Pray for peace in Ukraine and throughout the world.
Since the beginning of this terrible conflict, over 6.5 million people have fled their homes to find refuge in another part of Ukraine and 6.16 million people have escaped to another European country. One in every four people has now left their home to find safety from the fighting.
To date, over 12,200 innocent women, men and children have been killed or injured. Without a ceasefire these figures continue to rise.
Thanks to your kind donations and support, we have been able to respond quickly through the Caritas network - which CAFOD is a member of - to provide shelter, food and safe spaces for families who have lost everything. The local humanitarian professionals and volunteers working on your behalf risk their own lives to serve people in need.
Vladislav and his wife fled their home in Kyiv in February. They are hundreds of miles away now but hope to return. The couple are IDPs or ‘internally displaced persons’, yet they see their status as a chance to help others.
Vladislav is currently volunteering with Caritas to help other people who have fled their homes with nothing. One of his roles has been to give out clothes to people who have fled for safety.
"It may look sunny where they are, but the temperature in the evening at night drops significantly. Therefore, people have to stay warm or they risk dying of hypothermia."
“Today we saw a lot of people who were affected by war. I understand how they feel because I am also an IDP.”
Understanding the needs of the people
The local experts we work with understand people’s specific needs - from water and food, to shelter and clothing, to medicine and psychological support. No one is the same, no crisis is the same.
Support inside and outside Ukraine
Thanks to your generous support, families in Ukraine and in the surrounding regions are getting the support they need. Here are just a few of the ways your kindness is bringing comfort to our sisters and brothers in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
Ukraine: Caritas aid workers are bringing urgent food, water, medicine, therapy and shelter to the most vulnerable people.
Moldova: Caritas teams are providing shelter, hot meals, drinking water and hygiene kits as well as psychological support for those that need it.
Romania: families have somewhere to stay, wash, wash their clothes and receive medical attention.
Poland: emergency teams are able to give people money to buy essentials, temporary accommodation, psychological help and employment advice.
How the essentials you’ve helped to buy are reaching people
Father Vyacheslav Grynevych, Director of Caritas-Spes in Ukraine, is on the ground now. His team are helping to ensure people who are preparing to leave Ukraine have something to eat.
“We understand that these are only the first days of a terrible war,” Father Vyacheslav says. “Like a terrible dream, it has enwrapped our society.”
Caritas Moldova has set up refugee centres, where staff and volunteers are providing shelter, food and medical support to those fleeing across the border. Nearly 90% of refugees who have crossed into Moldova are women and children.
Maria is a social worker from Caritas Boryslav in Ukraine. She has been helping children to come to terms with what has happened to them through therapy.
“At Caritas Boryslav we try to play with them, paint together, just create a safe space and make contact," Maria says.
"Many children start painting with black paint - really scary things. But then they start to add other colours."
Caritas Poland has set up tents near the Ukraine border, which serve as a meeting point and place to contact relatives and friends.
Refugees receive a warm meal here. A warm meal, after days on the run, often helps people to regain some hope. This is why Caritas Poland staff have called the tents, ‘tents of hope’.