UKRAINE: Salesians protect, support as war continues
Aid to continue until peace comes to Ukraine, say Salesians
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries are continuing their efforts to help those in Ukraine* impacted by the ongoing war with Russia. Bombings have continued in western Ukraine in Lviv and in the east in Novohryhorivka, where Salesian efforts have become fundamental in the protection and support of the people.
In the early hours of July 6, an alarm sounded in Lviv announcing the danger of a Russian attack with missiles and drones. Several loud explosions rang out across the city, in what has been considered one of the heaviest attacks on western Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure since the start of the war. Salesian missionaries, who work here, mobilized to help those impacted and were left without anything.
The attack damaged about 35 buildings and 50 apartments, which were declared uninhabitable. Forty-eight people were injured and more than a dozen died in the attack. Salesians responded immediately with aid for those who had to seek accommodation in other residences and camps for displaced persons. Salesians also distributed hygiene products and organized a canteen where displaced people could go to eat.
“Salesians never back down and continually try to be in solidarity with their people, martyred and suffering because of this war, which unfortunately does not stop and continues to cause many innocent victims,” said Father Mykhaylo Chaban, Salesian superior of the Mary Help of Christians Greek-Catholic Rite Vice-Province of Ukraine.
In Novohryhorivka, a village still in grave danger, Salesian remain close to the people who are in need and are providing supplies and support. It is estimated that some 17.6 million people are in need of humanitarian support across the country, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). As of May 2023, 5.1 million people were internally displaced in the country and 6.2 million had fled as refugees.
“I call everyone who comes to us angels,” said Olena, one of the many residents of Novohryhorivka whose homes have been destroyed. “It’s only with the help of these volunteers that we can survive.”
Father Józef Nuckowski is one of these angels. He has been delivering food aid and supplies to people in Novohryhorivka, even though he lives and works about 13 hours from there. He said, “We want to bring aid as close as possible to the Russian border, where most villages are destroyed, homes have been burned and people live in overcrowded shelters. They are in great need of help and thanks to the solidarity of the Salesians from all over the world we are able to obtain and distribute this aid.”
Efforts are also being made to repair schools ahead of the winter.
In total, 66 Salesian organizations from five continents have supported more than 100 projects throughout Ukraine and others are in the pipeline. Salesians promise aid will continue until peace comes to Ukraine.
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UNHCR – Ukraine Statistics
*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.