In Poland in 2021, 7.7 thousand people applied for international protection (1.2 thousand the year before). Unfortunately, the asylum procedure takes a long time, 14.5 months on average. Moreover, only a small proportion of applicants receive some form of protection, so many people reapply. From the initial application to the final decision, male and female foreigners live in limbo for up to several years, many of them living for long periods in centres, far from major urban centres. The integration support they have access to during this time is very limited, and sometimes only targeted at a specific group of refugees and female refugees. The situation is most difficult in the so-called closed guarded centres, where detainees there have minimal access to material, medical and legal assistance.
The project was aimed at people awaiting refugee status in Poland residing in the open Centre for Foreigners in Dębak. Children and young people from Dębak took part in various integration activities, including five cycles of several days of animation activities, a trip to an amusement park, a week-long summer camp, as well as learning the Polish language and receiving support in their studies. Adults got help with official formalities, finding accommodation, learning the language, etc.
82 people took part in the activities in Dębak, about two-thirds of them children and young people, mainly from Chechnya, less frequently from Belarus, Armenia, but also from Afghanistan or Iraq.
Without a doubt, thanks to the project, children, young people and adults from the centre in Dębak received not only language support or the opportunity to spend time in an interesting way, but also emotional support and the possibility to establish and deepen relationships. In addition, the Project Promoter has developed a method of cooperation with the administration of the centre and the Border Guard, which opens up new possibilities for the future.