Tanja Maier Profile picture
Russian-speaking Arizonan in Wien. Canada born. Maiden name ends in ić. Mom of 3. Currently https://t.co/v56vaxVjUL 🇺🇦 🛒 🇦🇹 my Substack is free
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Sep 1, 2023 5 tweets 1 min read
Ukrainian moms are desperately asking me if Austria ever plans to move them from Grundversorgung to Mindestsicherung. I tell them honestly, I don’t think so. They tell me it is impossible to survive. With a small kid can’t work. I say I know and I am sorry. Another country? I cannot lie and tell them I expect any changes on the political level because I don’t. Federal and 9 states are already doing only the absolute bare minimum. I hear no discussions in media about improving Grundversorgung conditions or moving them out of it.
Aug 11, 2023 69 tweets 29 min read
Just realized the last time I took a long distance bus I was a teenager. I feel wholly unprepared. I do not see the promised WC nor free wifi (eeek). Everyone seems to have done this before. The bus is completely full: women, kids, pensioners. Two drivers. €190 round trip 🧵 Image I found the toilet AND actually more importantly, the plug for the charger. Hallelujah! Did you all know Hofer is Aldi in Hungary? We just passed a huge distribution center. I am amazed by how quiet and considerate ALL the passengers are. Even the kids. It’s unbelievable.
Apr 12, 2023 9 tweets 3 min read
The infamous dorm in Vienna’s 11th district is closing for good. All residents must move out by this Friday night. A team of volunteers is organizing cars & people to help with the move: many residents are elderly and/or handicapped. They need volunteers & wheels. Pls DM. I am so dumb. I naively assumed when @Stadt_Wien said all dorm residents would be assigned new housing in Wien by April 15, that would happen. Now I am hearing some residents will be sent TO THE ARRIVAL CENTER. Nightmare. Some may refuse to leave…could potentially get ugly.
Apr 12, 2023 7 tweets 3 min read
Доброго ранку, надсилаю Вам чеки з магазину Hoffer. Ще раз дуже дякую за ваучер. Гарного дня🙂

cards-for-ukraine.at/donate ImageImageImageImage Good morning ☀️ received another 20 cards yesterday, will make more arrival center deliveries this afternoon. Image
Apr 11, 2023 4 tweets 2 min read
I asked the Ukrainians in my group about their success or lack thereof in finding legal paid work, and this was one of the replies. These energy bills are insane. They need guidance as renters…ugh. Image A poll so far shows a mixed bag: some cannot work (caring for kids or handicapped relatives), some don’t look as working would render them homeless (social housing) and they cannot afford a deposit/rent, others no luck so far, still looking. Some want to finish A2 German first.
Apr 11, 2023 6 tweets 3 min read

cards-for-ukraine.at/donate twitter.com/i/web/status/1… ImageImageImageImage This young woman has been living in the “arrival center” for TWO MONTHS. Image
Mar 18, 2023 6 tweets 3 min read
My head is spinning plotting how to leave before Nazis takeover 🇦🇹 (again) but then think about 2024 🇺🇸 so think ok 🇨🇦 it is…but cold, expensive & far away…anxiety does its thing with no easy answers. I broke the political news to the 🇺🇦 today in NÖ. hofer.at/de/p.hofer-war…twitter.com/i/web/status/1… From the arrival center. This 63yo from Kharkiv wants to find work as a gardener anywhere in Austria.
Mar 17, 2023 4 tweets 2 min read
Honestly if this happened to me as a refugee on a month to month very limited budget in a foreign country I’m not sure my nerves could handle such incompetency / “mistakes”. Now at 11:30pm a family in Upper Austria is sending me an email they got from OÖ demanding they payback Volkshilfe over €900 (!) they received after September after the govt now calculated the family should not have received any money after August. WTF.
Mar 17, 2023 6 tweets 3 min read
3 cards I will deliver later today to the arrival center (thank you!) and my groceries for the weekend for a family of 5 = €72. Just so everyone understands €50 is unfortunately not buying what it used to even a year ago. Not even close.

paypal.com/paypalme/groce… Image Thank you just bought another 6 cards! Good to check your emails while still in the parking lot 😉. These will also go out today.

cards-for-ukraine.at/donate Image
Feb 14, 2023 8 tweets 5 min read
One is better than none ❤️


cards-for-ukraine.at/donate My inbox. I’ve spent some time trying to think about how you target big donors. The supermarkets won’t do a thing, that I know already. Seems like, from my research, the bigger the grant, the less direct impact the organization has on the ground. How to best fund micro work?
Feb 12, 2023 11 tweets 3 min read
I bought tickets to a Ukraine charity fashion event in Vienna, thinking it would be fun to take my girls and also a good opportunity to distribute our Cards for Ukraine flyers in Ukrainian to a wealthy audience. Got all dressed up, arrive, discover it was yesterday. Like, how? That has literally never happened to me before. Reminded me of the time in 1st grade some kid showed up a day early for my birthday party and I remember awkwardly opening the door in my PJs wondering what he was doing in front of my house.
Feb 6, 2023 27 tweets 8 min read
A year ago today I landed in Kyiv for the first time. I fell in love from the first minute. Mesmerized. Today, it feels like a decade ago. I am also having the most bonkers day ever. 🧵 to come. Sometimes it’s hard to believe what life throws at you. The morning starts with me planning to ask a quick question at the bank and then buy 8 Hofer cards, 1 of which I must deliver to an elderly woman at the arrivals center who does not have a smartphone. She is waiting for me at 11am and I have no way to tell her I may be late.
Feb 5, 2023 6 tweets 3 min read
My waiting list is 25 and counting. I am going to start putting women forward and men back. Exception: handicapped, elderly. It’s interesting it used to be only women & kids, then many pensioners. Now it’s everything. You have to be fair but that also requires judgement calls. When demand exceeds supply and I never know when the next card is coming. Some aid organizations only help women with kids. Those in villages usually have less access to help than cities. So you shuffle envelopes a bit. Not a science. To donate pls DM or paypal.com/paypalme/groce…
Feb 4, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
It's not scandalous an infamous FPÖ politician made an openly xenophobic comment on TV to Viennese teens.

It's not scandalous ÖVP will send a nearly all male line-up to NÖ parliament.

It's not scandalous Russia could easily bribe some Austrian MPs.

All sadly very on brand. Live a few days here as a woman who speaks German with an accent and has been helping some of the most vulnerable people navigate "the system" for nearly a year and NONE of this surprises you. People who vote for both parties know it and still keep voting. Private sector -- same.
Feb 4, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
This is so beautifully written and contains layers of nuance I have totally failed to convey (I didn’t even attempt) in my retelling of my exchanges with Ukrainian refugees. The $50 per person per month is true and it is the only official support for IDPs. There are tensions between Russian-speaking Ukrainians who sought safety in western Ukraine and felt ripped off by locals. There are heated arguments even online about which language to speak.
Feb 4, 2023 5 tweets 2 min read
My inbox this morning

paypal.com/paypalme/groce… From the arrivals center. How will she boil the eggs?!

Feb 3, 2023 7 tweets 2 min read
I’m scared to jinx it but I smell tiny baby steps of progress here as the state begins to realize many Ukrainians are here for a while. They are not prepared to blow up their broken system, but they seem prepared to s l o w l y make some tweaks. Namely: They will remove the additional step of employers having to ask AMS permission to hire Ukrainians (hopefully this will be passed into law by spring). This would mean full equal access to the labor market for those not asking for social payments.
Feb 3, 2023 4 tweets 2 min read
Доброе утро Татьяна, моя первая покупка в Билле за ваучеры. Спасибо вам большое 🤗

cards-for-ukraine.at/donate Image The cot. Food you can eat right away or make with boiled water. The reality for many right now. Image
Feb 2, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
A young Ukrainian guy with diabetes is here with his mom. They had a terrible time in Upper Austria, escaped to Wien. He has been an AMAZING help to me personally as the "admin" of my Telegram group, sharing info, managing conflicts, deleting trolls. He & his mom need a room. As in, they need a room in Wien, like, today. The budget they have from the state is €330/month but as he says you open Wilhaben or Facebook and you barely find anything on offer for €400-500/month. They were RE agents in Kyiv. They know how to search.
Feb 2, 2023 11 tweets 3 min read
Y called me. When ever Y says "it's urgent", it is. We met almost a year ago at the train station. She is from Belarus, single mom of two kids. Speaks perfect German, lived here a long time. Now works for a private company offering social housing to the state(s). Works 24/7. She will "in her free time" (a mystery to me when that is) gather up baby items for a mom about to give birth, or drop off some household items, or call a guy she knows with a car to drive a washing machine or bike from A to B. That's Y. She lives and breathes her work. Anyway...
Feb 2, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
School drama continues.

Yesterday, a teary voice message from a mom whose 7yo daughter is smart, trying hard, doing well in math, yet the teacher refuses to give her daughter grades in any subject until "her German is better". Mom of 14yo boy in gymnasium (I actually helped with this school place) receives a letter he should transfer now to a middle school instead. She begs me to help. I cannot help. I explain: that's Austria. Gymnasium has no German support resources by design.

All so harsh.