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The Pomost Foundation supports former prisoners, but it needs money itself. Lukas Podolski helps her

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Up to six out of ten former prisoners return to prison after serving their sentences. They are often forgotten by the system or by their loved ones, but the Pomost Foundation gives them strength and support. However, now she needs help because she lacks funds for her activities and there are no new donors. Górnik Zabrze player Lukas Podolski wants to encourage them to do so.

On the pitch – a striker or an attacking midfielder. In his private life, it's definitely the latter, so when someone asks him for help for a noble cause, he doesn't hesitate for a moment. – To come somewhere and take a photo on social media – I'm not that kind of person. Only if I want something and like something, and I see that help is needed, I am available – says Lukas Podolski, footballer of Górnik Zabrze and former German representative.

The world champion and the third best scorer in the history of the German national team has been supporting and running foundations helping children for years, but he does not stop there. This time, the footballer was asked for help by the Pomost Foundation, which helps prisoners leaving prisons return to normal life. – Every person also has a heart and a good heart. You need to sit down with him, talk to him and motivate him, emphasizes Podolski.

Lukas Podolski with the people of the Pomost FoundationTVN24

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About 60 percent of prisoners in Poland after serving their sentence – sooner or later – return to prison. Only one in ten of the foundation's beneficiaries. – Resocialization, even if it is positive, goes to hell if (former prisoners – editor's note) go out into a society where people turn away from them – points out Dr. Paweł Moczydłowski, criminologist, former director of the Central Board of Penitentiaries.

See also: “I did a lot of bad things once.” Now former prisoners are renovating the room of a 10-year-old girl with autism

Edward Szeliga – president of the Pomost Foundation and a former prisoner – explains that everyone who goes to prison must adapt to completely new rules. Therefore, inmates adapt to these conditions by adopting one of several behavioral models. – These adaptation models in prison work 100 percent. They don't work in the wild, Szeliga points out.

A special program for former prisoners

After returning to freedom, former prisoners – often without the possibility of returning to their former lives – still use violence, theft or extortion.

– We put them in a criminal prison so that they can improve. They don't get better there. They go out, look for their place in society, and society, which sees that they are worse due to this prison pseudo-resocialization, closes itself on them. This means that it pushes them even further to the margins of society and they return to this prison even worse. This is madness – explains Moczydłowski.

Therefore, the Foundation's charges are included in a special nine-month program that is intended to reverse the effects of life behind bars. – I have the support of therapists and psychologists. I have the opportunity to work, stay overnight, integrate with the boys and the group – says Miłosz Trela, a former prisoner and supporter of the foundation.

An appeal for help

The foundation itself must now ask for help, because state funding for such activities is practically non-existent. – Companies that have supported us for many years laid off people last year and simply withdrew their support – says the president of the Foundation.

Read also: “I leave after five years and receive PLN 50. Well, you know I'm going and steal something”

It is not easy to convince other donors, because helping former prisoners, although very socially beneficial, is still considered unnecessary. – The fact that Lukas agreed to come and meet the boys and give us this autographed T-shirt for auction means a lot to us – says Szeliga.

If it is not possible to raise funds to pay outstanding and current bills, the Foundation may be closed after 17 years of operation.

Information on how to support the Pomost Foundation can be found on the organization's website

Author:Tomasz Pupiec

Main photo source: TVN24

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