The current war in Ukraine forced many changes to happen in the Polish-Ukrainian relations. Poland was the first European country to open its borders to Ukrainian refugees. Almost 3.1 Million Ukrainians, mainly women and children, found shelter in Poland.
Despite some historical tensions and very painful pages of common history, the Polish government, but first of all the Polish people, chose to support Ukraine at all levels.
According to the estimates, 7.7 million people are internally displaced in Ukraine as a result of the conflict, which is equivalent to 17.5 percent of the entire population. These are people who had to leave their homes and everything behind in a desperate attempt to escape death and destruction. They are traumatized and need urgent protection, including psychosocial support.
We are aware that in common history of Poland and Ukraine there are periods that need to be cleared. Now we are united again by the common enemy. But to continue to have good relations in the future the history controversies need to be addressed. We believe that through education and dialogue of young Ukrainians and Poles this can be achieved and we can stay stron together for future generations.
To provide tours for young Ukrainians, groups of 10-15 teenagers in Poland, where they will be guided by professional tour guides and will immerse in Polish history and culture. Every day the group will visit significant places in Polish history.
The partner organization in Ukraine will be the Zhytomyr Community Foundation. The partner organization will be in charge of selecting young teenagers. The privilege should be given to children from internally displaced families, children from one-parent families, children of the Ukrainian military, and children from rural areas.
The partner organization will help with travel documents for selected teens; receive all necessary permits from parents, and assign an accompanying person. Upon the visit participants with the help of a partner, the organization will make a presentation about their visit to their peers in Ukraine.
We envision two- three groups per year. Each group will have to follow up meetings with presentations about their visit.