It has been nearly two full weeks since the war broke out, and it feels like it has been forever. Our new Ukrainian friends have quickly become very dear to us, as we’ve had the chance to share meals, coffee and stories.
On Monday, Liviu cooked his specialty, pasta carbonara, and everyone loved it, even the young boys. The youngest boy in the family is eight years old and loves to draw. He was inspired by the natural light and the beautiful flowers in the living room of our friends. In the end, Conrad gifted him his very own drawing kit, which he’s ben using ever since he himself was a young boy.
While we still work tirelessly to help the people of Ukraine to escape the raging war, an impossible question emerges: should they risk their lives to try to get out, or should they wait in the safety of their bunkers, and hope for the best?
We realise we’re privileged to enjoy these moments of “normality”, as the war rages on outside. Across the border, the needs for medical supplies, canned and non-perishable food, and other essentials, are growing every day. A new issue has emerged: fuel shortages. Ukrainians are receiving rations of only 6 litres per day, which only adds another barrier for many people to get out of the country. This, of course, only comes on top of the extreme danger of trying to evacuate in the first place, as Russian attacks often target civilian evacuation routes and checkpoints. While we still work tirelessly to help the people of Ukraine to escape the raging war, an impossible question emerges: should they risk their lives to try to get out, or should they wait it out in the safety of their bunkers, and hope for the best? We cannot advice nor recommend, we can only be there to assist and support them once they make up their minds.
There are currently four families in Ukraine we are now communicating with and trying our best to help. Today, after a few days of extensive networking, we finally, and with great difficulty, managed to coordinate sending a package to a family in great need inside Ukraine, which includes all the necessities to get out of the country. We expect that they will make it across within the next couple of days, at which point we will be ready to receive them and provide them with accommodation.
As I’m writing this, we stop to listen to the sound of military helicopters moving above us towards the Black Sea. It is yet another unsettling reminder that this is no longer a peaceful region.
Two Ukrainian families (3 adults and 7 children) arrived early Tuesday morning. They fled across the border to Chisinau, where they were taken care of by our Moldovan friends, before continuing the long drive to the west. Liviu greeted them when they arrived at 3am, and brought them to a place we had prepared for them. They were resting here for a couple of nights before they continued on their journey to Germany, where they have friends who are waiting for them.
In addition to helping refugees get out of Ukraine and across our border to safety, we’re also responding to the needs of those who have arrived. Currently, we’re working on gathering a number of strollers for mothers who’ve been carrying their babies in their tired arms for far too long. Women, some pregnant, carry their children for kilometres after kilometres in the freezing cold before they reach our borders, as they’ve been forced to abandon their cars when they run out of fuel, or simply because the traffic is completely jammed.
Just a couple of hours ago, we were made aware of another urgent need, and, as I write this, we’ve committed to providing baby bottles, baby cups, diapers, powder milk, baby food and other essentials for a group of 27 young children, some with parents, some without, who are in desperate need. They have nothing left, but they are well taken care of by the Cluj community. Tomorrow, they will receive your generous help.
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. If you know anyone who would like to contribute or who would like to receive our updates, please tell them to get in touch with us (firstname.lastname@example.org).