Welsh fans join forces with Polish charity to help Ukranian refugees
As Wales begin their UEFA Nations League campaign against Poland, the Red Wall fans of Gôl Cymru have joined forces with a Polish charity to help young refugees from the bloody war in Ukraine.
The Notice Me Foundation (Fundacja Zobaczmnie) usually supports children suffering from cancer in Wrocław. Just before the war started, they hosted a group of young Ukrainian footballers attending a tournament. The children couldn’t return home to Kyiv so they stayed on in Poland and are slowly being joined by their siblings and mothers.
The charity is now building a shelter for 200 children and women who are escaping the hell of the war. ‘Ukrainian House’ will not only be a stop on the refugees’ way to a better life but also a substitute for their homeland. The visiting Wales fans have organised a pre-match party in Wrocław and are raffling a Wales shirt to raise money for Ukrainian House.
The House will help the children forget about the war and will make them feel at home in Poland. They are currently building bathrooms and kitchens, cozy family rooms and shared lounges. There will also be classrooms and a kindergarten for younger children.There are more and more refugees every day and the list of needs is getting longer.
Jacky Devis from the British Embassy in Warsaw said. ‘I am delighted to see that Gôl Cymru! chose to donate the funds collected by the fans to Fundacja Zobaczmnie. This money will go towards vital work supporting children. I’m looking forward to accompanying the fans when they visit the Fundacja Zobaczmnie to present the donation and sharing some time with the children.’
One of the young footballers who was taken in by Notice Me said, ‘I want the war to end as soon as possible so that I can see my family and friends.’ One of the mothers who has been forced to flee added, ‘My child, who is safe in Poland now, heard a plane and asked, “Mom. Will they shoot now? Do we have to go to the basement?” We will never go back to the life we had,’ she said. ‘This is an incredible pain, a horror for the children, for people. When we hear a plane we feel threatened by it.’
Tim Hartley from Gôl Cymru said, ‘We have all seen the awful images coming out of Ukraine. The things these children must have experienced are unimaginable for us. We are pleased to be able to help our Polish friends build the Ukrainian House. It is a fantastic project. The Wales fans like a good time on their away trips but they are also keen to give something back to the communities who are so welcoming to us.’
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.