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Made with Switzerland

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Snizhana MATKOVSKA

[ region ]

Luhansk

Businesswoman, owner of the Relaks Café in Popasna, Luhansk region

Zero HungerDecent Work and Economic GrowthPeace, Justice And Strong Institutions

The conventional business financing mechanisms are not affordable or difficult to access for micro-enterprises and small-and medium-sized enterprises in eastern Ukraine.

Through investment grants, Switzerland supported business growth and competitiveness of MSME's in the region, which in turn improve employment, income generation opportunities and livelihoods of the displaced and conflict-affected population.

At the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, we totally reorganized the space of our restaurant to create an efficient chain of packing deliveries. It was not the first time we had to reinvent ourselves. We bought this ruined premise back in 2016. Back then, no one believed we would get anything out of it. But to open a restaurant was my long-time dream. We learned from the Internet how to make repairs and how to operate a restaurant kitchen. Money was another issue. I had no idea how to apply for grants. So I researched everything about it and we received significant support that drove us to the opening of our Relaks Café in 2018.

It is important to provide our customers with this feeling of living a normal life.

Snizhana MATKOVSKA

Our real success story started then. Our consumers travel several kilometers to come here! We also offer catering services so that people can rely on us to enjoy their special events. It is important to provide them with this feeling of living a normal life despite the difficult context. Because of the pandemic, they cannot come to us anymore. Therefore, we come to them with our deliveries! To keep good relationship with our customers is essential for our business and also for our overall mood.

#StandWithUkraine

Since 24th February 2022 "Relaks Café" does not exist any longer. Neither does my house. Popasna was turned into ruins. We have nowhere to come back to. It was a sobering pain to see pictures of our half-destroyed café. We had put our souls into it. All of the equipment was undoubtedly stolen by marauders in Popasna. Time only may heal our wounds. Today I search for a job in Europe and I am ready to start a new life. It was a difficult decision to leave Ukraine. We found shelter in Poland with my adult daughter, volunteering at the railway station of Warsaw. I miss Ukraine. A part of our family is still there. I would like to return and to restart our business as soon as the war is over.

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