The story of the Polish response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis.
In April 2022 I visited Poland and the Ukrainian border where I met with humanitarian organizations, business leaders, school administrators, volunteers, and refugees to learn how society there has responded to the current crisis in the region.
From the interviews I collected, I cut the two videos below. They focus on the immediate challenge people faced at the beginning of the Russia/Ukraine conflict.
These films were used to raise funds and to date, they have raised over three million dollars for humanitarian needs in the region through various not-for-profits and corporate fundraising mechanisms.
Beyond that: The other footage we have explores the selflessness with which people responded to the crisis. They opened their homes and their schools to complete strangers, built reception centers, set up emergency kitchens and dormitories, and volunteered day and night to cater to the needy.
In all an estimated three to five million people passed through Poland in a single month (10 percent of the total population) and yet after six weeks there was hardly a trace of this in the streets of Krakow. There were no expansive tented refugee camps and there was no heightened military or police presence in the streets, there was no civil unrest. Unless you went to the train station and sought out temporary shelters the situation was virtually imperceivable, the only giveaway was the sound of Ukrainian being spoken more frequently.
In all, we have approximately 10 hours of interviews and broll that explore and illustrate this extraordinary humanitarian expression. It stands out in contrast to the refugee crisis in northern Africa, Latin America and even what happened in Poland three months earlier with the refugees who poured in from Belarus.