“We laugh and cry together.” Residents of Bronowice Wielkie support refugees from Ukraine

At the initiative of the residents of Bronowice Wielkie, Majdanczyk was created – a place where people from Ukraine get the support they need. – Girls who ask us for help are not anonymous for us. We already know most of them well. We talk to each other, laugh together and cry together – says Ewelina Dziwak, one of the initiators of the relief operation in Bronovice.

Majdanczyk is a place created only thanks to the solidarity of the residents of Bronowice Wielkie. At the aid station, refugees from Ukraine can get free food, clothes, cosmetics, cleaning products, stationery, toys, children’s accessories and home accessories.

We talk to you about how Bronowice Wielkie residents support refugees from Ukraine Ewelina Dziwak, Initiator of the Majdanczyk uprising.

The beginnings of Majdanczykin / Photo.  Ewelina Dziwak's personal archive
The beginnings of Majdanczykin / Photo. Ewelina Dziwak’s personal archive

Majdanczyk is an important help point on the map of Krakow. How did you come up with the idea to open a shop for refugees?

The situation on February 24 probably shocked everyone. Accustomed to the peace and prosperity of Europe, we suddenly realized that our world was suddenly different. Many died, many lost loved ones, and many fled, leaving behind all their possessions. How can you remain indifferent when faced with human harm? I can’t do that, and the residents of Bronowice Wielkie in Krakow have also shown that they are not indifferent. The first social shock we faced in the first week of the Russian aggression was the collection of gifts going to Lviv as a result of cooperation between our cities. Everything was completely spontaneous, and all the fundraising events I organized at Plac Omłotowy exceeded my expectations. The idea of ​​a local fundraiser literally originated the day before. I made sure that the residents of our district received information about the collection. I have been working in our local group on social networks for several years, so I had no problem notifying residents who use social media. Others received leaflets printed on mailboxes. The leaflets were distributed by the children of School No. 14 and Kindergarten Complex. Many people came to help the collection and the number of donors was really amazing. We have collected products that can fit in several vans. Soon we set up a social committee within the Bronowice Wielkie Fans Association and provided systematic support. Initially, we created a housing base for refugees, collected the addresses of those who wanted to receive those in need, and placed them in these places. The next step was to create a help desk that our guests could use. There are 14 people working in the station: I, Ewelina Szymczyk, Basia Filipowicz, Agata Kula, Agata Porzuek, Monica Wilde, Małgorzata Stachnik-Tomczyk, Agnieszka Litwin, Magdalena Bartosik, Magdalena Zięikeina, Kyskaacza Nosmika, Joseka Bosmik. Recently, our group has expanded, and there are Ukrainian girls who shake hands with us: Victoria Shadura, Alona Halabitsky, Hanna Natsilevich. The building where we operate was commissioned by an association led by Ms. Zofia Jaworska-Kocoń and our district counselor Tomasz Regulski. Initially, we put the products brought by donors on the tables. At that time, the warehouse was in a terrible state of disrepair. There were so many gifts that it was difficult to arrange them only with tables. The solidarity of the people associated with Bronowice has shown that these problems can be overcome quickly. Mr. Domansky, the head of the carpentry workshop, provided us with sturdy hangers. The wheel supports we use today were brought by the residents. Jerzy Maj, director of the Institute of Pharmacology, and Professor Magorzata Filip gave us shelves that allowed us to better organize the space. At the moment, the point looks like a professional store.

Where did the idea for the name come from?

For the residents of Bronowice, the area where the point is located is known as Omłotowy Square. At first we talked about him in the same way. Help point in Omłotowy Square or just in the warehouse. One day while returning from volunteering, I met one of our guests, my Ukrainian friend Oliya. “Oliya, where are you going?” I asked. “I’m going to Majdanczyk,” he replied. Majdanczyk is a Ukrainian-language playground. Olia called it because our playground serves as a playground for children. It was he who unknowingly gave us this name. We took it and the magazine became Majdanek.

What are the rules for using the dot?

As I mentioned, Majdanczyk is located in Omłotowy Square in Bronowice Wielkie, Krakow. Located at the intersection of Ojcowska and Stawowa streets. The station is open from Monday to Friday from 15.00 to 19.00, and on Saturdays from 9.00 to 12.00. Show your passport when someone in need comes to us for the first time. Each subsequent visit does not require a document.

Who provides the store with products?

Our residents mainly provide us with products. They come every day after work and ask what they need. They observe our work and learn how to help us so that the help is as effective as possible and that everyone in need can benefit from it. The staff of the Institute of Pharmacology, where we often receive parcels, is also very supportive. There have been several times when someone from outside caught our attention, and he trusted our opinion and donated the product. We recently received a gift car from the UK

Majdanczyk / Photo.  Ewelina Dziwak's personal archive
Majdanczyk / Photo. Ewelina Dziwak’s personal archive

What can you find under?

Our station is very well equipped. Those in need can find food, cosmetics, cleaning products, household chemicals, clothes, shoes, toys, stationery and stationery, household items, small appliances and basic medicines. In addition, they can receive warm words and smiles. For many of our guests, we are not ladies from the point of view, but we are Ewelina, Gosia, Aga, Madzia, Asia, Monica and so on. Girls who ask us for help are not anonymous. We already know most of them well. We talk to each other, laugh together, cry together.

Is there a way to support you?

Our ladies need support every day. Many of them still do not receive cash benefits, live part-time and support their children. Many of them no longer have a home and cannot return. Of course, the most important need is always food. Ukrainian cuisine is different from Polish cuisine. The most common product we release and (due to its popularity) that ends quickly is buckwheat. Since we do not have an organized donation, we only collect products.
Milk, vegetables and fruits are often in short supply on our shelves. These products are very rich in minerals and vitamins. We would like our guests to be able to visit them on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the reality is that those who come to the point first have a better chance of getting these products than those who come last. Sometimes I look at people who stand in the distance and look with tears at the shelves that are emptying so quickly. Needless to say, these cases are very unpleasant. We try to ensure that everyone gets help, and we often distribute products so that everyone has equal opportunities. But sometimes there are so many people in need that we run out of products without serving the rest of the people. These situations are extremely difficult.

Can you tell me how many people you have helped so far?

When we keep statistics, we know more or less how many people in need receive our help. According to statistics, it is about 150-200 people a day.

Majdanczyk / Photo.  Ewelina Dziwak's personal archive
Majdanczyk / Photo. Ewelina Dziwak’s personal archive

Who uses your help the most?

At first, only those living in our area benefited from our assistance. We are currently helping people in all of Krakow and neighboring cities.

What helps you?

I think the help made us dependent. I can’t work anymore without help. This is a form of self-realization and setting a higher and higher band for yourself. The more I succeed, the more I am motivated for future activities. I think everyone who works with me feels the same way. We like to help and will help.

Is the store the only type of aid organized by Bronowice residents?

As I mentioned, in addition to the issue, we were also looking for apartments where refugees could be accommodated. We also help them find a job, doctor or school every day. If someone has a problem, he is willing to come to us because he knows that he will not be fired with a ticket. In addition, we work with people who support other aid points in Krakow or who travel to the depths of Ukraine. If we have collected products that will be useful elsewhere, we will pass them on. So nothing is wasted and our help is much wider.

Majdanczyk / Photo.  Ewelina Dziwak's personal archive
Majdanczyk / Photo. Ewelina Dziwak’s personal archive

A very painful thing happened recently. Vandals destroyed the Majdanczyk building. Have you ever encountered any negative feedback about the assistance provided to Ukrainians?

We have not met. Rather, everyone treats what is happening as we do and is thankful for our work. The solidarity of the people of Bronowice never ceases to amaze. At night, the boys cleaned the boards and repainted the building.

Popisany Majdanczyk / Photo.  Ewelina Dziwak's personal archive
Popisany Majdanczyk / Photo. Ewelina Dziwak’s personal archive

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