— Children’s rights are the most important. The needs are huge, we need to hear them. This is an important time in history. Children from Ukraine, Sudan, Yemen and Gaza are suffering. This is the basis for ensuring their fundamental right to education and life, said Dr. Rashed Mustafa Sarwar, national coordinator of the UNICEF Office for Responding to the Needs of Refugees in Poland, quoted by Gazeta Wyborcza.
Children and teenagers who took part in the study indicate that although it is “cool” in Poland, they miss home – a real home. They emphasize that they are often lonely. They often describe relations with Polish peers as “conflict-free coexistence”.
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Children who speak Polish better adapt much faster to a new environment. They make new friends through sports and extracurricular activities. The study also mentions discrimination – the statements are connected by, among others, the following threads: the Volhynian massacre, to which even younger children refer. Another problem is the lack of psychologists from Ukraine, difficulties in adapting to the Polish education system and lack of stability.
“Someone has problems related to Ukraine. Maybe someone is being insulted [dlatego że jest Ukraińcem]. Or he is concerned and worried about Ukraine. Well [o takich rzeczach]I guess you can talk to a Ukrainian, but not to a Polish one [psychologiem]” – points out an 11-year-old girl from Ukraine quoted by Wyborcza.
Both Polish and Ukrainian children show a willingness to integrate. The role of adults should be to enable them to do this and provide a safe space.-
The UNICEF Office for Responding to the Needs of Refugees in Poland, together with Save the Children Polska and PLAN International Polska, conducted qualitative research with children and adolescents from Ukraine (90 people) and Poland (14 people) aged 8 to 17.
Source: Gazeta Wyborcza