Here is an excellent update on the current Ukrainian war relief efforts
Blessings to you and your family.
Our preparations to receive Ukrainian refugees in 2022 started back in 1989. We just hadn't realized it.
During our 33 years on the ground in Romania, we have changed the lives of children with disabilities. No words of praise are enough for the Romanian front-line workers who have dedicated their lives to these children!
With each passing year, they have acquired more knowledge and experience. And now, with hundreds of thousands of refugees crossing the border, their skills are what refugees with disabilities need. So when Romania's authorities started asking for people who could help refugee children with disabilities, our workers were already standing at the border and receiving families in need.
The help you give your fellow human beings can leave shimmering rings on the water decades later. On the second day of Ukraine's war with Russia, front-line workers from Star of Hope Romania went to the Ukrainian border. Since then, we have helped over 12,000 Ukrainian refugees with your support.
"The goal is for them to live as normal as possible here. Helping them comes naturally to us because they are a target group that we have worked with for over 30 years," says our Romanian operations manager, Aura Vatamaniuc. (see image above)
Today, three work teams work in shifts to meet their needs. At the first meeting, we offer the fleeing families water, food, medicine, hygiene items, and emotional support. In addition, we arrange various activities for the children, to help them disconnect from their war experiences for a while and be carefree children again.
Our efforts have attracted the attention of UNICEF, who, after many visits to centers and border crossings, decided to start a collaboration with us. Thanks to that, we can now take on a new group of refugees. We provide them with accommodation, food, clothing, health care, education, leisure activities, and counseling.
This collaboration covers 4,330 Ukrainian children, and the children with disabilities have access to rehabilitation at the Star of Hope center in Romania. There, we work with, among other things, physiotherapy, speech therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. - "This mainly concerns children with Down's syndrome, autism, and cerebral palsy," says Aura.
Aura's heart beats a little extra for all the single mothers she has met. Those mothers, who were not single six months ago, were forced to say goodbye to the children's fathers in Ukraine. They are now forced to rebuild their lives, on their own, without a stable foundation to stand on.
At each center and border crossing, there is now at least one refugee that we have employed. In this way, these mothers get the chance to help their compatriots and, at the same time, earn their living. All the excellent work that is being accomplished makes Aura proud, but at the same time, she points out that the work must continue. For a family on the run, Star of Hope's help can make all the difference in the world.
The fact that the state and UNICEF want to cooperate with Star of Hope Romania, affirms our competence. Gratitude overwhelms me at the thought that our 33 years of work are turning into joy for a new group of children when they need it most.
Those who are never been forced from their homes cannot understand how it feels - but we know that running away becomes even more difficult for children with disabilities. Right now, we are the right people, at the right place and time, ready to welcome these children and guide their families into a new existence.
Thousands have received help - but the needs are even more significant. Join us and help us take care of more!
Warm greetings, Mark Presson
Star of Hope CEO
If you gave this month, we thank you on their behalf.
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