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Helping Ukrainian Families: The Perspective of an Aid Coordinator

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, we have taken a number of specific actions aimed at helping people in refugee crisis. To provide the best possible assistance, a new person joined our team just under a year ago – the Coordinator of Aid, who currently helps Ukrainian families with educational, legal, and life issues. Why is this help so important, and what does it look like from the perspective of our Coordinator? We encourage you to read on.

“I have been teaching Polish at the Foundation since June. Dozens of people have come through my lessons. From the beginning, I was very happy that direct assistance to people who had to leave Ukraine because of the war would become a part of my work. At the same time, I had concerns about whether I would be able to help people with such difficult experiences. I knew that for many of them, I was one of the first people they met here. I wanted to give them the most warmth, smiles, kindness, and sincere interest. Although there were a few men and boys in the lessons, women make up the majority. To me, they are heroes, brave women who, despite traumatic experiences, fight for themselves and their families, trying to start over here. Among them, I met an architect, painter, students, musicians, teachers, entrepreneurs, beauticians, devoted mothers, grandmothers… They had their lives in Ukraine but now are building them from scratch in Warsaw. And they want to wait it out here. To live relatively normally. To feel safe, find work, housing. Regain relative stability. They often asked me about organizational matters. They asked me to write applications to kindergartens, announcements, corrections to the Polish version of their CV…

Their determination to learn Polish impresses me. Many of them speak fluently within a few months of arriving in Poland and still want to learn. For them, lessons are not only a chance to adapt to a new reality and get a better job. The lessons give them a sense of stability and help them settle into their new surroundings. The Foundation has been a new but steady place for them to return to regularly since the beginning.

Today, waiting for the end of the war, I already have specific women in mind – Alona, Irina, Katia, Karina, Julia, and others… When peace finally comes, I will be happy with them.”

Helena Berebecka, Coordinator of Aid.