The European Commission has recently published research showing that the vast majority of EU citizens (70%) believe that refugees should not assimilate, but integrate into their new societies, while the responsibility for this process should rest on both sides.
As a foundation, we have taken this to heart and in Opole and Warsaw we have launched two meeting points not only for Ukrainians fleeing the war, but for all refugees, minorities and the local community.
For the integration centres, we adapted premises in tenement houses in both cities (Warsaw is home to the largest diaspora of Ukrainians, Opole to the only one of its kind in the entire region). After extensive renovation, the spaces resemble bright, comfortable and cosy flats. They beam with a relaxed atmosphere that makes every visitor feel at home.
As part of the project, a team of qualified Polish and Ukrainian consultants such as legal advisers, psychologists, translators, Polish language teachers and animators organises various free activities at the Opole and Warsaw locations:
- group and individual therapy for adults, children and adolescents: crisis support, PTSD therapy, art therapy;
- orientation meetings on the realities of life in Poland: labour market, renting a flat, starting a business, education system;
- consultations with lawyers concerning legalisation of stay, temporary custody of children who came from Ukraine without parents, assistance in preparing letters, nostrification of diplomas;
- adaptation support and social assistance in the form of food vouchers and coupons, subsidies for rented accommodation, nursery and kindergarten fees;
- Polish language courses;
- integration activities for young people: film and photography workshops, drawing and painting workshops.
Above all, however, the integration centres run by the HumanDoc Foundation are homes where people come to meet other people and, over a cup of coffee, simply talk about themselves and what to do next.