The military action drew closer and the stores began to run out of baby supplies.
Violet decided that it was time to find somewhere safer. Leaving her husband behind, she made the 800 km journey from Luhansk to Kiev. Once there, she registered with the government as an internally displaced person and was sent to a temporary housing facility approximately an hour from the city.
She welcomed the new safety of her surroundings, but what was intended to be just a few weeks stay, has now turned into several months.
Violet doesn’t look like a refugee. Her clothes are clean and well-kept. Her quiet smile does not betray the uncertainty of her life. Not having a job means that there are things she and her daughter have had to go without.
She has never been in a situation where she has needed to ask anyone for help. It was a surprise for her when she found out that ADRA would be assisting her.
Violet was quick to pick up a four month supply of diapers. Baby food was also high on the list of items.
The generous support of our donors and the Canadian government is helping ADRA to give food and winter supplies to people who have had to flee their homes. To assist people like Violet, please donate to our Ukraine Emergency Fund.
Violet was only one of many displaced people that we spoke with on a recent visit to the Ukraine. Our hearts were moved by the sad stories of people who had suddenly lost everything that they had worked for their entire lives. Most of the people that we met were professional people living modern lives, in a typical progressive European country. None of them dreamed that anything like this would ever happen to them.
Why did they leave their homes and practically everything they owned? In a word…. shelling! Sometimes from as far as 100K away, the shells would fly into their communities and demolish their towns, homes and farms with their explosive fury. One woman told us how she and her children had hidden in their root cellar for days. As soon as there was a break in the shelling, she grabbed her children and fled to Kiev on the first train she could get.
She was not alone. Today there are over one million people in Ukraine who have given up and fled to safer zones. Those who have stayed are primarily the elderly and disabled. Most of these are hungry, as stores close and food shortages build.
In some of the most dangerous places, ADRA is one of only a handful of agencies distributing food and other assistance. Some told us that if it had not been for ADRA, they would most likely have died. As the crisis continues, the needs will only grow. With each peace accord that breaks down, the people become more pessimistic that they will ever be able to return to their homes. Some are looking for work in the cities where they have taken refuge, but in this time of uncertainty, jobs are scarce! As people look to the future they are not sure what will happen next.
As they register with the government, they are assigned a place in temporary collective shelters, where they often have to share a room with other displaced families. During these cold winter months, many families are dependent on small electrical heaters as the buildings they are housed in do not have consistent heating. Frequent power outages leave them huddling in the dark in the cold. Many cannot afford food. People are pulling together and doing what they can to make the best of their situation. However, as the days wear on, it is easy to become discouraged.
ADRA is providing people with food, winter clothing, household items, baby supplies and counseling for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . You can help! Your gift will enable ADRA to continue helping these people as they do their best to survive through this difficult transition.
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