Support and Solidarity for Women in Ukraine
Many women in Ukraine are raising children and caring for elders alone while their husbands and sons are in the army. Those in rural areas have limited access to jobs while humanitarian aid seldom reaches them, and there are few educational opportunities for girls. In March and April 2023 I’m travelling in east and south… Continue reading
Happy endings are hard to come by, but sometimes it’s possible to have happy midpoints. Pitchka Fund’s adolescents have been extracted from Russia and the occupied territories (with varying degrees of assistance from us), it was Maria and Denys’ last week in Kyiv and I was in town, so… zamotka party at Maria’s! A zamotka… Continue reading
This post contains potentially distressing content. The last interview I conducted was with Veta, a friend of Maria and Denys and a dobrovolytsia (masculine: dobrovolets), or military volunteer. This is distinct from a regular volunteer, who does civilian work such as driving supplies to frontline communities, and a soldier, who is a paid member of… Continue reading
Still on the journey home…
I am in the free West! This means that: Lest anyone lacks a sense of humour (unlikely if you’ve got this far in the journal) I do understand that these are minor inconveniences compared to a Russian invasion. HOWEVER. Ukrainians, tremble with admiration of superior Western societies!! At least we manufacture good missiles. Continue reading
Escape from the DPR: a Queer Teen’s Story
Maria and Denys recently made a new friend, Natalie, and we hung out in a café in Zaporizhzhia for a couple of hours. Maria told her about Ptichka Fund, and my blog. Natalie, who is now 24, comes from Makiivka, a city that almost forms a single urban area with Donetsk; and is non-binary. She… Continue reading
Travel Dragon meets Ptichka
Travel Dragon had to part from Los… but he has promised to send her many high-value shiny objects as a token of his continuing esteem. Before he and I return to London, he had one last important in-person meeting in Kyiv: with Ptichka of Ptichka Fund. To start with, he was a little nervous of… Continue reading
On my way home
I’ve just settled into my bunk on the sleeper train from Kyiv to Uzhgorod (there’s a set choreography to four strangers organising themselves to sleep in a space that’s about five foot wide, six foot long and eight foot high, and I’ve got good at it now), so I’m on my way home. Today was… Continue reading
Army recruitment posters in Zaporizhzhia
Below is a video of the road out of Zaporizhzhia city. About 20% of the billboards in Zaporizhzhia are of this kind (I saw some further north and west, but not as many), and one particular arterial road has a concentration of them. They’re not strictly army recruitment posters, they are recruitments for specific brigades… Continue reading
Galochka and the Siege of Mariupol
On my penultimate day in Zaporizhzhia a very important person arrived – Sashko’s mum! She took me for a walk down to the Dnipro river, in spite of saying she had ‘topographical idiotism’. (I will adopt this phrase in English, as it sounds much more exciting than just saying I have no sense of direction.… Continue reading
Lukasheve Safe Space for Women
On my last day in Zaporizhzhia, we delivered ten more bicycles, this time to women in the village of Lukasheve, where Tetiana (my first interviewee) lives. They were pleased, as you can see: Afterwards, Sashko and our driver were dispatched in the van and myself and Galochka – Sashko’s mum – were shown around the… Continue reading
Zaporizhzhia Radio Resistance
Attention, everyone who’s given me laptops and phones! You have been officially honoured by the Ukrainian Resistance! This here is a certificate presented to me by the (tongue-in-cheek, ish) boss of the Zaporizhzhia Radio Club over a dinner of finest Ukrainian omelette. It says: THANK YOUFrom the Zaporizhzhia Radio Club NGOto Anna BowlesFor providing volunteer… Continue reading
I am a writer and editor living in London UK. You can find my YA novel, about a girl with bipolar disorder and an attitude, in bookshops or on Amazon. My website is here.
I am also a pro-Ukrainian activist, and from 23 March to 6 April I am in East and South Ukraine, with my friends from the Freefilmers NGO, interviewing local people – especially women in rural communities – about their experiences and survival strategies.
You can donate here to support the people I meet.