In this blog, our Polish partners share their experiences of supporting families who arrive from Ukraine.
Since Russia invaded, over three million refugees have fled Ukraine. Most have gone to Poland, where WONDER is working with our local partners to provide emergency and long-term support to hundreds of families.
Galina’s family, Krępsk
“Today we welcomed a family from Ukraine, near Kyiv. Galina, mother of a three-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl, was running away from a tank that ran over the fence into their house. She showed me a film where a bombed church was burning. Nothing was left.
We made a bed and when the tools fell loudly, the little boy started screaming, ‘Don’t shoot, don’t shoot!’ I will never forget his terrified, tearful face. They ran for 12 days, and they slept on the floor in different places, without access to water, toilet, or hot food. When he saw the bed, he was the happiest.
Galina cries often. Her husband is fighting in Ukraine, and she was very afraid to come to Poland. But she met many kind people, and we do everything to make them feel safe.
Thanks to WONDER Foundation, we provided them with basic hygiene and food items, slippers, clothes and bedding. The children enjoyed the crayons and colouring books very much. Now, they need to sleep and rest.
We thank you for your support. There are so many families like this one. Our hearts are filled with pain. A lot of children are suffering.”
Sending children to school, Goleniów
“We sent 10 children from Ukraine to school. Joy, in the faces of children, comforts the hearts of their mothers. A few are still under observation in the hospital for general exhaustion.
Every day, we meet and support new families who were forced to flee the war. Most of them are mothers with children of different ages. They came from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Mykolaiv. All of them are very grateful for every gesture, kind word and they all want to work very much, they do not want to be a burden. We support them in their job search.
Today, we are preparing the transport of milk and bottles for children and medical dressings, which will be transported deep into Ukraine tomorrow, because there are civilians in need there.”
Vitaly’s family, Goleniów
“This is a family that has been deprived of the possibility of returning home by the war. Vitaly was on vacation with his relatives in Egypt. Their plane stopped in Poland, in Goleniów.
The little girl is two years old. They all had only what they had taken on vacation: swimming suits, summer clothes. None of them expected the worst—war.
Vitaly is a pilot of large machines. The next week he returns to Kyiv. He is ready; he wants to defend the country.”
Working with our local partners, WONDER is providing immediate, emergency aid while developing a sustainable response to support refugees long-term. This will help women and children in the weeks and months to come through language lessons, school support for children, information and advice on living in Poland, employability support, psychological support and more, so they can plan for the future.