This week parliament will for the first time host a Christmas dinner for homeless people, migrants and others in need. The initiative is being organised by the new speaker of the lower-house Sejm, Szymon Hołownia, one of the leaders of the new coalition government sworn into office last week.
The event will take place this Friday, 22 December, in the Column Hall, the largest room in parliament apart from the Sejm’s plenary chamber. There will be space for hundreds of guests, reports the Rzeczpospolita daily, with food and drink provided by the parliamentary catering service.
Hołownia (pictured above) wants to host people experiencing a crisis due to “homelessness, loneliness or migration” – those “who are not doing well, for whom life has somehow thrown obstacles in their way or taken difficult turns”.
Po raz pierwszy w historii w Sejmie odbędzie się wigilia dla osób w potrzebie https://t.co/0CdUG1KeXA
— Onet Wiadomości (@OnetWiadomosci) December 18, 2023
His office has sent letters to charities working with people in need, inviting them and those they help to the event. “Christmas is a time when no one should be alone,” they wrote. “Community means taking care of each other.”
“We want the Sejm to be an open place for citizens and for people to feel that it is their place,” Katarzyna Karpa-Świderek, from Hołownia’s office, told Rzeczpospolita. “The authorities have the greatest obligations towards people who have it the hardest.”
Karpa-Świderek said that the event was being organised in consultation with the Marshal’s Guard, the body responsible for ensuring security in parliament.
A newly elected deputy speaker of Poland’s parliament says one of her main priorities is to ensure that dogs are allowed on the premises.
„MPs have pets and sometimes they have to bring them because they have nowhere to leave them,” she sayshttps://t.co/L6256U9OgO
— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) November 15, 2023
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Main image credit: Polska 2050 Kujawsko-Pomorskie/Facebook
Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a wide range of publications, including Foreign Policy, POLITICO Europe, EUobserver and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.