Our school has fostered many connections to the Ukrainian community in Warsaw over the years, and the displacement of millions of Ukrainians from their homeland has touched our hearts deeply. To help the efforts of the generous Polish government and the charitable actions of the Warsaw community as a whole, TBS Warsaw has created a branch dedicated to supporting the Ukrainian refugees fleeing their homes and seeking shelter in Poland: Friends of Ukraine.
Every Saturday, TBS Warsaw hosts meetings welcoming the families connected to our school and offers them the opportunity to create new bonds within the safe space we have created. Lunch is served by the PTA and beautiful music is played as children draw and play with the student volunteers, allowing their parents to rest peacefully for a few hours. Both the families and the volunteers attending have been truly fulfilled by the new friendships they have created, and the few weeks that the program has been running have already had a great impact on our community: our school has been able to provide aid for more than 40 refugees so far, donating food, hygiene products and other basic necessities to the families, as well as helping them integrate themselves into the community by providing them with the information and contacts necessary to navigate their new life in Warsaw. The number of visitors to our school has increased every Saturday, and the families visiting our school have been incredibly grateful for the all the help offered.
The success of Friends of Ukraine has helped the school visualize the meetings continuing on a far grander scale, and we plan to provide the refugees with many more resources in the future. We plan to cook special lunches during the holidays, organize sports events for the children with professional instructors and offer both children and adults courses in both Polish and English to help them adapt to their future educational and professional careers in Poland.
TBS Warsaw is looking forward to helping the Ukrainian members of our community in whichever way we can, but we need your help too! If you are a parent, secondary or IB student, we welcome your help in organizing our meetings every Saturday and offering donations of food or hygiene products to our project. If you are an IB student, you can organize CAS projects centered around helping Friends for Ukraine as well. Any help would be very much appreciated by the school and the families visiting us, so even the smallest donation counts!
Isabel Rontome Fernandez