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  Far Away from Home
2022/06/14 | editor

Our partner, Medair, is working across Ukraine in response to the conflict which began on 24 February 2022. The team arrived in Poland on 28 February, supporting the volunteer and civic organizations which are hosting displaced families, and providing critical medicines to health centers where required.

Ira, her husband Stepan, along with their daughter and son arrived in Ternopil from their home in eastern Ukraine. After days of conflict, they decided to join a convoy of vehicles leaving the area. As they traveled some of the vehicles in their convoy were attacked, including those in the lead. They decided to continue and were able to catch an evacuation train from Kharkiv, leaving their car behind. By the time they arrived in Ternopil, they had traveled on three trains, with a desire to get as far west as possible. The trains were completely full, often with four or five people per seat and many, many children.

Ira plays with her son Oleg in the Ternopil Central Train station (© 2021 Ryan Carter Images)

When they arrived at the train station, they were welcomed by volunteers and were given food and pampers for their young son. A local family warmly opened their home to them and they felt very blessed by all the care that they were shown. After a week or so, their 6-year-old daughter has been accepted into a local school where she is getting basic reading and writing lessons after more than a month out of school.

While they are happy in Ternopil for now, finding affordable accommodation is difficult and they want to return home. Then, they had considered leaving to Europe, but due to regulations, Stepan would have to stay behind, and at this stage, he is not able to bear the thought of being separated from his family. Ira is not able to imagine being so far away from Ukraine. For now, they will stay in Ternopil.

In Poland, Medair is providing support in three refugee reception centers, including ensuring that there are staff on-hand 24/7 to receive people arriving. Ternopil has established 16 refugee centers in schools and is able to house nearly 3,000 people in temporary shelters. Shelter locations are expected to provide meals, sufficient sanitation, and laundry facilities, garbage collection, access to wifi, and laundry facilities.


Support the "Ukrainian Humanitarian Action" 


Olyena is a teacher in Ternopil, Ukraine, who is now also helping to prepare daily meals as her school acts as a temporary shelter for people fleeing conflict. She teaches her classes online since her classroom is now full of beds, and she joins her fellow teachers in cooking three hot meals each day to feed families staying at the school.(© 2021 Ryan Carter Images)
Ihor Hirchak, Deputy Mayor of Ternopil Ukraine leads the humanitarian response in his city, which has received thousands of families fleeing conflict in other areas of Ukraine. (© 2021 Ryan Carter Images)

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你要盡心、盡性、盡 意、盡力愛主 ─ 你的神。其次就是說:要愛人如己。(馬可福音12章30-31節)

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:30-31)


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