IPA Poland Serving through Friendship – for Ukraine

09 Apr 2022


pluaThe day when the war in Ukraine began will forever remain in our minds. We knew the world would change. Nothing will ever be the same again. Photos and video clips showing the invasion of Russian troops in Ukraine, explosions, people hiding in shelters ... situations we had only seen in the movies up to now. Until recently, none of us expected such a human drama to take place so close to us, between two countries belonging to our association as part of our IPA family: IPA Ukraine and IPA Russia. Together, we had proudly expressed our motto "Servo per Amikeco" - to serve through friendship.

Suddenly we had to answer the question: what now? What should an association that is by definition politically neutral do? Our members, however, did not wait for the decisions of world authorities. In the face of such a huge human tragedy, "serving through friendship" took on an even stronger meaning. Hundreds of IPA members from all over Poland started raising funds for Ukraine.

We got in touch with our Ukrainian friends to find out exactly how we can help, and what their needs are. Almost every day, tons of products, including essential equipment, as well as medical and food supplies, are now delivered to the eastern border from Polish IPA members.plua3

We are also trying to support Ukrainian orphans who ended up in our country. Hundreds of such children are currently residing in Polish orphanages. We have not forgotten about police dogs, providing them with hundreds of kilogrammes of food. However, we do not focus our help only on the territory of Ukraine.

The men who stayed behind in the war-torn country kept telling us to help their wives and children. We have not remained deaf to these appeals. We knew that people who escaped from Ukraine and found themselves in Poland also needed us. Members of the IPA (especially from border regions) help refugees day and night during their very difficult first moments in Poland. They provide food, help to carry luggage, or give information about the opportunities that our country opens up for them. They are close to this human drama. They try to give encouragement and strength to Ukrainian mothers, and make their children smile for a moment.

One of the first decisions of the Polish national board was to prepare a special form for IPA members, in which they can express their willingness to accept refugees under their roof, as well as report other possibilities of assistance. Ukrainian families live in the houses of Polish IPA members, and we are trying to help them also through the IPA regions. We do everything to make them feel safe in these difficult moments. On the IPA website and Facebook, a message in Ukrainian was posted, assuring the willingness to help the members of IPA Ukraine. None of us want to sit back and wait.

Not only the Polish Section of the IPA helps. Police from all over the world help Ukrainian families. IPA convoys full of the most necessary products from all over the world arrive in this war-torn country! Many representatives of national sections from European countries, including Germany, Italy, Spain or the Netherlands come to the Polish-Ukrainian border. They bring the necessary products, but also offer transport for those fleeing the war. They help orphans who were evacuated from Ukraine and ended up in Polish orphanages. We try to support them in this help, so that both they and the gifts they carry through Poland safely reach those in need. We help them logistically plan their trip, we organise accommodation for them if they need it, or we indicate places where help is most needed.

Although IPA members from all over the world have by now shown their solidarity and helped each other more than once, "Servo per Amikeco" has never had such an overtone. This war has left its mark not only on the citizens of Ukraine, but also on all of us. It has touched the hearts of people from all over the world. We realise that the citizens of Ukraine will need our help for a long time

Even if the war ends soon, it will take years for the country to recover from this tragedy. We know this and are already planning long-term assistance. We will not leave our Ukrainian friends in need. This is why the IPA was created - so that we, as police officers, unite, help each other and others.

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Aneta Sobieraj, Vice President IPA Poland