Coronavirus epidemic - immigrants and refugees solidarity initiatives to help and support
Surgery masks, meals free of charge, community support - what are the examples of social and voluntary involvement of immigrants and refugees during the outbreak of coronavirus disease
As epidemic status due to Coronavirus was declared in Poland, immigrants and refugees actively joined solidarity initiatives for assistance and help.
Refugee and immigrant women sewing masks
One of the first were refugee and immigrant women from Kobiety Wędrowne Foundation from Gdańsk. Kheda Alieva, activist and head of the Foundation, gathered female volunteers to sew surgical masks for hospitals and care facilities which are facing drastic shortages. Masks it will be shared also with paramedics, volunteers and seniors, who are at a great risk to get infected.
“Once we needed help finding our place in Poland, now we want to help in a difficult time for everyone” - say members of the initiative. In a short time, the idea gathered support and wide response among social organizations and associations, tailor’s shops or private people. Few foundations joined forces and volunteers provide the action with material and financial support.
Food for the Doctor
“Thank you, that you save our lives from coronavirs” - was written on a receipt on amount of 0,02 euro (9 gr) from the Relax Kebab in Radzymin.
The example of other common social initiative is the action Food for the Doctor ( pl. Posiłek dla lekarza). Migrant communities in Poland joined the initiative, cooking and providing hospitals and medical facilities with means free of charge.
Indian Community in Poland declared on social media that Indian restaurants join the action and encouraged everyone to involve, providing food and packages into local restaurants. Afterwards, the meals will be distributed to hospitals.
Same action declared owners of Vietnamese bars and restaurants in Warsaw and other cities (the Vietnamese community is one of biggest non-European migrant population in Poland).
Visible Hand – local community support
The Visible Hand is a social initiative, firstly appeared as a public group on Facebook, which encourages neighbours to share support, assistance free of charge and help during the quarantine. The idea was upheld also by Ukrainian community in Poland, to facilitate help and support for everyone who, because of the lockdown, lose the job (especially someone with temporary contracts in service and gastronomy), needs temporary place to live or lack contact and social support.
As Poland and Ukraine provided restrictions and closed borders, the group provides informative assistance in cases of returns and prolongation of stay permits.
Kyliushyk I., Мігрантські акції допомоги під час епідеміологічної ситуації в Польщі, https://naszwybir.pl/migrantski-aktsiyi-dopomogy-pid-chas-epidemiologichnoyi-sytuatsiyi-v-polshhi/?fbclid=IwAR0U9dxr2iTmVf4Qre7cm9vtDc_b6l1CgEYEkBPK_AkIw4fMPR3ngfBMF2o, [19.03.2020].
Nowak M., Uchodźczynie szyją maseczki. „Kiedyś potrzebowałyśmy pomocy, teraz same możemy pomóc”, https://oko.press/uchodzczynie-szyja-maseczki-w-ciagu-4-dni-szpitale-zamowily-u-nas-50-tys-maseczek/?fbclid=IwAR1tNNz3ItmCYMWhXP4O6hRzUdoPngJQqgk0InyG5EkK4iCyo0vY2-oaEo8, [19.03.2020].
Widzialna Ręka / Visible Hand, https://www.facebook.com/groups/widzialnareka/.
Visible Hand - Видима рука - українська секція (Польща), https://www.facebook.com/groups/245011286511270/