat in Sopot, Poland. May 2023.

Since the beginning of the war, I have been plagued by anxiety and stress. This retreat taught me how to deal with it. During one week, we could sleep peacefully, knowing that we were safe.

Olena Yermolenko, journalist of OstroV, Svoi.city, Evacuation.city, Vechir.media. Pokrovsk, Donetsk oblast

I went through the blockade of Mariupol, a risky evacuation from the occupied city, and a difficult rebuild of my life from scratch. I needed this vacation like a breath of oxygen.

Tetiana Pysarieva, channel TV7, Mariupol-Kyiv

Before the retreat, I thought there could be no rest during the war. But after the first day and a meeting with a psychotherapist, I realized how important it is for each of us.

Yevheniia Kytaieva, war correspondent at "Channel 5"

It seems that the feeling of exhaustion and burnout had reached its maximum. The retreat gave me the chance to return to my personal "normal". Contemplation of the sea, nights without air raid sirens and curfews, trainings, treatments — all this put me together like a LEGO set.

Olena Maksymenko, war correspondent at “Новинарня”, Donbas Frontliner, Local History

Participating journalists

Check out all the participating journalists listed here. This is what brings them together.

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