Ukraine Refugees in Warsaw, Poland
Anna S. sits on her bunk at a shelter for refugees. She and her family fled Kharkiv when the fighting became too intense, and missiles nearly destroyed her family’s home. She has been staying at the shelter for 2 weeks. Her children, 11 and 12, just started attending a Polish school. Her daughter has had a difficult time being displaced, often crying over the family members and pets that they have lost in the conflict. After escaping to Poland, her family is now staying in a shelter for refugees that used to serve as a hostel for sports camps, part of a skate park that takes up a large block on the outskirts of Warsaw. Now Mercy Corps is partnering with a well-known Polish NGO called KIK (Klub Inteligencji Katolickiej, or Catholic Intelligentsia Club), which runs the hostel. Mercy Corps pays for the rent, staff salaries, as well as for supplies and food. The bakery down the street donates fresh bread to the shelter every day, and a nearby florist brings them flowers to brighten up the space. Kids run back and forth among the clothing donations that line the entrance. Anna is very thankful to have a safe, warm, welcoming place to stay.