NewsWorldA year of war | 1.5 million Ukrainians are still in Poland

A year of war | 1.5 million Ukrainians are still in Poland

Over the past year, more than nine and a half million Ukrainians have come to Poland. Nearly eight million have returned home. Mainly women and children. About two-thirds of those who stayed have found work. During the war year, Ukrainian refugees in Poland have opened nearly 20,000 businesses and launched initiatives such as Ukrainian schools.

“Children have to learn in other schools, in their Ukrainian online schools, or go to Polish schools. There is simply not enough space in Polish schools…”explains Natalia Rovytska, a teacher at the Ukrainian school in Warsaw.

Mark Ovierko is a student at a Ukrainian school in Warsaw. He is happy to study in Ukrainian. He is also a good option for those who do not have precise plans:

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“[Mis opciones son] to go to the Polish institute or to a place further away, because I am learning English. If I succeed then maybe [iremos] to England. That is also a possibility, but for now, we will be in Poland for a year. Maybe we will go back to Ukraine, yes, but plans change every day.”

“I am very grateful. I came here, to Poland, and this family welcomed me and they welcomed me into their family, people I did not know. We understand that nobody owes us anything, we must earn our own money, and that is why we work. We understand that our children are our future”says Natalia Rovytska, a teacher at the Ukrainian school in Warsaw.

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Experts warn that despite the success of the humanitarian response, many Ukrainians still need our help to support themselves.

Problems of access to the labor market and housing

“Immigrants are more or less adapted, true, but now there is a problem of access to the labor market, massive apartment problems. This is the moment when we need to think about a longer-term strategy”says Marta Jaroszewicz, from the Center for Migration Research, University of Warsaw.

Warsaw’s population at the start of the invasion grew by 17%, but temporary solutions (such as inviting people home or temporary jobs) no longer really work for those who want to stay.

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“The war in Ukraine has led to the largest refugee migration in Europe since World War II and is a great challenge for neighboring countries. There are still around 1.5 million Ukrainians in Poland alone. Most have not made any plans to long term and although many will stay in the country, most would like to return home as soon as possible.”explains Magdalena Chodownik, Euronews, Warsaw.

Source: Euronews Español


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