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'There's no better symbol of integration than the exchange of blood:' Polish residents launch Bloody Foreigners campaign

The Polish community in Ireland are encouraging their members to give blood donations.

POLISH BLOOD DONORS came together today in Dublin to give blood under the ‘Bloody Foreigners’ campaign.

There’s been a drive in the Polish community – the largest immigrant group to Ireland – to encourage their members to give blood.

Teresa Buczkowska, Integration Coordinator of the Immigration Council of Ireland and a Polish national, says Ireland needs ‘three thousand new blood donations every week’ to keep supplies going.

She herself has already donated ten times since moving to Ireland and is encouraging her community to step forward to take part.

The campaign name, Buczkowska says, is about ‘reclaiming the title’ and its negative connotations and turning it into something positive.

It’s about showing that Polish people are part of this community…and because we are receiving a lot from this community we want to give something back.

Barnaba Dorda, a first-time donor and Chair of Forum Polonia (a Polish community platform) said the campaign has encouraged him to make his first blood donation.

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He said though he was nervous about fainting, he believes that giving blood is another way of showing the contribution that Polish residents give to Ireland.

“There is a need for blood in Ireland,” he says. “And we can all help.”

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