Turawa Park Shopping Center created a support and volunteer centre for Ukraine
April 19, 2022
More than ten thousand Ukrainian refugees have already applied for help to the Temporary Support Centre for Refugees (TOWU) in Turawa Park (Opole, Poland). Just a few days ago TOWU signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Polish branch of the Red Cross. The second month of the Centre’s work has proved that the power of volunteering and the power of good has no boundaries.
“Focus Estate Fund has acquired Turawa Park at the end of 2021. This is the fourth shopping center in the Fund’s Polish portfolio. Within the first days of war, the Fund has made a decision to organize a Centre for Refugees using the area of more than 9 thousand square meters. We relied on our own resources and the possible support of local residents. But, as a result, we have received a colossal wave of solidarity from a huge number of Opole residents, public organizations, local businesses, as well as humanitarian aid from countries such as Germany, Austria, Netherlands, and Great Britain. Now Turawa Park is the largest collection and distribution point for humanitarian aid in the region, and we are grateful to every volunteer, every local resident who joined our initiative,” Oksana Rakova, Head of Communications, Focus Estate Fund, commented.
According to Agnieszka Pyzanowicz-Francke, the director of Turawa Park S.C., “help in organizing a Centre where Polish people can help Ukrainians (mostly women and children) was our natural heartfelt appeal.”
Refugees arrive in TOWU with their families, rest, receive the things they need, such as clothes, cosmetics, cleaning products, thing for children, food, etc. On site, they also find information on where to look places for long-term accommodation prepared by the city authorities, general consulting services and psychological assistance or go to other European countries. Currently, the Centre receives from 300 to 1000 people a day, from 100 to 250 volunteers are involved daily.
«I am very grateful to everyone who opened the door to Turawa Park, because the smiles of children, the joy of mothers is what gives us the strength to run in this marathon. It is a Volunteer Family and we know that each of us has to help those who need it most now, and these are our friends across the Eastern border. And when one of us is already losing strength in this race, we have ourselves and we can always count on ourselves», Patrycja Wedler, resident of Opole and volunteer, shared.
«Leaving your own country, city, culture, and family is a feeling I am familiar to, that’s why I choose to spend my free time helping in any possible way I can. Volunteering has given me an opportunity to share a smile or some positivity with the affected families. It is like a ray of sunshine in a grey cloudy world, like a warm cup of tea in a cold winter», Akshay Patel, volunteer from India, said.
At the same time, those refugees who have decided to stay in the Opolskie Voivodeship will be given the opportunity to find new work opportunities. On May 6th , the Polish-Ukrainian Fair of Professional Activism starts in Turawa Park S.C., where refugees will be able to meet potential employers and find themselves in a new reality.
Turawa Park with a total area of 35,138 m2 is the fourth asset of the Fund’s portfolio in Poland. The Fund’s portfolio includes three more retail centres in Poland (in the cities of Sandomierz, Zgorzelec, Bartoszyce).