The Polish Red Cross received the International Humanitarian Service Award, an annual distinction awarded by the American Red Cross. The representative of the PCK board, Michał Mikołajczyk, who received the award on Friday in Washington, said that it was a token of appreciation for the help provided by Poles to Ukraine.
Mikołajczyk stated at a press briefing on Friday at the Polish embassy in Washington that the award, which has been awarded since 1988, is a very prestigious award given to “organizations that show dedication committed to specific actions and assistance, but also to the promotion of the principles of the Red Cross movement.”
As he emphasized, receiving the award by the Polish Red Cross is the result of the attitude of Polish society towards the invasion Russia to Ukraine.
– The part of Europe where we live has been a happy part of the world for several decades. And suddenly, what we know from history books, from the stories of loved ones, became a fact: the war abroad, and with it a wave of people who went for help. (…) And against this wave of great misfortune stood a wave of humanity and empathy. It is unprecedented how Poles opened their hearts, homes, businesses, warehouses, minds and wallets to respond to this wave of misery (…). The average Mikołajczyk rose to the occasion – said a member of the PCK board.
He stressed that Red Cross and Red Crescent societies from over 50 out of 192 countries of the world are involved in helping Ukrainians, and the American committee also plays a major role.
– Let me give you an example: the war started on Thursday, and on Monday we had an inquiry from the Kuwait Red Crescent: “The Emir is giving gifts, what should I bring you?” Mikolajczyk said.
He added that thanks to the involvement of Americans and American companies, it was possible to quickly respond to the first wave of needs, but also to finance long-term activities, such as running a hotline for refugees and a cash support program for Ukrainians.
Mikołajczyk: now the priority is the integration of two societies – Poles and Ukrainians
He stressed that 10,000 people were involved in helping. volunteers and members of the Polish Red Cross who helped over 1.2 million Ukrainians. – The value of this support is PLN 250 million. We also delivered over 800 convoys with humanitarian aid. The value of this is another 250 million – said the representative of the Polish Red Cross.
Asked how the needs have changed since the beginning of the war, Mikołajczyk said that basic humanitarian aid is still needed – although not on such a scale as initially – but now the priority is “the integration of two societies, Poles and Ukrainians”.
– The point is that those who are in Poland today and will want to stay with us can go through the adaptation as easily as possible. So it’s about teaching the Polish language, writing a CV, teaching different professions, integrating children at school so that there is no such division: they and us – said the activist.
Main photo source: TVN24