Pontes is an NGO that describes itself as 'a synergistic network of active young women for whom personal development is not only a private matter but an opportunity to share their energy with society'.
Since the invasion of Russia into Ukraine, many women, some with children had evacuated to Poland for safety.
Pontes has taken some of these families as refugees and caring for them.
One of the challenges they face is that they have not had a chance to read or learn anything in the Ukrainian language since they evacuated.
Instead, they are being encouraged to learn foreign languages in order to get around.
Mothers worry about their children losing their heritage and ties with their people and language.
In partnership with Pontes, Gebirah created an online library of Ukrainian books and literature for adults and children from all genres so that these families can easily download and read for themselves or to their children.
“Repositories of Ukrainian literature, museums, and historical archives – are being destroyed, and there is a widespread narrative of demonisation and denigration of Ukrainian culture and identity promoted by Russian officials, along with calls for ideological repression and strict censorship in the political, cultural and educational spheres.
Let us be clear: the Ukrainian people have a right to their identity. Nobody can violate this right.”
In eastern Ukraine and Crimea, annexed by Russia in March 2014, the experts maintained that efforts were being made “to erase local culture, history and language” in cultural and educational institutions.
Instead, communities faced seeing them replaced with Russian language and with Russian and Soviet history and culture.
“Ukrainian history books and literature deemed to be ‘extremist’ have been seized from public libraries in cities and towns in the occupied territory of Luhansk, Donetsk, Chernihiv, and Sumy Oblasts and destroyed by the occupying power,” the experts reported. “The same has been reported about school history manuals in certain cities.”