“Only three of us came here – two children and I, my parents stayed in Crimea. We went away from Crimea because it was dreadful to stay there. And here everything satisfies us. My first impression was that nobody would accept us. When we were leaving, I was afraid and was crying. Actually we were moving to unfamiliar city, to unknown people, without our ordinary things. I thought that we wouldn’t be needed here. Because of these events relatives got into quarrels and don’t communicate with each other. And if our relatives don’t need us, why should other people accept us?” notes Maria, displaced resident from Crimea.
Caritas Khmelnytskiy takes care of her family. It is said in Caritas that apart from basic needs in accommodation and food, new category of refugees faces a range of organizational challenges, such as visiting schools and kindergartens, payments on children’s birth and other social benefits regarding kids and pensioners, social follow-up of families, rendering of healthcare assistance, notably medical patronage and examination of newborns and children, providing direct and social services, psychological and legal consultations. Families themselves can’t solve these issues, the same as activists and private philanthropists can’t cope with complex of such decisions: it is important to have help from an experienced organization that implements long-lasing social initiatives for various groups of needful people.
In answer to the events that seized the country from the end of November 2013 and last up to these days Caritas Ukraine has been implementing a large-scale assistance project to victims during events on EuroMaidan, families of deceased people, internally displaced persons and victims of military operations in the Eastern part of Ukraine. There are 4 on-going programs of assistance:
1) Long-lasting medical treatment and rehabilitation of victims.
2) Providing social and material support to families of deceased persons and victims of mass protests.
3) Psychotherapeutic assistance to victims and witnesses of mass protests in Ukraine and also war operations in Eastern oblasts.
4) Care of internally displaced people from Crimea and Eastern oblasts of Ukraine.
“When a flat door opened I saw eyes of three beautiful children – sincere and curious. At the same time they had something that is not typical for look of pre-school child: alertness, perplexity and even fear. Later, having talked with their mother I understood what situations these enchanting boys have faced,” retells social worker of Caritas Ivano-Frankivsk of the UGCC.
Family of Galyna Pushyk dwelled in Saky. Fate decreed that a girl from Pre-Carpathian region found her destiny in Crimea. For six years Galyna was in civil marriage and gave birth to three children. Life was filled with difficulties, misunderstandings, the same as joyful moments.
However, events in March 2014 divided their life for “before” and “after”: mother with three little children left her property and flat; they ran away just because they speak Ukrainian. Children remember this trip with fear, notably people in military uniform with closed faces who turned out their pockets and brutally acted towards adults.
Family settled down in two-room apartment of a grandmother where 4 individuals are already living. It is good that relatives, neighbors and concerned people who are willing to help are nearby. Grandmother with teacher’s salary does her best for children not to be hungry. Local Caritas provides adequate help with food products, cleansers, personal hygiene means, underwear for children and bedlinen etc.
Galyna Pushyk dreams for her children to live in safety, of own house, to secure required nutrition and clothes, and create conditions for studying and growth. She also wishes to stay away from cruel, violent, unjust and impudent people.
Caritas Ukraine project on care of internally displaced persons, first of all, foresees evaluation of displaced residents needs and keeping a special data base that is grounding for rendering specific social services for such individuals: accommodation, securing with clothes, shoes and food products, assistance in legal issues, employment, transportation services, providing psycho-social follow-up.
6 regional organizations of Caritas Ukraine in Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Kolomyia, Novovolynsk, Drohobych, Sokal have already rendered and are providing help for over 950 displaced residents. Total budget of the project amounts to 5 mln UAH, at the moment approximately 200.000 UAH have been spent*.
(*updated on August 16:
Caritas Ukriane is providing help for over 2000 displaced residents; 409.483 UAH have been spent)