“Our cities, homes and kindergartens have been destroyed. But no one will not succeed in destroying our aspirations for peace and freedom”, says Fr Vyacheslav Grynevych, Executive Director of Caritas-Spes Ukraine, in a video appeal launched yesterday, 26 February, through Caritas Internationalis. Caritas-Spes is one of two Ukrainian member organisations of the Confederation – the other is Caritas Ukraine – present in the country and supported by 35 other Caritas organisations.
In order to sustain the work of the two Ukrainian Caritas organisations, Caritas Internationalis has just launched an emergency appeal, which will allow to help about 13.000 people in different parts of the country and especially in critical areas such as Kramatorsk, Rubizhne, Zaporizhya, Volnovakha, Mariupol, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Odesa, Ivano-Frankivk.
Caritas Ukraine and Caritas-Spes are already helping thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are now desperately searching for a safe shelter, both in western Ukraine and abroad. The two Caritas organisations are providing Internally-displaced people on the move with essential information, food, drinking water and personal hygiene kits, as well as a safe and secure place to sleep, eat and wash themselves. Caritas staff and volunteers also provide safe transport for displaced families to reach their loved ones.
Vital support is provided especially to women and children. Caritas-Spes runs 22 small family homes throughout Ukraine and is providing safe transportation to its centres in western Ukraine for the children in their facilities and State centres in the eastern areas. Ukraine has one of the largest numbers of children in institutions in the world. Despite nearly 82% of thousands of children living in the State institutions having parents, at this moment, with the State focused on security issues, they have no one ensuring their own protection. Caritas Ukraine is also organising Child-Friendly Spaces where young children can engage in sports and recreational activities as a means of helping them cope with the psychological stress caused by the conflict.
Despite the precarious security situation and difficulties, Caritas continues its humanitarian work in Ukraine.
“In this dramatic moment, we courageously continue to help people in need,” says Fr Grynevych, praising the commitment of 67 staff members and 120 volunteers of Caritas-SPES. With God’s help, we will continue our service, leaving no one behind.”
Tetiana Stawnychy, President of Caritas Ukraine, also adds, “I am truly proud of our team that are working hard to look to the needs of the most vulnerable, while managing their own circumstances as well. We are grateful for the outpouring of support from our partners and people of good will from abroad. Please support Caritas Internationalis appeal. Needs are growing daily.”