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    Safe Holidays with the Presidential Couple: Education and Honours for Heroes

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    On 1 June 2023, the annual Safe Holidays event was held in the gardens of the Presidential Palace, co-organised by the BBN (National Security Bureau), services, formations and community rescue organisations. This year, the meeting with children and young people had a special status, as the guests of honour were the presidential couple, Andrzej Duda and Agata Kornhauser-Duda.

    During the picnic, children and young people had the opportunity to talk to the President of Poland about safe holidays. Several dozen stands were prepared in the gardens of the Presidential Palace by various services and institutions, such as the Military Police, the Territorial Defence Forces, the State Fire Service, the Police, the Border Guard, the Municipal Police, as well as rescue organisations such as the Mountain Volunteer Rescue Service and the Air Rescue Service. As a result, the young visitors were able to learn the principles of first aid and how to behave appropriately in various emergency situations. In addition, they had the opportunity to see life-saving equipment up close.

    During the meeting, President Andrzej Duda awarded medals for generosity and courage. Those honoured were Antoni Bobko, Mikołaj Szpak and Piotr Matysek. Antoni Bobko, aged just 12, proved a brave hero by organising help and saving the lives of two drowning people on the beach in Rusinowo. Mikołaj Szpak, a second-year pupil at a vocational school in Leszno, saved the life of a man drowning at a swimming pool in Kliczków. Piotr Matysek from Bonin, together with his brother Bartosz, rescued two younger sisters from a fire by calling the services and giving them the necessary information. Their courage and quick reaction were honoured with medals.

    During his speech, the President of Poland stressed the importance of helping others, while encouraging prudence and responsibility. He pointed out that one should be able to assess one’s own capabilities and not take risks that could jeopardise one’s own safety. He wished everyone a happy and safe holiday season, emphasising that the most important thing is to have a safe holiday.

    stressing that the most important thing is for everyone to return home after the holidays, together with their loved ones, so that they can continue their duties in the new school year.

    The First Lady, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, recalled the words of Janusz Korczak: “When a child laughs, the whole world laughs”. She conveyed her wishes to the children to have as many smiles on their faces as possible every day.

    Safe Holidays with the Presidential Couple is a regular event that has been taking place since 2017 and is aimed at children between the ages of 6 and 12. Organised by the BBN in collaboration with various institutions and services, it aims to educate young people on how to spend their summer holidays safely. This year’s edition of the picnic brought together children not only from Poland, but also from Ukraine, studying in Polish educational institutions.

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