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ERBUD FOUNDATION'S HAPPENING AT WARSAW CENTRAL RAILWAY STATION

ERBUD FOUNDATION'S HAPPENING AT WARSAW CENTRAL RAILWAY STATION bg-image

18 MINUTES - 18 minutes - that's how long we stood still at the Central Railway Station as a sign of solidarity with the foster children living in orphanages. Almost 40 people put on a mask with the image of a non-existent boy, generated by Artificial Intelligence (AI), created using faces of more than a hundred foster children under Erbud Foundation's care. The happening lasted exactly 18 minutes - a number symbolising coming of age, while the Central Railway Station was a symbol of setting out. Apart from ERBUD's personnel and the Foundation's volunteers, the happening was supported by, inter alia, by Katarzyna Bujakiewicz and Maciej Musiał, the actors and by Damian Michałowski, a TV programme host, as well as passers-by who willingly joined the happening.

Lucyna Grzeszczak, the President of the Management Board of Erbud Foundation:
– We call it the ‘freezing syndrome’, which is, in fact, fear paralysing foster children entering adulthood and becoming independent. We have been helping them as much as we can for years now, but this is a group that is completely absent from public discourse. We are all keen to support young children, meanwhile they do grow up. They do not just vanish into thin air somewhere, they have enormous problems with becoming independent and functioning normally in their communities: finding a job or apartment, raising a family. By means of flashmob in the downtown of Warsaw, we wanted to raise public awareness of this issue.

According to the Statistics Poland data, in 2022, 2,077 children over the age of 18 left care and educational facilities (i.e. orphanages). Lacking adequate preparation, they return to their families and dysfunctional environments. The happening at the Central Railway Station aimed mainly at persuading private individuals to donate 1.5% tax allowance to the ERBUD Foundation and to sign the petition of the Foundation for Good Initiatives concerning the amendment to the Act on family support and the foster care system.

 

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