Author: Diana Soijo

The woman behind the Djakoejoe Foundation: Tanya van Workum

To better understand the motivation behind our Foundation, we interview all the people who have committed themselves wholeheartedly to the Djakoejoe Foundation and its goals. And where better to start than with co-founder Tanya van Workum? Tanya is 36 years old and was born in Lviv, Ukraine. She has completed two bachelor degrees and a masters in Lund, Sweden. There, she met Dutchman  Paul van Workum. Love brought her to the Netherlands in 2011. Their loving family now has 3 children.

Tanya van Workum about 5ProMobile

Tanya: “I have been an entrepreneur since 2016. With 5Pro Mobile we build custom apps (mainly for companies). Our team of 50 developers is based in Ukraine. From the Netherlands I help most of my clients as Product Owner. The app is contrived and developed here in the Netherlands and built by our highly qualified developers in Ukraine. What distinguishes 5Pro from other companies: by working with an excellent Dutch Product Owner who – together with the customer – determines what is needed. And the team of experienced developers who know different programming techniques and languages. Therefore, complex projects are our specialty 🙂!”

Tanya van Workum: Honest, open and hardworking

“Not the woman or the man, Dutch or Ukrainian, Entrepreneur or Employee, but human being. I always go in depth. Shallow, quick and “for the outside world” is not for me. I stand for rational and fair opportunities for everyone. For freedom and respect. For thinking and analyzing.”

Raised in Lviv Ukraine

“My bachelor’s degree in medicine left me with many friends. They all work in healthcare now. My second bachelor is in international economics. I was very involved with local NGOs in Lviv. I worked on semi-political projects aimed at building democracy in Ukraine, strengthening relations between the youth in Crimea and Lviv, as well as between the Eastern Ukraine (Lugansk and Donetsk) and Western Ukraine (Lviv region).”

The road to the Netherlands

“I met Paul during my Erasmus exchange in Sweden. We had been together for 5 months, when I went back to Ukraine and Paul had to go back to Oss. I knew nothing about the Netherlands. What I did know is that I wanted to be with Paul. Living with his parents was not an option. For 6 months we saved everything we could, so that we could afford a small apartment in Oss. I obtained a visa as a job seeking highly skilled migrant (for 1 year). That’s how my life here started. We started with nothing. Everything we have now, we built together. We have a lot in common, trust each other and share the same vision of the world. Which fits in well with our business.”

Tanya van Workum on the war in Ukraine

“The beginning of the war was debilitating. I couldn’t believe it and was scared, sad and worried. I wanted to do something. But where to start? Who to call first? What to ask? It was an avalanche of communication, search queries, people wanting to help and a battered Ukraine crying out for help.”

The Djakoejoe Foundation has already donated over  € 200,000 to hospitals in Ukraine

“We started with a campaign: “Heart for Ukraine.” We sold blue/yellow chocolates and donated the proceeds to the International Red Cross. People from Ukraine kept calling me with requests for relief supplies. At the same time, unknown people approached us with large donations for relief supplies, not only from Oss and the surrounding area! Our network also quickly took action. I can now proudly say that the Djakoejoe Foundation consists of a large group of volunteers and that together we have already arranged over € 200,000 in aid in a few months.”

Hope for a sustainable reconstruction of Ukraine

“I hope to make a big impact on the sustainable reconstruction of Ukraine. I want to do this by helping the business community in Ukraine and stimulating the economy in a sustainable way. We also aim to connect Ukraine and the Netherlands.”

Help us help the hospitals in Ukraine

“We receive requests from hospitals in Ukraine every week. The need is high because so many people are injured. With VAC devices, wounds heal much faster, which improves the lives of the injured and makes them recover faster. This allows the hospitals to help more people. What’s bad is that there is not a single hospital that has VAC devices left. That is why we are looking for companies, organizations and donors who are able to donate larger amounts. That way we can buy the VAC devices and help hospitals in Ukraine much faster. So if you want to donate, please! And if you have ideas to help get us the attention of sponsors, please, do not hesitate to contact us.”

Rehabilitation of victims of physical war trauma

Rehabilitation of victims of physical war trauma

The war in Ukraine demands a lot from the healthcare system. With 500 people injured per
day and several months of war, there are major shortages. We have already been able to help
a lot of wounded with our previous action regarding the VAC devices. In the next months and
possibly even years, we will support the rehabilitation of victims suffering from physical war
trauma. We want to help Ukrainian sports facilities that have with a physiotherapy practice –
by providing them with knowledge, tools and resources to ultimately help war victims with
their rehabilitation. We need donations to help as many people as possible. Are you in?

Project origin

The project originates from the continuing violence against civilians in Ukraine and the huge
numbers of injured. With limited locally available resources, these people often do not receive
the necessary care, let alone sufficient aftercare. We think that – with our Foundation – we
can make a difference here. With many contacts in healthcare in the Netherlands and
Ukraine, we can make the connection between these two worlds.

Project success criteria

Based on our vision and mission, we want to help the Ukraine through local entrepreneurship.
There are two main parts in this project:

1. Transformation of physiotherapy practices into rehabilitation centers

Resources needed to get started include partnerships, knowledge, equipment, local practices
and therapists, and cash. With this start, we can convert a gym into a rehabilitation center.
The result of the transformation of physiotherapy practices is as follows:

  • High-quality, available and widely accessible rehabilitation facilities that can return to their original function in the long term.
  • Business continuity of local gyms and physio practices
  • The provision of labor

2. Fundraising to finance personnel costs

To provide structural help, staff will have to be paid. We are going to raise funds in the
Netherlands for a rehabilitation fund in Ukraine. The rehabilitation fund will finance
rehabilitation programs for injured war victims. It is still uncertain as to what extent the national
government of Ukraine guarantees funding for rehabilitation programs. However, we cannot
wait for that, so the basic infrastructure must be laid now. The local fund raises national and
international funds, ‘contracts’ and facilitates the rehabilitation centers and ensures that funds
are spent correctly (the right care in the right place.)

With funding, we can ensure a speedy recovery of victims in order to allow them to quickly
return to society and to reintegrate them appropriately into the labor market. The advantage of
working with a local sports facility is that many resources are already available.
Physiotherapists and other support staff are also already available. We can expand and scale
up from this well set foundation.

We estimate that – based on the experience of fellow board member, ViaSana – that a
rehabilitation program will cost €300 (12 sessions), combined with the local gym. Tools and
knowledge are required to start this.

Plan of approach

It will be an extensive, long-term project that we want to realize in steps, as follows:

Step 1: Start at first gym

The project will start by supporting the first sports location with the physiotherapy practice
called Sport Lifestyle Center DIFFER in Lviv, Ukraine. We want to start helping the
rehabilitation of injured people – in collaboration with the gym. We will provide support with
the necessary knowledge, tools and experience – to handle this professionally.

The advantage of working with a local sports facility is that many resources are already
available on site. Physiotherapists and other support staff are also already available. We can
expand and scale up from this solid base.

After the war started in 2022, Differ immediately helped dozens of refugees.

Professional gym Differ in Lviv Ukraine

Step 2: Establish and scale up the fund

We are going to help set up a fund In Ukraine that will raise donations internationally. With this
fund, we want to be able to expand the project to other cities and gyms.

We think that with the current 500 new injuries per day, we will not be able to meet the demand.

How can you help?

Right now, we are specifically looking for donations and aid for rehabilitation care. Help
victims of war trauma to rehabilitate for only €300 per treatment.

VAC devices for Ukrainian hospitals

VAC devices for Ukrainian hospitals

We received a request for VAC devices for negative pressure therapy. Hospitals in Ukraine
received more and more wounded days after the start of the war. With the VAC devices, the
surgeons can help the wounded faster and better. This was very necessary and also life-

VAC devices are small pumps that vacuum the wound by means of a tube and a bandage.
This causes the wound to heal in – better and faster. A hospital in Lviv, as well as a hospital in
Kiev, needed these devices to help the injured, but both weren’t able to secure the devices

We are personally acquainted with the surgeons who asked us for help. That is
why we did everything we could to get the VAC devices to Ukraine as quickly as possible.

We expect to receive more requests because the war is far from over.

More updates on this initiative

Sending relief supplies in response to local requests

Sending relief supplies in response to local requests

In addition to the campaigns “Hearts for Ukraine” and “VAC devices”, we were able to send a large
amount of relief supplies, especially in the first weeks after the start of the war. We were able to send
about 30 pallets with a total value of 250.000 euro. We were fortunate to receive many donations,
discounts and gifts to help us realize this.

What we have been able to send:

  • 10 patient-monitoring monitors
  • 100.000 euros worth of VAC devices
  • 6 pallets of disinfectants
  • 200 walkie-talkies
  • 349 sleeping bags
  • 900 childrens’ sleeping bags
  • 423 sleeping mats
  • 82 headlamps
  • 20 power banks and 15×16 AAA batteries
  • 2 adjustable hospital beds
  • 35 first aid kits
  • 7 pallets with boxes and a truck and pallets for transportation

More than 600 bags were ordered for the campaign with the hearts and 5,000 euros of proceeds were
donated to the Red Cross. Part of the proceeds were put into relief supplies.

Want to help us do even more? Support our initiative.

More updates on this initiative

Informatie Stichting
  • KvK: 85749214

  • IBAN: NL40BUNQ2068828634

  • RSIN: 863728583

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