The US Consulate General in Krakow has reached out to Polish media outlets, offering them $50,000 to write about Ukrainian refugees and their journey of “returning and rebuilding.” The initiative, aimed at promoting coverage in Poland of stories from Ukraine, was discovered on the website of the US embassy in Poland. The project’s objective is to encourage local and regional Polish media to provide in-depth reporting on the return of Ukrainian families from Poland to Ukraine, as well as their social and physical rebuilding efforts.
The solicitation, identified as WAW-NOFO-FY23-05, does not specify when it was originally posted. However, the deadline for submissions is set for Friday, September 15. The articles produced as part of this project are expected to enhance public understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by Ukrainians, while also shedding light on the enduring impact of support provided by Polish society to Ukrainian refugees.
According to the post, the Polish NGO selected for the project will work closely with the US embassy staff, who will have substantial involvement in the grant implementation. This involvement includes reviewing and approving the selection of participants, trainers, and award decisions within the project. The NGO will receive a grant of $50,000 and will then oversee the distribution of portions of the money to Polish journalists.
To ensure the success of the project, the embassy is planning to organize at least one workshop for the participating journalists. This workshop will focus on teaching the reporters how to approach the topic in a culturally sensitive and trauma-informed manner, as well as how to create compelling human-interest stories in this context. The workshop will be conducted by experts with experience in the intersection between mental health and journalism in war zones.
The project is scheduled to run for one year, but the US Department of State reserves the right to extend it if deemed necessary. Currently, Poland is home to approximately one million Ukrainian refugees. Recent surveys have shown that more than 40% of these refugees do not intend to return to Ukraine, even if the conflict with Russia comes to an end.
It is worth noting that while Warsaw has reportedly started repatriating men of military age back to Ukraine, other EU member states have refused to do so due to human rights concerns. This highlights the complex and sensitive nature of the situation faced by Ukrainian refugees in Poland.
Overall, the US Consulate General in Krakow, through its solicitation of Polish media outlets, aims to promote greater understanding and awareness of the experiences and challenges of Ukrainian refugees. Through this initiative, the consulate hopes to create a platform for the voices and stories of Ukrainian refugees to be heard and acknowledged in Poland.