A Polish-born Wishaw woman is helping Ukrainian refugees arriving in her homeland by giving free language tutorials.
Language teacher Joanna Mazzocchi has been living in the North Lanarkshire town for the past six years with husband Marco and their 10-year-old daughter.
Teaching at a Polish school in Glasgow, Joanna has now started the online lessons with scores of Ukrainian refugees who fled over the border to Poland following the Russian invasion earlier this year.
The Lanarkshire Live app is available to download now.
Get all the news from your area – as well as features, entertainment, sport and the latest on Lanarkshire’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic – straight to your fingertips, 24/7.
The free download features the latest breaking news and exclusive stories, and allows you to customise your page to the sections that matter most to you.
Joanna told Lanarkshire Live : “I am currently doing a technical qualification at the University of Gdansk, but the university are working with voluntary groups and churches.
“At the moment I have four groups which we do online every Tuesday and Thursday.
“It’s a mixed group which means I am teaching nine to 90-year-olds.
“We also have families who are learning together.
“I have also been learning Ukrainian as their alphabet is different to English and Polish.
“I’ve been looking at YouTube tutorials which have been a substantial help.”
More than 2.75 million Ukrainians – 90 percent of them women and children – have fled to Poland since the start of the war, according to the United Nations refugee agency.
Approximately five million Ukrainians have left their country since the start of hostilities.
Joanna’s work colleagues have been busy fundraising to help those families coming into the country.
She added: “I teach at a Polish School in Glasgow and also teach Polish to English and Scottish speakers.
“We have been doing a lot of work and collecting money to help those refugees in Poland.
“We are in touch with the group who are helping to refurbish an orphanage building in Szamocin.
“I have been really pleased with the number of people in Wishaw who are helping whether it’s collecting goods or donating money.”
*Don’t miss the latest headlines from around Lanarkshire. Sign up to our newsletters here .