In 2014 Russia annexed Crimea and on February 24, 2022, it invaded Ukraine in an attempt to take over the rest of the country. The invasion has caused a large-scale destruction of infrastructure and thousands of civilian casualties. Eight million Ukrainians have fled the country and are now living temporarily outside the country in the E.U. Over 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees are now in neighboring Poland, where they are eligible for temporary protection. All of these refugees left behind their homes, families, jobs and schools. In Poland, Ukrainians need immediate support in the form of food, clothing, shelter, schooling, and childcare. Most do not speak Polish or English, making it hard to function in their host country. Learning English is a pathway to living, working, and raising their children in the European Union. Many refugees had to leave loved ones behind, some have lost their dads, uncles, brothers, and friends in the war, and may need emotional support, especially young children. The war has placed major stress on Ukrainian families. Children worry about family members left behind, while adults are trying to find work. 

Global Volunteers has mobilized almost 40,000 volunteers in the last 39 years in partner communities in 36 countries. Global Volunteers is in special consultative status with the United Nations, has a platinum rating on Candid, and a four-star rating for accountability and transparency on Charity Navigator. Its Poland program has been around since 1990, teaching English to local Polish children in order to give them a better chance for participation in the world economy. Since the start of the war, Global Volunteers has pivoted its program in Siedlce to support Ukrainian refugees who have recently arrived in Poland.

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