Catherine Skopiec's story of why helping is in her genes.
Kasia Skopiec runs the Slava and Izek Volosianski Humanosh Foundation. The foundation currently focuses on helping political refugees from Belarus. These people flee their country often with one backpack, so the needs are great. That's why this year Mirnyj Dom was established in Warsaw, a place where refugees go before they find a job, a target apartment, a school or a kindergarten for their children. Kasia and her colleagues offer just such practical help. By training, she is a cultural studies scholar, PR and marketing expert, cultural manager and fundraiser. She has worked for, among others, PZU, Compensa, Deutsche Bank, the Royal Baths, and marketed Vienna Life, among others. After many years in multinational corporations, she decided to give up her full-time job and focus on helping.
- Helping is in my genes. I am the granddaughter of the Righteous. My grandparents saved 39 Jews during the war. My grandmother already had a small child at the time, my mother, but she thought it was the right thing to do. For her they were not Jews, but her friends, acquaintances - states.
With two children of her own (Susie, 12, Frank, 4), she and her husband decided to take care of Chime, a girl from Tibet. As an 11-year-old, Chime abandoned her family home and fled through the Himalayas to India, where she went to school. Because, she did not learn well, she was expelled from that school. For a little girl from Tibet there are only two choices in such a situation - become a prostitute or ... a seamstress. And here there was another problem - Chime could not sew. With help came her uncle Ajamlama and the Sam Jub Ling Foundation, who, at the invitation of the Bednarska School Complex, decided to bring her to Poland as part of the Multi-kulti program. Her cousins Sonam and Lodroma, who also came earlier at the invitation of the Foundation, Uncle Ajam and the school, were already in Poland. Kasia's family met with the girls several times, when it turned out that the Ajama Foundation was looking for a home not only for Chime, who was eighteen at the time, but also Lodroma, who was two years younger, and Sonam, who was fourteen. The girls had already spent time in Poland, so they spoke little Polish. Chime spoke only Tibetan.
Kasia and her family decided to invite the girls to stay with them for the vacations, and in September Sonam moved in with Zuzia in a room, by the way, I her request. It was not easy, they had no experience, and besides, Sonam had no documents.
- The lady from the Foundation gave us the idea of a trip to Tibet, where we were to meet Sonam's parents. Not thinking much, the three of us went there. Along with our visas and our willingness to take over custody, we took with us pictures of Sonam and Zuzi, a whole backpack of toys, Sonam's letter to her parents and my grandmother's ring, which we wanted to give to Sonam's mother, as well as a notarized deed drawn up before we left, in which her dad entrusts us with his child-. Kasia recalls.
They succeeded and so began a new life with three children. They received a lot of help from acquaintances, friends. There were always extra skis, toys, clothes. When Sonam's mother died of cancer, the thought of adopting Kandji - her younger sister - germinated in them. The family's financial situation at the time stood in the way, but again good people came their way.
Today, Sonam is already a doctor, and Kanji is about to start college.
Thanks to these experiences, we know how to make the impossible possible. We know how to help refugees overcome the barriers that prevent them from basic functioning in our country. We know exactly how to deal with children, when dealing with the simplest matter is often even more difficult due to their legal status, which is not fully settled.
How You Can Help
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The founders of the foundation have been actively helping refugees for more than 15 years. Humanosh Foundation has been operating since 2020, with the help of the family, volunteers and thanks to the support of donors we help refugees and spread the story of the Wołosiański family.
Our mission is to build a reality in which every person feels safe and dignified, regardless of his or her background, race, religion or skin color.
Only with your help can we succeed!