Aurora Vatamaniuc, our director of Star of Hope Romania, reports on the team's work. It is very interesting and meets the immediate needs of many.
Dear brothers and sisters,
We are writing you these lines with a lot of emotions and tears. We are full of gratitude for your dedicated support for the children with disabilities at the Star of Hope Iasi Center! THANK YOU!
We live in days and times that no one wanted... Brothers and sisters, war KILLS the innocent just a short distance from the Romanian border. Hundreds of thousands of refugees, mostly mothers, and children, sit in customs for tens of hours, day and night, desperately trying to save their children. Women leave behind their husbands, their elders, their jobs, their homes, their memories, just to protect their children from the horrors of this war.
Below, at the customs crossing at Siret Romania on the border with Ukraine.
Star of Hope Romania specialist in the customs on the border with Ukraine
Most mothers stay in Romania for only a few days, but they really need our help. Almost everyone is in a state of shock and needs a warm and encouraging word, a hug, and correct information. They need warm clothes for the children because it's very cold. It's snowing and most moms have only a small bag or two with only a few things for the children, packed in a hurry. In short, the refugees are cold, hungry, and scared.
At the refugee camp in Husi Romania
The story of Vica, the little girl from Ukraine
We met Vica in the refugee tent in Huși. A beautiful little girl told us that she was missing her father terribly, who had to stay in Ukraine to fight. Vica was with her mother, Ollia, her grandmother, and two other children. All in an old, small car, they plan to cross Romania and reach Poland.
In the tent, it is very cold.
We have to tell you that it is very cold in the refugee tent. We give out air heaters and soft, warm blankets there. If you knew how much they appreciate it and if you saw their tears when we started handing out their packages, you would be emotional too.
AT ALBIŢA CUSTOMS
At Albiţa Customs, we met a group of women with children (frozen by the cold). All 14 were traveling in a minibus driven by one of their mothers. The minibus had no benches or heating system, they were huddled together.
We took all of them to our Center in Iasi where we offered them hot food, thick blankets, and gift packages (hygiene products). The mothers could hardly even cry anymore, they were in such a state of shock. They told us that they were going on into Europe, that they did not know where they would stop. They were praying for an end to the war so they could return to their homeland, their homes, and their husbands (hopefully still alive).
AT CUSTOMS SCULENI
At Sculeni customs we had brought bottles of water, instant soup, and food for refugees who are passing the border to Romania by bus. We saw only women, children, and older people.
AT STAR OF HOPE IASI CENTER WE HAVE TRANSFORMED TWO THERAPY ROOMS INTO BEDROOMS FOR UKRAINIAN MOTHERS AND CHILDREN
Because there are so many mothers with children fleeing the war and coming to Romania, some of them not knowing where to go, we decided to turn 2 therapy rooms into BEDROOMS for refugee mothers and children. A mother (in shock) with five children from Odessa is now resting here, another mother (suffering from cancer, who continues her therapy sessions at a hospital in Iaşi) with her children, and another mother with her children. We do everything we can to provide them with hot food, the necessities for both children and mothers. There is so much pain.
IVAN, THE FIRST UKRAINIAN GUEST AT THE STAR OF HOPE CENTER IN IASI
The parents were in such pain, desperate, exhausted. Their only child, Ivan, has autism. The child endured very, very hard the 2 days of travel from Ukraine to Romania. He was so agitated that his parents were very scared. Someone brought them to our Center and if you had seen how happy this child's parents were when they saw that Ivan had relaxed and started cooperating with our specialists, you would have shed tears. All this in an environment where neither our colleagues nor the child spoke the same language! The parents simply hugged themselves starting to cry! After the therapy session, the parents and the child got in their old car and set off for Europe with different hearts!
Although there is a lot of pain due to the war in Ukraine, we continue our mission to help with therapy and all the necessary things for all children with disabilities in our Center, according to the usual schedule.
Due to pandemic restrictions (which arose last week), we continued our physical Bible Course at our Center once a week. Parents need God's Word and share their needs with us every time we meet.
AT THE STAR OF HOPE CENTER IN DOROHOI
And in our Center from Dorohoi we also transformed 2 rooms into bedrooms for Ukrainian refugees, and so far we have hosted 35 mothers, children, grandparents who had only their clothes on. We offered them a warm bed, food, medicine, and everything they needed. Now we take care of 3 families who each have a child with special needs and who got no place to go.
We cannot end without thanking you for everything you have done and continue to do for the children of our Center, for their parents!
God bless you all!
MAY PEACE BE ON EARTH AND IN THE HEARTS OF PEOPLE!
With deep gratitude,
Executive president of Star of Hope Romania Foundation