UMCS Lublin takes action to help Ukrainian refugees – and other updates from Lublin

Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin (UMCS) has taken a number actions aimed at supporting Ukrainian refugees and citizens. Students and doctoral students from Ukraine are the biggest group of foreign nationals studying at our university.

At the beginning of March, a team supporting Ukraine was established at the University. The team hold weekly meetings to discuss activities supporting Ukrainian students, doctoral students and employees at our university. Simultaneously, a dedicated website, www.ukraina.umcs.pl, was created, where information is communicated in both Ukrainian and Polish. An dedicated inbox was also set up to receive and process various issues related to the current situation.

In a short period of time, the University organized a group of over 300 volunteers, who have been involved in volunteer work coordinated not only by the University, but also by public institutions, local hospitals and NGOs. UMCS has provided linguistic and organizational support to, among others: Lubelskie Province Governor’s Office, Marshal's Office, Crisis Intervention Center, Children's Hospital in Lublin and Clinical Hospital No. 4. Additionally, the Faculty of Education and Psychology of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University is cooperating with the Lublin City Hall in providing support for Ukrainian children staying in Lublin.

Financial support is also very important. The university has made over 500 aid payments to Ukrainian students affected by the war, and 125 people have already received permission to reduce their tuition fees.

The University also held a fund-raising campaign with a total amount of over 40,000 PLN. 200 food parcels have already been prepared for students and their families living in the University's dormitories and this assistance will be continued. There was also a university-wide collection of gifts "UMCS - Together for Ukraine". Collected gifts were delivered by specially organized transports to Khmelnytskyi, Chernihiv, Rivne, and Lviv. It was mainly long-term food, hygiene products and stuff for children.

The University also provides language support for those who have come to Lublin. The Polish Language and Culture Centre for Polish People from Abroad and Foreigners at UMCS has launched and continues to run free Polish language courses. Lessons are conducted online and face to face, and they are very popular - about 220 people have taken part in these courses. Other Polish language courses, funded by the National Agency for Academic Exchange, will soon begin as part of the "Solidarity with Ukraine" programme.

The University is also particularly conscious of the situation of academics from Ukrainian universities who had to leave their place of work. They are provided with information regarding the possibility of obtaining support, the availability of vacant research and teaching or teaching positions in a given scientific discipline (also at other universities), and coordinated procedures for applying for possible employment. So far, the university has received 36 CVs from academic researchers from Ukraine, and 12 people have already started a month-long internship at UMCS. 

The university also provides students and doctoral students from Ukraine with psychological support. Consultations are provided by experienced psychologists and psychotherapists from the Psychological Counselling Centre of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, the SENSUM Support and Psychoeducation Centre at the Institute of Pedagogy of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, and the Academic Support Centre, as well as by counsellors from the OPTIMUM team.

UMCS is also cooperating with the Regional Chamber of Legal Advisors in Lublin, which provides free legal assistance and support to people from Ukraine and their relatives in Poland. The legal advisors provide assistance in legalizing their stay or establishing guardianship at the reception point at the border crossing.

The situation is of course very dynamic, and the authorities and employees of the University are monitoring the situation and responding on an ongoing basis to emerging problems, adjusting assistance to the individual needs and life situation of each Ukrainian UMCS employee, student and doctoral student.

Further news from Lublin:
A brilliant 14-year-old computer scientist from Lublin is to become Poland’s youngest business owner after a court granted him permission to create his own start-up.

Kamil Wroński, dubbed the ‘genius from Lublin’, built his first robot at the age of three and first hit headlines in 2016 after he became Poland’s youngest university student after taking up studies at the Lublin University of Technology at the tender age of eight. The talented inventor, who follows a specially tailored programme of study that allows him to combine lessons at his high school with his university studies in Mechatronics at the Lublin University of Technology, has now set his sights on developing his latest invention – doing so, however, required the establishment of a company in order for him to fulfil his goal. Speaking to local newspaper Dziennik Wschodni, Wroński said: “The idea concerns a solar tracker which we want to introduce to the market. It is a device that positions solar panels in line with the sun, significantly increasing their output.”

Having previously received several scholarships for his pioneering ideas – including from the Mayor of Lublin and Fundacja Santander Bank Polska – Wroński further supplements his income by leading tutorials in Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Electronics as well as collecting funds via Patronite to help finance his inventions and prototypes.

Visiting Professors in Lublin

Medical University in Lublin welcomed the first distinguished guest prof. Om Prakash Kharbanda for two weeks. He is an exceptional clinician and scientist, contributing to the development of orthodontics. He is the Chief of KL Wig Centre for Medical Education and Technology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
To watch the lecture, click here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTK7GnOeLfk

At the end of May we are ready to welcome Prof. dr hab. Steefan Poedts – head of the Mathematics Department at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), chairman of the ESA Space Weather Working Team, specializing in solar astrophysics, solar weather, and its impact on the Earth. Prof. dr hab. Steefan Poedts will visit Maria Curie-Skłodowska University.

Internationalisation is one of the key development goals for universities in Lublin. The presence of foreign scientists at Lublin universities is a significant factor contributing to establishing the prestige of local universities and the city. The City of Lublin has created the Visiting Professors in Lublin Program, whose goal is to support local universities and institutes for research and development, which invite outstanding personalities to contribute to scientific research and the promotion of science among the inhabitants of Lublin.

A doctor from Lublin who saved the eyesight of a Ukrainian family after they were blinded by a Russian bomb has described the surgery as ‘a little miracle'

Olena Selichzianowa and her five-year-old sons Timur and Nazar had been living in the city of Severodonetsk in east Ukraine when a bomb hurtled through their kitchen window and exploded. The horrifying incident left all three blinded by the flying fragments which wounded their faces and arms and Olena was left with a broken leg and a shard of glass embedded in her eye.

Initially pulled from the wreckage and taken to a nearby hospital, the severity of the family’s injuries meant that specialist treatment needed to be found quickly to have any hope of saving their sight. Lviv eye specialist Dr Natalia Preys, who became aware of the family’s injuries, contacted her former teacher and eye specialist Professor Robert Rejdak at the Medical University of Lublin who immediately agreed to help.

After a grueling 1,350km journey to reach Lublin, Olena and her sons were taken to the city’s Medical University where Professor Rejdak told the BBC: "They have come from hell. The mum was completely blind, she could only reach out to touch her children. The children were so hungry and tired when they first arrived that they only ate, slept and cried."

He continued: “We decided to operate on mum. I performed bilateral cataract surgery. The surgery was really complicated because of the wounds, because of a piece of glass inside one eye. Fortunately the surgery went really perfectly and Olena sees almost fully two days after. The healing process is perfect so I hope it will be even better - but at least now she can see her boys and look around."

For Timur and Nazar, who have received initial retina surgery, with cataract surgery also planned, the road to recovery will take a little longer as who both have “massive ocular trauma” and Nazar has lost one eye.
However, the twins are already able to see and Professor Rejdak, who earlier carried out a sight-saving operation on a seven year old girl from Kyiv, said: “We are hoping the vision will be good, but they need longer treatment."

To watch the BBC material click here ->  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60972180

In view of the recent dramatic events in Ukraine, the City of Lublin remains in solidarity with its neighbour and offers support.

We are urgently preparing a whole package of solidarity and aid measures for people fleeing the war.

The Lublin Welfare Committee for Ukraine operates at the Centre for Culture in Lublin, which provides help and information to people from Ukraine and coordinates the work of aid organizations and volunteers.

Read more about our efforts here and here.

 

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