In light of the current situation in Ukraine, feeling solidarity, brotherhood and sisterhood with our sisters and brothers in Guiding and Scouting, their families and their nation – Ukrainians – Polish neighbours, the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association since the first day has been engaged reacting to this situation by providing help to citizens of Ukraine seeking shelter in Poland, collecting money, collecting and distributing supplies. We also try to propose programme initiatives that allow Scouts and Guides to help the way they can but also keep safe space for conversation about the topic and value of peace-building, inclusion and mental health.
These actions are organised on ZHP national level as well as in every Region and District. On national level we have established a task force consisting of all ZHP regional commissioners, ZHP national board members and other volunteers to answer the needs as best as possible. Similar structures are set up on ZHP regional level.
We are working in 4 areas of service: logistics, technical support, programme, and communication & international. The action is called “ZHP for Ukraine” and it aims at coordinating of all aid activities conducted by the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association in Poland.
Our ZHP regional commissioners are in contact with the regional government and have supported providing shelter places in various scout centres across Poland. The regions bordering with Ukraine are providing immediate support to the people in need with transportation efforts, distributing most needed articles, guiding people to safety areas, and providing information. Volunteers are supporting reception points and perform the service needed the most at the border crossings.
The service varies from region to region depending on their location and specific needs. All is conducted right in the local level where each ZHP region is organising different initiatives – education, training, gathering supplies and volunteers. We are evaluating the needs of people who have already crossed the Polish border and creating a database of those needs by ZHP regions, including supplies and human resources.
The national team proposed the following initiatives:
As a part of this initiative our volunteers are collecting, sorting, packing, and transporting packages to all the places where help is needed throughout our country.
We set up a pool of volunteers who specialise in security services, information and first aid. They will form “border patrols” who will support the service provided by the border guard and other dedicated services.
We also recruit young people who would like to support the ZHP regions closer to the border where the need for service is the biggest.
ZHP is the biggest youth non-formal education organisation in Poland. We continue to fulfil our mission and respond to changing realities at the same time. For several days now the need of peace building projects, conversation about peace, brotherhood & sisterhood and about real actions is a reality.
We have prepared guidance on how to talk to children about the war as well as extended material designed for each age group to support leaders with those conversations.
We are also providing psychological support via the help line and programme activities.
We have gathered and promoted the already existing programmes that deal with recognising and avoiding fake news, safety online, hate speech, tolerance and diversity, peace-building and some more specific resources about Ukrainian language or culture. We have also started an event in social media called “ZHP for Ukraine” which is a space to exchange experiences and inspirations.
All programme materials can be found in Polish under green tile in the following link: https://zhp.pl/zhpdlaukrainy/
The ZHP National Council adopted a statement encouraging all scout/guide leaders in our country to welcome children and youth from Ukraine to scouting and guiding activities. Being aware of the trauma of families coming from the war zone and the necessary time for acclimatisation in a new place, the National Council decided to suspend by March 2024 the obligation of paying the membership fees by the children and youth from Ukraine who decide to join ZHP.
Our organisation is discussing solutions that will enable Ukrainian children to participate in the activities of our scout/guide units and to be involved in their daily lives.
In many parts of the country scout and guide units invite Ukrainian families and children to attend their meetings, collect school items, toys or books. People organise learning groups of Polish and Ukrainian language to be able to facilitate communication.
The owner of the bank account is Zwiazek Harcerstwa Polskiego, Konopnickiej 6, 00-491 Warszawa, Poland.
The money will be used for humanitarian aid, purchasing first aid supplies, food, water for refugees and volunteers, as well as for other purposes such as fuel, accommodation, etc.
If you wish you can also donate to the WAGGGS and WOSM platforms which support MOs in their service for Ukraine.
WAGGGS Emergency Appeal: https://iwd.wagggs.org/p/emergencyappeal/
WOSM Donation platform: https://donate.scout.org/project/3c3100ed-95ad-4ae9-b8e8-c168263c13ed
If you have any questions, please contact:
Monika Dreik – ZHP International Commissioner (WAGGGS) – [email protected]
Mateusz Janik – ZHP International Commissioner (WOSM) – [email protected]
You are also welcome to contact:
person appointed by the WAGGGS office at [email protected]
person appointed by the WOSM office, Sian Bagshaw, at [email protected]
An overview of the support being facilitated and actions ongoing across the Member Organizations of WOSM and WAGGGS is
available on WeConnect and will be updated regularly: https://weconnect.eu.com/blog/projects/coordination-of-support/
Katarzyna Branewska"I help because only then do I feel that I am a full human being. As a woman, as a mother, as a girl guide, I want to be sure that I have done everything that was in my power to help!"
Iwona Lewandowska"I help because I just feel such an inner need and I know that someone needs this help. Ukrainians are our neighbours, and in scouting and guiding the word “BROTHERHOOD/SISTERHOOD” is not an empty slogan."
Albin Gumienny"My scouting service for the past few days has taken on a different dimension. I feel that I am doing what I should be doing - it's such an inner urge to act and help as much as I can!"