We wish all the children of the world a safe and peaceful childhood. That there is room for carefree play, boredom and the joyful exploration of their interests. We think today of children who are hindered from safety by both physical barriers and people’s hostility and indifference. We think of children fleeing wars, fear and violence. We dream of a reality in which we can focus on developing our long-term support programmes for the youngest, and intervention aid is no longer needed. Until that happens, however, we will do both. And what are we doing? About that below:
- For more than 10 years we have been running a youth centre for foreign children operating at the Centre for Assistance to Foreigners in Lomza. It is regularly attended by around 15 children.
- After the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, we opened other day-care centres – currently there are four in Warsaw (attended by around 120 people) and one in Chełm, which is regularly attended by 21 children. We are planning to open more day care centres in Warsaw and Łódź.
- Since 2018, together with the BNP Paribas Foundation, we have been creating a tutor-scholarship programme „Knowledge to the Power”, which supports the youngest children in learning and developing their interests. This school year, we have accepted 100 children into the programme – 32 of them are receiving scholarships.
- As part of the 'Welcome Home’ integration and housing programme, we support refugee families at risk of homelessness. There are currently 13 families participating in the programme, with 44 children being fostered.
- We run child-friendly spaces in accommodation centres for people from Ukraine in the Mazowieckie, Lubelskie and Podkarpackie voivodeships – we organise tutoring, Polish language lessons, sports activities and workshops there. There are currently 12 such centres – in April they were visited by over 300 children.
- We provide psychological and psychiatric support, organise summer camps, provide families with in-kind assistance, give Christmas presents and vouchers for school starter kits.
Effective support for children with refugee experience requires continuity and regularity. If you would like to accompany them and us on this journey, set up a regular donation, even a small one, to the activities of the Ocalenie Foundation. Together, let’s help them build a good life in Poland: I want to support regularly.
Photo. Damian Lemanski