A charity co-founded by American actor and director Sean Penn has reached an agreement to provide ongoing support to Ukrainian refugees living in Poland.
The Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) foundation, co-led by the two-time Oscar winner Penn, will cooperate with local government in Kraków to provide accommodation and educational support to refugees. A deal was signed during Penn’s visit to the city for a meeting with Kraków’s mayor on Wednesday.
The initiative will see unoccupied premises in the Polish city converted into accommodation for approximately 50 refugees. The foundation will also open an office in Kraków and employ support workers to assist Ukrainians in need.
Penn himself is currently working on a movie about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but has emphasized that aid for Ukrainians was the most important thing currently. The actor expressed admiration for Poles and their empathy and understanding for the Ukrainian nation, and called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a hero who has inspired him.
On the day of the Russian invasion, Penn had been in Kyiv where he was recording a documentary about Russian activity against Ukraine. He left Kyiv for Poland at the end of February following the outbreak of war, abandoning his car a few dozen kilometers from the Ukrainian-Polish border and walking the rest of the way.
His CORE foundation is currently assisting refugees in Poland and Romania, the two countries that have received the highest number of refugees from neighboring Ukraine. The foundation seeks to provide food, water, transport and shelter to people fleeing the war.
The organization was established in 2010 in response to the earthquake which decimated Haiti. Back then, CORE had given aid to those in need and continues to help the inhabitants to this day. During the coronavirus pandemic, CORE had conducted free Covid-19 tests in the United States.