SLOVAKIA: Aid continues for Ukrainian refugees
Salesians are helping Ukrainian refugees with housing and humanitarian aid
(MissionNewswire) Ten months after the start of the war in Ukraine*, Salesian missionaries, through the Salesian Coordination for Emergency Response in Ukraine, are still committed to helping those in need through the delivery of humanitarian aid and basic necessities. Salesians in Ukraine and bordering countries are also sheltering refugees and those displaced. Services offered include psycho-social support, job guidance, recreational and educational activities for minors, and language courses.
For young girls like Erika, who is from Irpin in the Kyiv region, the help is desperately needed. She said, “My dream has become easier than before. But it seems so difficult to achieve. I just want to go home. I really want to go home.” Erika’s family has lost everything in the war. Salesians are helping them to recover as best as possible and those efforts have not gone unnoticed.
Father Peter Jacko, vicar of the Salesian Mary Help of Christians Province in Slovakia, received the Biela vrana award for a socially useful and courageous civic acts. Those awarding the prize said, “This award is given as a thank you to the rare people around us who are willing to stand up for truth and justice, who have demonstrated civic courage through a concrete act, who have suppressed personal interests in the name of the public good, values or principles, and who may have taken risks.”
Since September, Savio, part of the Don Bosco Network, has been coordinating humanitarian aid and, through fundraisers and various initiatives, financing housing and care for mothers and their children in Slovakia.
Salesians are also caring for 13 of the 47 Ukrainian young orphans who were living in a Salesian orphanage in Lviv. Others were able to return to that city to resume their studies. Those remaining in Slovakia are the youngest of the group. In recent months, they have made huge strides in learning the language and with integrating socially to their new communities.
In addition, Salesian oratories and centers have welcomed about 300 youth ages 6-15. Twice a week, two groups of 12 volunteers provide recreational-educational courses including music class, dance class, creative workshops and group games.
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*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.