UKRAINE: Salesian programs provide aid and support for Ukrainian refugees
In Poland, Salesian missionaries are also sending direct aid to Ukraine
(MissionNewswire) Salesian organizations around the globe have continued their support for the people of Ukraine, particularly refugees who have fled to neighboring countries. The UNHCR, the U.N. Refugee Agency, has indicated that more than 3.6 million people have fled Ukraine, mostly women and children. Hungary has taken in more than 324,000.
In Hungary, the Salesian Province of Saint Stephen the King (UNG) in Budapest is working to help Ukrainian refugees. The Hungarian government has established a National Council for Humanitarian Coordination, which is working to make cooperation among state, civil and church organizations as effective as possible.
Salesian communities, oratories, institutes and parishes have provided shelter for 140 people—including Nigerian students from Kyiv. Salesian schools and oratories are providing education to Ukrainian minors and welcoming them into activities. The province and Salesian cooperators in Budapest-Óbuda have raised funds to help support these efforts.
Each Salesian institute is collaborating with the Diocesan Caritas in collecting food, children’s clothes, blankets and other basic necessities, which are then provided to those in need by Caritas volunteers. The Vietnamese community in Budapest has also filled a minibus with supplies.
Salesians in Kazincbarcika, in collaboration with students, the rector of the Salesian community, and the local Caritas, also collected goods and transported the aid to the border with Ukraine.
“Don Bosco, our founder, said if brotherly love is like it should be, then the good of one is the good of everyone, the trouble of one is the trouble of everyone. We help wherever we can with prayer and deeds,” said Father János Andrasfalvy, UNG provincial.
In Poland, which has taken in more than 2.1 million refugees, Salesian missionaries are also sending direct aid to Ukraine. Salesians in Warsaw have provided a vehicle to Salesians in Zhytomyr which they are using to transport supplies and bring women and children to Poland.
Previously, Father Michał Wocial, a Salesian in Zhytomyr, had noted, “Unfortunately, our old Renault Master school bus broke down today during the evacuation of people. Maybe someone would like to borrow or donate a minibus for the evacuation of women and children.” Salesians in Poland answered the call with an eight-seat minibus with a large trunk. It left Poland for Ukraine full of supplies, including a power generator, food, medical supplies and blankets.
Salesians across Italy are also responding to the needs of refugees. Salesian houses in Sicily are able to take in 56 refugees while 36 host families have opened their homes in the region. In Catania, the Salesian Provincial Office in Cefalù is working in collaboration with the Italian Refugee Council (CIR) to offer an assistance desk open to all Ukrainian citizens to offer information on international protection, temporary protection, family reunification, reception and service orientation. There are also 15 places available for unaccompanied minors in San Gregorio Magno.
Seeing the work of Salesian missionaries in Ukraine and across Europe, the Real Madrid Foundation has included Salesian Missions in Madrid, Spain as one of the recipients in its pledge to donate 1 million euro to organizations supporting Ukrainians. The Red Cross, UNHCR and Cesal were also included in this donation. Some of the funding will be used to support refugees in Spain. Real Madrid Foundation has also donated 13,000 items of clothing and sporting equipment to Red Cross and Cesal center in Madrid.
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UNHCR – Ukraine Refugees