According to the estimates of non-governmental organizations, only every third of the more than 900 “friends of Poland”, ie Afghans working for the army or diplomacy, remained in the country. – The reason is the lack of prospects. The government has not created any specific adaptation program for them – says Magdalena Chrapek from the board of the ICAD foundation.
The last of 44 planes with evacuated Afghans landed at Okęcie in Warsaw on August 26.
In total – as officially reported by the Office for Foreigners – 937 Afghans were sent to Poland, who cooperated with Polish soldiers and diplomats during the twenty-year mission in this country. What happened to them after landing in the capital?
The general is gone
The journalist of tvn24.pl is satisfied with a well-educated Afghan who worked for military intelligence.
– I ended up in a small center for foreigners, among refugees from Ossetia who had settled here for a long time. I have two hours a week of learning Polish, which I already know a bit, pocket money of PLN 17, basic food. Nobody is interested in me, my future is not – he relates.
Last week, we informed on tvn24.pl that from such a center near Radzyń General Muhammad Haidar Nikpai left, the highest-ranking soldier evacuated from Afghanistan, commanded special forces there.
I would like to thank the wonderful Poles whom I had the opportunity to meet. However, I do not understand your government
A similar story concerns an Afghan family that ended up in one of the centers in the north of the country.
– They are well educated people, they speak several languages. Their children, who also ended up in Poland, were excellent students in Kabul. First, we organized a collection for autumn and winter shoes for them, then we started feeding them, because they can eat only a few dishes from the center’s kitchen. They were thin in their eyes, they were constantly ill, they were getting weaker and weaker. Now we are doing a lot to help them stand on their own feet. However, it will probably be more honest to tell them to build their future beyond our western border, tells us a Tricity resident who works in one of the non-governmental organizations. He asks to remain anonymous.
PLN 17 per week
When we asked the Ministry of National Defense about adaptation programs for Afghans brought to Poland, we were sent to the Ministry of Family and Social Policy. It was this ministry that coordinated the work of a specially appointed “inter-ministerial team”.
“The team prepared a framework action plan for the integration of evacuated Afghan citizens. As part of it, the exchange of information between our ministry, the Office for Foreigners, the Ministry of Education and Science and local government institutions is constantly being maintained. individual Integration Programs. The ministry supports local governments in the integration process, including by preparing a questionnaire profiling Afghan citizens, preparing and translating materials for them, translating official applications “- we read in the reply sent to us by the communication and promotion department of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.
The replies of the Office for Foreigners show that Afghans can count on staying in the center, which cannot be entered by outsiders, but they can leave themselves. They get pocket money (PLN 17 per week per person) and are under medical care.
– Foreigners receive an indefinite right to stay and work in Poland. They are issued with residence cards and the so-called Geneva travel document, on the basis of which they can freely travel around EU countries, the press spokesman of the office, Jakub Dudziak, told us.
Almost everyone is educated
The assessment of the government’s actions by the largest non-governmental organization that participated in the preparations for the evacuation and is now helping the “friends of Poland” is critical.
– There is no adaptation program. Seeing the lack of prospects, our friends leave. We estimate that today every third person stayed in the country, and when the rest receives the Geneva Travel Document, perhaps one hundred people will remain – says Magdalena Chrapek from the board of the ICAD foundation in an interview with tvn24.pl. She spent a year in Afghanistan, on the board she works with people who have been there for up to five years.
– Almost all of them are well educated, with extraordinary experience in such professions as doctor and architect. In addition, they also have a unique and dangerous knowledge about the functioning of the secret structures of our country. Everyone I talked to said that all they want is help at the start and some sensible perspective – describes the people brought to Poland in August.
Her organization also proposed that the talents of Afghans, some of whom speak multiple languages, be used during the migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border. The idea was that they would literally “flood” social media and messengers with information about the dangers facing refugees at the border: that they were not in for a safe, comfortable trip via Minsk to the EU, but by forest, cold, often death.
– Our postulates fall into the void, there are no answers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or other institutions – says Magdalena Chrapek.
Successful adaptation at universities
The fact that the adaptation makes sense and can be successful is proved by the example of the universities in Opole and Warsaw.
The first one found a group of sixteen Afghans. Five of them are studying, the children are also learning, and the university has provided them with accommodation in dormitories and food.
– All they wanted from us was to help them stand on their own feet. Now they are more and more independent, I think they are pleased with the way the university and the inhabitants of Opole have welcomed them, says Maciej Kochański, the university spokesman.
A similar project operates at the University of Warsaw, where a group of several dozen Afghans study or learn Polish.
– As a state, we missed an opportunity which was the 900-strong Afghan community. Their relationships, knowledge and experience are priceless, and the situation in Afghanistan may turn around in some time – says MP Marek Biernacki (PSL). He announces that he and the other opposition members of the secret services commission will soon lead to a commission meeting devoted to “Afghan friends”.
Main photo source: Marcin Obara / PAP