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Nearly 2 million Poles live in poverty. “People who work very honestly are also poor”

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Living on PLN 20 a day is the reality of nearly two million Poles. The latest report by Szlachetna Paczka shows how huge the scale of poverty is in our country, and also draws attention to growing inequalities and disproportions in the largest cities. At the same time, it emphasizes that poverty is not always visible at first glance.

As many as two million Poles live in extreme poverty, earning just PLN 20 a day. The Szlachetna Paczka report draws attention to growing inequalities and disproportions in the largest cities. – Poverty is often a private story of people who live in houses in places such as Wilanów, where it is not only a place where we can find expensive villas, beautiful houses, but also blocks of flats, housing estates, forgotten both by social welfare, as well as social programs – says Szymon Zyśko from Szlachetna Paczka.

READ ALSO: “Poverty is invisible here, it lives surrounded by luxury shops.” Alarming report

Poverty is not always visible at first glance, sometimes appearances make us not notice it, or we simply do not want to see it. The authors of the report point out that people in need are usually ashamed to ask for help and hide their situation.

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“People who work very honestly are also poor”

– The stereotype in Poland is that poverty is to blame. We did research which showed that we believe that poverty is partly a choice and partly a result of alcoholism, but in Polish reality this is completely untrue. People who work very honestly and are in very low-paid positions are also poor, emphasizes Joanna Sadzik, president of the Wiosna Association.

Nearly 14 percent of Poles live on the verge of poverty. Data shows that 3 percent cannot afford basic purchases. 5 percent do not buy meat, fish or fruit. 7 percent cannot afford current utility bills and live in the cold, 8 percent do not buy prescription drugs, and every fifth Pole cannot afford to buy corrective glasses.

Report "Poland is a country of inequality - it does not give us peace"

Data from the Szlachetna Paczka reportNoble Parcel

– Nearly 290,000 seniors, i.e. people who will not earn extra money because they no longer have the strength, were simply counting on a dignified old age. This group (of the poor – editor's note) includes nearly 400,000 children, i.e. people who cannot earn money on their own. These are the people we need to reach out to, says Sadzik.

Every penny counts

Empathy and sensitivity are necessary. The other person is not always able to cope on their own. – In order to reach out to anyone with help, to actually support someone, you have to notice them and this is a common problem we hear about from the families we help. They are surprised that someone remembered them, that someone found them – points out Zyśko.

Sometimes it's hard for us to imagine how hard it can be. Like every penny, it can be valuable. Mrs. Bernadeta Dunikowska cannot take up a permanent job. She makes decorations and then, together with her son and sister, whom she cannot leave unattended at home, she sells her works at a local bazaar or on social media pages. – There are people who are willing to buy, and there are people who say thank you and you should move on – says the woman.

SEE ALSO: They live in difficult conditions and have only PLN 300 left for food. Mrs. Wanda and her daughter are waiting for the Noble Parcel

On a daily basis, Mrs. Bernadeta takes care of her son and sister, who need constant care. Moreover, she is sick herself. – My son is a person who needs care 24 hours a day, because he is disabled, he has problems with reading, writing, speech, he has epileptic seizures, and now he has psoriasis. My sister is getting older, but she is also a person with special needs and needs help. They are sick and I am sick too, because I had a heart attack – says the woman.

Most of the budget is taken up by medications, fees and doctor visits. – Maybe one day our fate will change and things will be better – says Mrs. Bernadeta.

Author:Stefania Kulik

Main photo source: TVN24

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