Church-based volunteer network responding to humanitarian need across Ukraine
21 Mar 22
An enormous, largely Church-based, volunteer network is responding to the mounting humanitarian need in Ukraine, which is causing devastating consequences for civilians.
“People gather at six in the morning outside the Caritas office for support. We ask them to come at ten o'clock, but they are here queuing from early in the morning to be able to get some help. So, we must work from six in the morning to avoid crowds,” said Iryna Boyko, Caritas Kyiv humanitarian aid coordinator.
“Unfortunately, we can't help everyone, although we receive tons of humanitarian cargo every day. Trains come in the middle of the night, and our volunteers unload them. We’re so thankful for the volunteers who deliver the goods to where they’re needed, or who cook hot lunches for people who have fled their homes. A lot of help is needed. And it will be even more necessary when everyone starts coming back here, home.”
“We’re seeing a really remarkable response from a massive, largely Church-based volunteer network facilitated by our partners on the ground, Caritas Ukraine and Caritas Spes,” said Kirsty Robertson, Caritas Australia’s CEO.
“We’re talking about hundreds of people who are getting up early to cook huge vats of food, stand in the cold to provide hot drinks and sandwiches, or driving all over the city to organise emergency shelter for people who have been forced from their homes by the conflict.”
“This is one of the strengths of working through the Church, because our partner is able to harness a ready-made network of people in every region of the country through the local parishes – and this huge team of helpers has meant that Caritas Ukraine staff have been able to stretch the resources and staff to reach more people in need.”
Caritas Australia is working directly with Caritas Ukraine and its local partner Caritas Spes to support Ukrainian families with food, hygiene kits, clean water, psychological support, and emergency shelter to displaced families. Since the beginning of the conflict, Caritas Ukraine has assisted more than 102,000 people across Ukraine.
Donations can be made at: www.caritas.org.au/ukraine/
Media contact: Jessica Stone 0490 684 867 / email@example.com
Kirsty Robertson, Caritas Australia’s CEO is available for interview.
Spokespeople from Ukraine are available to interview on request.