UKRAINE: Refugees in Poland grateful for Salesian shelter and support
Salesians in Poland working to shelter more than 600 refugees
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Poland are on the front lines of the refugee crisis as more than 4 million people have fled to the country to escape the horrors in Ukraine. Salesians in Poland are working to shelter more than 600 refugees and have the space to take another 500.
Lydia, a Ukrainian refugee in Poland, said of the Salesians, “They asked us what we needed as soon as we arrived. They offered us everything, they gave us everything, they helped us with everything. We will never forget them.”
Lydia arrived in Warsaw from Dnipro after four intense days of travel with her children, while her husband remained in Ukraine. She said, “We are worried but we have hope in a peaceful future, which will come soon. There are more good people around than you might think and, in these situations, you can see why they do everything with their heart.”
Yarina, age 16, and her mother are also in Warsaw, having left Lviv the day the war started. “The best thing we can do to keep our minds off the war is to keep busy,” said Yarina’s mother. “I have started looking for a job in Warsaw, and my daughter has online classes and connects daily with her school in Ukraine to try to keep everything as normal as possible.”
Yarina says that she likes biology, although she is still not sure what she will study when the war is over. She has seven hours of class a day and then it’s time to check her phone to see her 30 classmates. She said, “Some are in Italy, others in France and Spain, but most of us are in Poland. We know that the war will end one day, and we hope it will be very soon. We all want to go back to Ukraine and be in our united families again. At the moment we are beating Russia in this aspect too because they can’t destroy our culture and our desire to learn, even if they bomb our schools.”
Salesians in European countries are also helping refugees. The Santa Maria de La Salette Oratory in Catania, Italy, has taken in single-parent families with mothers and children. It has welcomed four families so far. Salesian programs in the Czech Republic have taken 200 refugees, and 100 of them are children.
This work is being supported through financial and material support by Salesian organizations around the globe. Salesians are present in more than 130 countries and nearly all have stepped up to help in some way. Poor countries that struggle to provide financial support are dedicating Lenten prayers for the people of Ukraine.
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UNHCR – Ukraine Refugees