The Salesians in Poland work to house more than 600 refugees
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Poland are on the front lines of the refugee crisis as more than 4 million people have fled to the country to escape the horrors in Ukraine. The Salesians in Poland are working to house more than 600 refugees and have space to accommodate another 500.
Lydia, a Ukrainian refugee in Poland, said of the Salesians: “As soon as we arrived they asked us what we needed. They offered us everything, they gave us everything, they helped us with everything. We will never forget them.
Lydia arrived in Warsaw from Dnipro after four intense days of traveling with her children, while her husband remained in Ukraine. She said: “We are worried but we are hopeful for a peaceful future, which will come soon. There are more good people than you think and in these situations you can see why they do everything with their hearts.”
Yarina, 16, and her mother are also in Warsaw, having left Lviv the day the war broke out. “The best thing we can do to not think about the war is to keep busy,” Yarina’s mother said. “I started looking for a job in Warsaw, and my daughter is taking online classes and connecting daily with her school in Ukraine to try to keep everything as normal as possible.”
Yarina says she loves biology, though she still doesn’t know what she will study after the war is over. She has seven hours of class a day, and then it’s time to check her phone to see her 30 classmates. She said: “Some are in Italy, others in France and Spain, but most of us are in Poland. We know the war will end one day, and we hope it will be very soon. We want all go back to Ukraine. and be in our united families again. Right now we are beating Russia in this aspect too because they cannot destroy our culture and our desire to learn, even if they bomb our schools .
Salesians in European countries also help refugees. The Santa Maria de La Salette Oratory in Catania, Italy, welcomes single-parent families with mothers and children. It has hosted four families so far. Salesian programs in the Czech Republic have received 200 refugees, including 100 children.
This work is supported by financial and material support from Salesian organizations around the world. The Salesians are present in more than 130 countries and almost all have mobilized to help in one way or another. Poor countries struggling to provide financial support dedicate Lenten prayers to the Ukrainian people.
ANS Photo (permissions for use and guidelines must be requested from ANS)
ANS — Poland — “There are more good people than you think”, testifies Lydia, a young refugee
UNHCR — Ukrainian Refugees