An estimated 50,000 people who were persecuted by the National Socialist occupying power still live in Poland. The Foundation EVZ supports survivors of National Socialist persecution in Poland to allow them to lead a good, dignified and self-determined life even at an advanced age.
The challenges facing survivors of National Socialist persecution in their everyday lives as very elderly persons are similar to those facing other seniors in Poland: Above all, these include loneliness, insufficient knowledge of their own rights, low pensions and social benefits, often insufficient health care and difficulty accessing information in an increasingly digitalized world. This makes these people highly vulnerable and often leads to them being socially excluded, too. Moreover, many of the survivors are still suffering today, both physically and mentally, due to their traumatic experiences during the National Socialist era and therefore need special support.
The quality of life as well as the physical and mental health of 130 survivors of National Socialist persecution in Krakow will be improved. The public - especially young people - are made aware of the issues of survivors.
Since the 1980s, the foundation "Pro Vita et Spe" has been running a medical outpatient clinic in Krakow for former concentration camp prisoners and children who survived the Holocaust. Funding ensures that survivors receive medical and psychosocial care at home and also as inpatients. International volunteers visit survivors, support them in everyday matters, and conduct historical eyewitness interviews with them.
The state of situation of many survivors of National Socialist persecution has deteriorated considerably in recent years. Many are no longer mobile and require support that cannot be provided by the state health care system. With more than 30 years of experience in the care of concentration camp and ghetto survivors, the foundation "Pro Vita et Spe" provides good home care.
Duration of the project: since 2003
Project sponsor: Stiftung Pro Vita et spe
Funding country: Poland
The aim of the project "The Guardians of Memory" is to improve the quality of life and social participation of 35 survivors of National Socialism and their families.
In order to meet the special needs of victims of National Socialist persecution, the Federation of Social Organizations of the Warmia-Masuria province (FOSa) coordinates individual support services. As part of neighborhood help, volunteers visit survivors and assist them with everyday matters. Other volunteers maintain regular telephone contact with them. Survivors take part in joint meetings and cultural activities. In 2018, FOSa also ran a fundraising campaign with its own campaign website and movie.
The project sponsor FOSa is very well networked and has many years of experience in helping elderly people. It also strengthens local victims' associations and increases public awareness in the region for the special needs of victims of National Socialist persecution.
Duration of the project: since 2012
Project sponsor: Federacja Organizacji Socjalnych Województwa Warmińsko – Mazurskiego FOSa
Funding country: Poland
Project website: www.potrzebni.org.pl
Victims of National Socialist persecution who are still mobile but housebound receive various, individually adapted services that improve their quality of life. The encounter with each other as well as the dialog with future generations supports their participation in society.
The Prague organization Živá paměť has set up meeting points in various Czech cities: Prague, Olomouc, Ostrava, České Budějovice and Ústí nad Labem. There, approximately 200 still mobile former forced laborers and other victims of National Socialist persecution make use of joint cultural, social, counselling and training services. Approximately 40 less mobile victims of National Socialist persecution receive regular individual support for daily life in their home environment and are accompanied, for example, to visit to a doctor. Young volunteers help these people who are often single and help to bring them out of their isolation. This gives their life stories somewhat late but meaningful recognition.
Živá paměť organizes the services professionally and constantly adapts them to the needs of elderly people. The staff have earned the trust of the victims of National Socialist persecution on account of their many years of contact with them.
Duration of the project: since 2008
Project sponsor: Živá paměť
Funding country: Czech Republic
Project Website: www.zivapamet.cz
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