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Polish couple honoured by UN for sheltering Ukrainian refugees

28.11.2023 17:30
A Polish couple have been honoured by the United Nations for their efforts in providing safe housing for Ukrainian refugees, according to news reports on Tuesday.
Photo:PAP/Darek Delmanowicz

The couple, Władysław Grochowski and his wife Lena, have been named as Europe's winners of the UNCHR Nansen Prize, which recognises people from around the world who go "beyond the call of duty" to help refugees. 

The Grochowski family in 2014 launched a foundation to support people of Polish origin returning to the country.

But after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year, they expanded their initiative to help Ukrainian refugees fleeing into Poland, the euronews.com website reported. 

Their Arche hotel network has since provided 500,000 nights of free lodging, according to euronews.com.

It quoted Władysław Grochowski as saying that he and his wife took the first refugees in at a hotel in Lublin, eastern Poland, the day Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

"On the next day, crisis centres were created in all 16 hotels," Grochowski said, as quoted by euronews.com.

He added: "We welcomed everyone who came to us. I am proud that we managed all that. It was quite a challenge."

The Grochowski family has now been supporting refugees for two years, euronews.com reported.

Last year alone, their Lena Grochowska Foundation invested EUR 4.1 million in housing for refugees, and has opened centres in six cities in Poland, it said.


Source: unhcr.org, euronews.com