With our hearts full of gratitude, we send you our warmest thoughts from Poland. Another day has gone by, and as things keep happening, we want to share at least a few of them with you. We want you to know how your gift is bringing fruit as our project develops: we welcome more people, we improve their living conditions, we try to meet their individual needs.
Tomorrow, June 1, when everyone in Poland celebrates Childrens’ Day, we are organizing an event for our youngest guests. Together with our volunteers, we plan to offer them lots of joy, good food, games and other sorts of fun. But the kids in Ustrzyki Górne don’t need to wait for special occasions to have fun! Another group of volunteers who visited us last Tuesday provided plenty of entertainment, including floating balloons.
One day, the Ukrainian children under our care prepared tokens of gratitude – cards and little posters – for their little friends in France. The French volunteers had brought gifts and played with our children, who in turn wanted to thank their benefactors.
To take better care of the kids, we regularly offer them sessions with a psychologist; she comes three times a week and uses her expertise to identify their problems and address them through various interesting and pleasurable activities.
On the medical side, we continue to be supported by Canadian and American doctors who come to our reception centers for a week or for a longer period. We also had a one-time visit from a psychiatrist, and then a gynecologist (most of the refugees in our centers are women); these two doctors were available to all who wanted to take this opportunity to be examined and to talk about their problems.
We have been working hard to sort our various supplies which are growing thanks to your generosity. Your financial help continues to allow us to buy the things we need when we cannot obtain them free of charge. This is priceless, especially when it comes to purchasing the much-needed medications or food. Another priceless possibility which we owe to your support is being able to buy fuel (which is itself becoming “priceless” in the sense of skyrocketing costs.) As for our “automotive news”, we have been able to acquire another minivan (a 6-seater) for transporting people from the train station and other locations. It was loaned to us at no cost from one of the Polish banks and we can use it for a week. We also need cars for the transport of various volunteers to Przemyśl. Tomorrow, a small group arrives from Bielsko-Biała: they are students of a military school and they will stay with us for seven days. They are eager to help in various tasks around our centers.
Other than that, we are putting finishing touches on our Przemyśl Charity Center with the help of our Ukrainian guests as well as American volunteers from Detroit.
At that same center, we have recently had a very special evening of cooking! “Pierogi”, the delicious filled dumplings which are equally popular in Poland and in Ukraine, were prepared for all the inhabitants. The cooks were the Ukrainian ladies who are our guests, and they were aided in their successful efforts by another skillful pair of hands: the manager of the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Przemyśl joined us for this evening.
The Przemyśl center witnessed one more significantly joyful event: we had another Wellness Day! The unstoppable French hairdressers had their hands full, as a result of which our guests had their hair really nicely done.
Last but not least, Fr. Marek and our coordinator in Przemyśl, Joanna, have been interviewed by the Catholic French Radio and the story was published yesterday. You can find the link (and the English translation) in the section “In The Media” accessed from the main menu on our website.
We also received attention from the main Polish Catholic weekly, “Niedziela” (Sunday): an article entitled “In Poland, We Found A Home” presented our activities to the readers across Poland.
This, and more, has been happening in our southeastern corner of Poland in the past few days. Thank you for your willingness to share in our efforts to make the Ukrainian people feel at home in our country when their own has been brutally invaded by Russia.