Firstly I would like to thank the various organisers of functions in the village where a collection has been made for the Ukraine Appeal and given to EPIC, the charity I work for. I am very grateful for all the gifts and interest shown in this local effort.
I have just returned from a trip to Romania and Poland where I visited friends who are helping the refugees and I could see how our funds are being used. From every source it’s clear that Ukrainians are trying to return home, or if not to their actual town then to be in the safest part of the country. The friend in the NW of Romania very close to the border, was cooking 60 meals twice a day for 7 weeks and taking them to refugees who didn’t have any cooking facilities. Now the number is down to 16 people. Other friends have been bringing refugees from Chernovsky in Ukraine to their home and then taking them to the British Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, to apply for visas and then returning when the visas are eventually issued. This is a 300 mile round trip each time and they are happy to help in this small way. There is a lot of generosity and kindness being shown even after nearly 3 months of the war.
When we talk of aid going into Ukraine it’s usually food, medicines, hospital equipment etc but last week a commercial size dishwasher was transported across the border from Romania to an orphanage for disabled children inside Ukraine. The number of children has doubled from around 60 to 130 in the last few weeks. There
are no extra staff to care for the children and having to wash up by hand after every meal has been taking up valuable time and so we were asked if we could supply a dishwasher. As soon as I transferred the money my friends started looking for a second -hand machine and they found one that came from a factory canteen that had
closed down. I had to leave before they could transfer it by van to the orphanage but I now have the photos of it in the kitchen. Last month this orphanage asked for 100 duvets and pillows, and my friends found a lady in their town who made them, so the costs were half those in the shops. There are photos of the children stroking the
duvets, they said they had never seen such pretty covers.
Even if the fighting ceases soon, the needs will go on for a very long time, we have all seen the pictures of destroyed houses and hospitals, the people are traumatised, life will never be the same again and I am so thankful that EPIC can help in a small way to make a difference. I shall be returning in the Autumn (if not before) and if you would like to see the photos there will be a display in the Baptist Church Lounge so come and have a coffee one Friday morning and see them.