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    Restoration of Polish Refugee Cemetery in Masindi (Nyabyeya), Uganda completed

    The renovation of another Polish necropolis in Africa – the Cemetery of Polish Refugees in Masindi, Uganda – has been completed. The maintenance and renovation work on the cemetery was financed by funds from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage under the “Sites of National Remembrance Abroad” program. 

    The renovation work was carried out by the Center for Documentation of Deportations, Expulsions and Resettlement Pedagogical University of Cracow in cooperation with the “Pro Universitatis” Foundation and the Polish Embassy in Nairobi.

    “Restoration of Polish Refugee Cemetery in Masindi (Nyabyeya), Uganda completed ‼ The work was funded by MKiDN under the “Sites of National Remembrance Abroad” program,”

    the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage informed on Twitter.

    The cemetery contains 44 graves of Poles deported after the outbreak of World War II deep into the USSR, who – as a result of an agreement between the Polish government in London and the authorities of the USSR (the so-called Sikorski-Mayski Agreement) – managed to leave their place of exile and ended up in the camp in Masindi, Uganda, established in 1942.

    Polish refugees in East and Southern Africa

    In the early 1940s, a large number of Polish refugees were brought to East and Southern Africa from Iran. Over the next decade, approximately 20,000 Poles lived in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, in 22 different locations. The two biggest settlements were Tengeru in Tanganyika (modern-day Tanzania) and Masindi and Koja in Uganda.

    Polish settlement in Masindi

    More than 3,500 Poles made their home in the Polish Settlement of Masindi. The settlement included a hospital complete with a pharmacy, three primary schools, kindergartens, a comprehensive gymnasium, and a vocational school for women. Craft workshops, a bakery, two brickyards, a power plant, and a pumping station were also constructed. Organizations such as the scouts, daycare centres, and a theatre were formed. The Polish settlers built a church which still stands today and a cemetery is located adjacent to it.


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