We at English Wizards cannot help noticing and feeling heartbroken as see what is unfolding in our neighboring Ukraine.
English Wizards is a teaching program, and not a political or humanitarian organization. Our Wizards come from all over the world (28 countries and counting) and hold equally diverse views on current affairs. As such, we normally do not involve ourselves, as an organization, in the world’s current events.
However, the latest Russian invasion of Ukraine is too difficult for us to ignore. Not only is Ukraine a country with deep current and historical ties to Poland, but Ukrainians also make up, by far, the largest group of foreigners in Poland. As foreigners in Poland ourselves, we all have Ukrainian friends, neighbors, and colleagues who are directly impacted by the war and fear for the lives of their friends and family back home.
The English Wizards community stands firmly behind the Ukrainian people in opposition to the ongoing war. We hope that the conflict will soon be resolved peacefully.
As Poland is expecting to receive millions of refugees from nearby Ukraine, and has also offered to serve as a logistical hub for supplies, aid, and humanitarian workers heading to Ukraine, it is inevitable that here in Poland, we will see and feel second-order affects of this tragedy.
Poland remains completely safe
Before we go any further, we would like to remind all current and future Wizards that the situation in Poland is one of aid and compassion for our neighbors, and not fear and panic. Poland is a member of the European Union and NATO, and remains as safe from the conflict in Ukraine as any other European Union state.
The Polish government has made it very clear that Poland is not getting involved militarily in the conflict, echoing similar statements from other EU and NATO allies. There is also no evidence to suggest that Russia’s leadership have any intention of extending their military aggression across Polish or EU borders.
Experts in international security almost unanimously agree that the Russian invasion of Ukraine does not pose a security threat for the European Union, including the eastern states bordering Ukraine such as Poland and Romania. This conclusion is also made by the US State Department, UK Home Office, and the Canadian Global Affairs Office, all of which assert that there is no cause for alarm for their citizens living in or planning trips to Poland.
For this reason, English Wizards has no plans to cancel or modify any of our current or future programs.
If you are currently with us in Poland, we are glad to say that you are safe here. If you’ll be joining us for a future intake, we are happy to say that the current situation will not cause any logistical issues.
The crisis in neighboring Ukraine has lead to millions of people being displaced, a huge number of whom are coming to Poland.
These are people of all walks of life, including English teachers like ourselves. English Wizards was created to provide support and opportunities for English teachers moving to Poland, and we will continue to do just that.
For the duration of the crisis, English Wizards is waiving all program fees and offering expedited recruitment and onboarding for teachers coming to Poland from Ukraine.
This offer applies to Ukrainian citizens as well as foreign teachers who are currently in Ukraine, or were in Ukraine when the crisis broke out. If this applies to you, please apply on our website and make note of your situation in the comments.
Options to get involved
All around the world there are calls to offer aid to those in need in Ukraine. Unavoidable posts on social media give advise on how to assist in the situation, on an individual level.
For us in Poland (and many of our Wizards soon arriving), this crisis hits very close to home, and many of us feel the need to help out. And many of us have.
As ESL teachers, many of our Wizards have put their skillset to use by offering free or steeply discounted English lessons for newly arrived refugees. Many schools that we work with have made similar offers. We are beyond proud to see how much our community, and the people of Poland as a whole, are doing to support refugees fleeing the war in our neighboring country.
For those interested in getting involved further, we’ve compiled a list of resources where foreigners in Poland can offer aid to Ukraine and to those fleeing the crises:
Ukrainian Consulate in Krakow (Facebook)