A couple rents an entire hotel to Ukrainian refugees
(NewsNation) – As millions flee war-torn Ukraine, two British citizens of Polish descent have rented an entire hotel to house refugees in Poland fleeing the Russian invasion.
Jakub and Gosia Golata saw what was happening in Ukraine and knew they had to do something. The couple therefore booked the 180 beds at the Park Hotel near Bydgoszcz, in northern Poland.
At present, the Golatas have 60 refugees staying at the hotel, some of whom are only 3 weeks old.
“The baby was born in the middle of the war and traveled to the border partly in an ambulance because that was the baby’s only way of escaping,” Gosia said.
At least 20 refugees came from one of Ukraine’s hardest-hit cities, Kherson. Since the start of the invasion, the city near the Black Sea has been shelled by Russian forces. Those who escape are traumatized, which the Golatas have seen first hand.
“We have been doing this for almost three weeks and from the start the refugees were running away from their fears,” Jakob said. “Now (they come) from war zones, witnesses or victims of war crimes. Now almost all of the refugees who come to us actually ask for mental health support. »
To meet growing needs, the couple hope to expand their support services with additional funding, including providing mental health resources. To date, the Golatas have raised nearly $120,000 for Ukrainian refugees.
The Golatas were quick to redirect praise for their efforts, instead thanking everyone who has helped them so far.
“It’s not just Jakub and Gosia, it’s a whole nation and here in Poland our family and friends are in a state of emergency. … We are all together in this crisis,” Jakob said.
Since the start of the Russian invasion, more than 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine, marking the largest refugee exodus to Europe since World War II. More than 2 million of them went west to neighboring Poland.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that the United States would welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing the crisis.
You can support Jakub and Gosia Golata’s efforts at the GoFundMe link here.