We are so thankful and humbled for each one of you who entrusted and empowered us to be your hands and feet here on the ground, helping us help the people affected by this humanitarian crisis as it unfolds in front of us. We do not pretend that we are heroes, or that we can do everything, but we promise that we are doing everything we can, using wisdom and discernment to act quickly, efficiently and effectively in this ever-changing situation.
Ever since we arrived back in Cluj on Friday, 25. February, we have been plugged in non-stop, communicating with various organisations, public authorities and key people involved, connecting with individuals inside Ukraine and on the border, to gather as much data as possible about what the most urgent needs are and how we can help most effectively. We have worked extensively to set up a network between Ukraine, Romania and the Republic of Moldova, which helps us coordinate the safe transport of refugees from Ukraine and accommodation once they are in Romania. We are currently in the process of helping a few families, arranging their pick-up from the border and providing them with suitable accommodation.
Throughout the night, we received news that a mother, her two kids and her mother-in-law arrived safely at one of the locations we are coordinating with inside Ukraine
Throughout the night, we received news that a mother, her two kids and her mother-in-law arrived safely at one of the locations we are coordinating with inside Ukraine, and they are being taken care of. We are arranging the pickup of another family (two sisters and their elderly mother) as we write this. Naturally, many of the refugees arriving are shaken, traumatised and scared, and they first and foremost need a safe place to rest and friendly faces to help them with their needs.
Reliable sources from the border, as well as Ukrainian refugees who have already passed, have informed us that there is widespread corruption on the border: According to the cars they are driving, and the clothes they are wearing, refugees are asked by the border patrols in Ukraine to pay up to 4000 EUR to pass into Romania. This is an issue that we are aware of and trying to figure out how to navigate, together with our new friends in Ukraine. A lot of wisdom and patience is needed.
At the moment, it seems like the most urgent needs are in Moldova, on the borders between Moldova and Ukraine and between Moldova and Romania. We are in close contact with our friends and family in Moldova, and once the situation regarding their specific needs is more clear, we might put together a small task force to go there and help them coordinate the large floods of refugees crossing their borders. We are able to do this because of our team’s previous experience working with refugees in the field, and because of the extensive network that we have been building over the last few days.
If you have any questions about what is going on, or suggestions for people we should be in touch with, please do not hesitate to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you know anyone who would like to contribute to our efforts, or who would like to receive our updates, please tell them to get in touch with us, and we will be happy to add them to our Ukraine mailing list.
We appreciate each and every one of you, and are deeply thankful for all the support and trust you have given us. We will keep you updated!