MALTA: Documentary features Ukrainian refugees in Salesian care
The Malta Independent journalists’ work features Ukrainian refugees in Slovakia and Poland
(MissionNewswire) Ukrainian refugees being sheltered with Salesian missionaries in Slovakia and Poland have been featured in a new documentary produced by The Malta Independent. Journalists Neil Camilleri and Giuseppe Attard produced the documentary about their first visit to Ukraine* in March. With the documentary, the two aim to raise funds for Salesians’ ongoing work with refugees.
The documentary includes young Ukrainian children who were once living in a Salesian orphanage in Lviv and were brought to Presov, Slovakia. There are 17 boys under the age of 11 who are part of a group of 50 children who were evacuated in the early days of the invasion. The older boys went to a local Salesian house while some of the younger boys were brought to live with foster families and have continued in school.
After Camilleri and Attard met with those caring for the children, they traveled to Lviv and Kyiv and then witnessed widespread destruction and loss of life at Irpin and what they report as war crimes in Bucha. According to The Malta Independent reporting, the documentary was sponsored by GO, which enabled the team to remain connected with unlimited data during its stay in Ukraine.
At a Salesian residence in Lviv, Ukrainians who have been living since displaced from other parts of the country shared their experiences when the bombing first started and their feelings on having to flee their homes. Among them is a woman who escaped from Mariupol. The woman had been excited about going on a cruise for her 60th birthday this year, but she instead found herself fleeing from her home for safety. Her home was destroyed in the bombing. But that wasn’t as important as the family that she has lost in the war, she said.
Other refugees interviewed included two mothers with their children. One mother said, “In March, when the war came much closer, we started hiding our children under the bed during the shelling. The children were crying so much because of the explosions. We took in another mother and her three children. One day, a Salesian priest brought us food and a small generator, so we could at least charge our phones. Eventually, we managed to escape.” They made it safely across the country to the Salesians in Lviv.
Salesian missionaries are providing food and shelter to refugees in Ukraine and neighboring countries as well as ensuring that children and older youth are attending school in their new locations. Refugees left their homes with very few possessions, so Salesians are working to provide supplies like clothing, bedding, personal items and more. Their work is being supported by donations and the network of Salesians organizations around the globe.
The Malta Independent – Watch: TMI’s first Ukraine War fundraising documentary now online
*Any goods, services, or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.