HUNGARY: Ukrainian refugees receive support
Salesian missionaries in Kazincbarcika provide shelter and support for refugees
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries are housing refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine at the Salesian house in Kazincbarcika, a city in northern Hungary near the Ukraine-Hungary border. Salesians also have a parish, two schools, a dormitory and several other institutions where they care for poor youth and their families, mostly minority Roma people.
As the mass of refugees started to arrive from Ukraine, Father Béla Ábrahám, director of the Kazincbarcika Salesian House, registered the house as a refugee shelter with the authorities. Shortly after, Salesians started to gather supplies to prepare accommodations for the refugees. Thanks to generous donors, the house includes three washing machines, five refrigerators and four microwave ovens. They began welcoming refugees in early April.
“We were excited to offer shelter for those in need because this was something we have not done before, and we knew that it would certainly have its challenges. The Catholic parish undertook the task of providing nourishing warm meals every day, right from the beginning,” said Father Geza Nadudvari, provincial secretary of Hungarian Salesian Province.
Five families initially stayed with the Salesians. The second group of refugees followed two weeks later, mostly women and children. Salesian students moved to the first floor of the dormitory, leaving the second and third floors reserved for refugees.
Many local people and organizations have helped the Salesians by providing provide food, pastries, sweets, clothes and toys. Some offer their time and skills, helping with administration issues or providing medical support.
Most of the refugees welcomed by the Salesians look forward to going back to Ukraine to resume their lives. Some, however, will not be able to go back to their homes as there is nothing left, and they will have to start over in Hungary.
“The Hungarian Salesian Family will continue to offer all the support that it can to help integrate them into our society and provide a welcoming new home,” added Fr. Nadudvari.
Salesian missionaries around the globe are working to provide financial and material donations to help people still in Ukraine and refugees in bordering countries. Even Salesians in the poorest countries have stepped up in some way to support the efforts.
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