Helping Refugees In Poland

The situation between Belarus and Poland is a complicated one, and the conditions of migrants from Belarus trying to enter the EU via Poland is even more so. Yet this complex political chess game forms the background for what I want to share,  an example of human courage and solidarity. In this case one where poles are risking their lives to help the migrants. The article in The Guardian  used fake names to protect them. Jakub, 38 has helped and hidden about 200 migrants. Others have too. They do not compare it to the Holocaust, but are aware of the parallels and inspired by the fact that many poles hid Jewish children. Jakub’s uncle was among those, so to him doing what he does is personal. The Polish authorities could arrest them because helping migrants is illegal. Regardless, people like Jakub roam the woods looking for signs of life such as discarded nappies or huts made from tree branches, bringing water, food, the offer of shelter. It’s dangerous for the migrants too. If caught they are sent back to the sub- zero temperature forest.  They are all courageous, and show us that courage is not only for heroes.

We have  come to have this negative picture of human nature, and of course we are all flawed. Still, because this picture is reinforced by so many films, computer games, cartoons and the like, we forget the other side, our better angels or whatever terms anyone wants to use. But it is that other side that helps us go forward, so when I encounter it I want to highlight it.  That’s why what Jakub and those like him are doing in Poland is worth knowing about. They remind us that humans are more than their down side.

3 thoughts on “Helping Refugees In Poland”

  1. Thank You Danielle for reminding us of the challenges faced by migrants in Europe. It is commendable that people like Jakub risk their life and that of their family to offer help to those fleeing for their lives. In Romania, another point of entry into the EU, I have witnessed courageous people who also give their time and resources and often risk the lives of loved ones to share what they have with frightened refugees. It is only repeated acts of kindness and bold actions that will impact leaders to rethink how they use the system to protect human life. Reading about the courage needed to stand up when people are mistreated inspires all of us to be kind and speak up.

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