Poles welcome Ukrainian refugees, unlike last border crisis

In Wroclaw, they are hosted by Robert and Hana Reisigová-Kielawski, an English-speaking university professor and human resources manager,...


In Wroclaw, they are hosted by Robert and Hana Reisigová-Kielawski, an English-speaking university professor and human resources manager, who live with their two children. The couple didn’t have a spare bedroom in the apartment, so they moved their 5-year-old daughter into their bedroom.

“Waiting for them to arrive, we got nervous,” Mr. Reisigová-Kielawski said. “We had no idea what physical and emotional state they would be in. I wondered how we should behave to be as helpful as possible, but also not to overwhelm them. Which questions should we discuss and which should not be said? »

One thing was clear from the start: they didn’t ask their guests how long they were planning to stay. Their invitation had no expiration date.

But every time they asked if Ms. Fedchyk needed anything, she replied, “No, thank you. We are only here for a few days. As the invasion unfolded, however, it became apparent that those days could turn into weeks, perhaps longer.

Since the start of the war, Ukrainians on both sides of the border have faced uncertainty. In Poland, the government is preparing an emergency bill that will facilitate Ukrainians’ access to the labor market and certain social benefits enjoyed by permanent residents.

Commentators have pointed out that the warm welcome extended to Ukrainian refugees contrasts sharply with the public response to the humanitarian crisis on the border with Belarus, which peaked in October. The government did not open the border to these refugees, mostly from the Middle East, and it barred aid workers from the border region – policies largely supported by Polare.

The Reisigová-Kielawski, long active in various refugee aid programs, were frustrated.

“During this crisis, the government has made it extremely difficult for Poles to help refugees, and unfortunately many people have chosen to look the other way,” Reisigová-Kielawski said, adding. “The grassroots movement to help Ukrainians that we are seeing right now is huge and heartwarming, but I feel it is also coupled with a sense of guilt that as a society we don’t We didn’t do enough at the time.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Poles welcome Ukrainian refugees, unlike last border crisis
Poles welcome Ukrainian refugees, unlike last border crisis
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