The eighth day of the war ends. Yes, that's how the Ukrainians, but not only them, have recently been marking time. In Wrocław, information from the front is heard every evening. Tonight, the most important news was that Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odessa are not giving up. It is good to hear. Not so good is that the Russian convoy is only 30 km from Kiev.
Wrocław is a special city. After World War II, the largest number of displaced people from Lviv came here, but also many soldiers, fighting for the city and organizing its life after the liberation, remained in it.
Today, Wrocław is an academic center and a Polish silicon valley. Many graduates of Wrocław's universities stay here forever, and in the last few years, the Ukrainian language has been heard very often here. About 100,000 Ukrainian emigrants work here in various sectors of the economy.
From the first day of the war, the city was preparing to receive refugees. There are three main centers where refugees arriving in the city are provided with information and assistance.
- The first point is the Main Railway Station, where interpreters and volunteers are waiting with hot tea, soup, sandwich and sweets. They provide information on where to go for more help.
- A similar reception point is located at Świdnicka Street at Przejście Dialogu.
- The third aid center is Czasop Przestrzeń at Tramwajowa Street.
The Wrocław Center for Supporting NGOs SECTOR3 is located at ul. Legnicka. Here, the collection and distribution of the necessary items are coordinated.
The sacrifice of the inhabitants is astonishing. Everyone gets involved — private individuals and organizations. Last Sunday, over PLN 7,000 were collected and transferred to the Caritas center within only a single parish church at Księży Mały. This is almost three times more than usual tray offering. The collections of money, clothes, cleaning products, blankets, etc. are still ongoing.
It is estimated that tens of thousands of refugees will appear in Wrocław. For now, these are mostly families of those already working here and they receive support from them, but for those who do not have families, the city has prepared places in dormitories, hotels, holiday centers and one hospital for the wounded, sick, or in need of medical care.
After presenting a Ukrainian passport, refugees can use public transportation, trains and buses, free of charge.
Most of them only declare a temporary stay, but it is not known how long they will have to remain in Poland. Soon they will need help with learning the language, vocational training, and with job search. This is a serious problem for Poland and for every refugee reception center.
For now, we are holding on, but we wish for our own sake and everyone else's, that this war would end tomorrow, so that there would be no more counting the days.
Translation from Polish by Andrew Woźniewicz.