Medical Aid For Poland annual celebration

Eva Becla, Teresa Greliak, Maciek O'Shea and Przemyslaw Salamonski

Eva Becla, Teresa Greliak, Maciek O'Shea and Przemyslaw Salamonski

There was more than a touch of glamour at the Windsor Hall in Ealing on Saturday, when singers Eva Becla, Teresa Greliak, Maciek O'Shea accompanied by pianist Przemyslaw Salamonski, gave a superb performance of poems, songs and carols at the Medical Aid For Poland charity annual Christmas party. (Poles don't celebrate Christmas in Advent - but have a month of parties afterwards until Candlemas.)

The event was introduced by Fr Dariusz Kwiatkowski from Our Lady's Polish Church, who spoke about the tremendous difficulties Poland experienced in 2010 - in particular the plane crash which killed the president, many politicians and church leaders - among them Fr Brosnislaw Gostomski - the much-loved priest from the Church of St Andrew Bobola in Shepherds Bush. In 2010 Poland also suffered major flooding which caused devastation, particularly in the south or the country. Several MAPF projects were badly damaged.

Medical Aid for Poland Fund (MAPF) with the Federation of Poles in Great Britain has helped with the relief effort and is sending vital medical supplies and raising funds to support the rebuilding of medical infrastructure in the most affected areas.

MAPF was set up in 1981 by a group of doctors led by Dr Bozena Laskiewicz to provide much-needed food, clothing and medical supplies to Poland struggling under martial law and the clampdown on Solidarity. The charity worked closely with Father Jerzy Popieluszko who helped distribute supplies. (He was eventually murdered by the security police and was beatified in June 2010.)

While the communist system has gone and Poland has experienced great economic growth, many people are living in extreme poverty in the countryside, in towns with factory closures, and in the industrial suburbs of big cities. There are also more than two million Poles in very deprived areas in Belarus and Western Ukraine - stranded there by border changes after World War II. Elderly people rely on small state pensions and children are vulnerable, many in orphanages. Even people with jobs often cannot afford necessities like artificial limbs and wheelchairs.

Each year MAPF provides a range of medical equipment including Insulin pumps, beds, cardiac monitors, wheelchairs, oxygen machines, hearing aids and other vital supplies.

They raise funds through a charity shop in Ealing, social events and collections. If you would like to make a donation or for more information see:

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