RMG – Directly from Ukraine: "Thanks for your help"

18 March 2022

(ANS - Rome) - The Salesian Family from all over the world is involved in tireless and uninterrupted work in support of the Ukrainian population victims of war. "We want to thank everyone for your help, for every gift made with the heart, for the donated materials, as well as for remembering us in your prayers," says Fr Augustin Szczerbiński, a Polish Salesian from the Krakow Province, currently engaged in relief operations in Bibrka, Ukraine.

The work is intense even beyond the Polish-Ukrainian border. Everyone is working hard in the Polish Salesian houses: Salesians, volunteers, young people, adults, the refugees themselves, like Tatiana, who herself fled Ukraine. Instead of stopping and crying over what she had to leave behind because of the war, she now works day and night, and with great zeal, to send as much useful material as possible to her compatriots in need: "We are packing everything for Ukraine: sanitary items, food, diapers, products for women and children... There is a whole group of volunteers. God bless you," the young woman says.

The relief machine that has been created, at first almost spontaneously, but which has gradually become structured in an increasingly coordinated and professional manner, is not limited to distributing aid: it is also producing a deeper and more intimate union throughout the worldwide body of the Salesian Family.

"This situation is really uniting us, with this aid from Salesians to other Salesians, which then ends up with people who are truly most in need," adds Fr Szczerbiński, while behind him the other volunteers involved in rescue operations unload goods into the right aisle of the church, transformed by necessity into a warehouse, goods just arrived from Krakow and destined for the other Salesian centers in Lviv, Peremyshlany and Zhytomyr.

And while the field activities proceed, so do the coordination activities. Last Wednesday, there was a joint meeting between several Salesian leaders of the Provinces of Krakow (PLS) and Warsaw (PLE). Taking part on behalf of the PLS, the Provincial, Fr Marcin Kaznowski, the Economer, Fr Gabriel Stawowy, the President of the Salesian Missionary Volunteers, Fr Tadeusz Goryczka, and Fr Marcin Wosiek, Coordinator of the reception of refugees and Responsible of the media section; for PLE, there was the Salesian Mission Office Director, Fr Jacek Zdzieborski, and the Provincial Economer, Fr Krzysztof Grzendziński, who is also in charge of supervising the implementation of the Salesian activities, services and programs for refugees in Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia and in all the Salesian realities directly involved.

Later in the day, yesterday, Fr Grzendziński offered an update to the PLE Provincial Council and took stock of all that has been done so far, and together they discussed various ideas for an ever more effectively coordinated operation.

From the rest of the world, finally, reports that mobilizations, collections of goods and solidarity funds, as well as initiatives of all kinds are proceeding: in France and Belgium, the campaigns of many schools and youth associations are always active; in Australia, monetary donations are being collected and the same is happening in Madagascar, South Korea, in the Province of East Africa and in that of Italy-Sicily, where the Salesians, after welcoming the first refugees, have announced another initiative: from next Monday, in collaboration with the CIR (Italian Council for Refugees), they will open an assistance desk in Catania that aims to guarantee all Ukrainian citizens access to rights and will offer information on international protection, temporary protection, family reunification, reception, and service orientation.



ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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