It’s a super busy day today so this day is brought to you in two halves!
All the kids had been booked into a soft play session in Lublin which they adored.
It was absolutely wonderful to stand and watch they have such fun. Kids being kids with absolute freedom.
Lots of shrieking, chasing, laughing, shouting. Absolutely joyful.
Bringing it right back to their reality. On our way back to the coach, suddenly an alert sounded. Every child and teacher reached for their mobile. Their emergency air raid app had triggered. The app tracks bomber jets taking off. And warns them to take cover. Depending on routes and types of bombs, they have a certain number of minutes. Inconceivable isn’t it? This is their reality. On this occasion everyone at home was safe and unaffected. On this occasion.
But off we go and very kindly the charity Caritas had invited all the kids to lunch look at the beautiful church behind. Stunning.
The kitchen is run by Ukrainians and the lunch they made was very familiar Ukrainian fare. The kids were starving and tucked straight in. The majority of the kids are terribly anaemic because it’s impossible at the moment to get access to a range of food and heat sources are not reliable. So it was such a joy to see them eating such hearty healthy hot food.
After lunch we met Cezary, a local businessman dedicated to helping Ukrainian refugees. He won’t call them refugees or displaced, rather ‘our Ukrainian friends’ Cezary was inspirational. He runs a home for 130 families. He has a real understanding of the impact of war on the current and future generations, with a passion for working on mental health and well being. This is a theme we are hearing more and more about. We have taken Cezary’s card. We wonder if we can help him.
And now we are enjoying a Christmas party entertainer. We’ve been joined by 50+ Ukrainian families who have fled their homes and a currently living in Lublin. It’s a tough life, full of uncertainty. In many cases they have no homes to go to. Awful. But this afternoon, they can be children at Christmas time.Honestly. It’s such a tonic to hear these children LAUGH AND LAUGH. Best thing!
And now Saint Nicholas is here!! For real. Kids are all getting big bags of swag. How fantastic to be able to treat them like this.