Poland – "There are more good people than you might think," testifies Lydia, a young refugee

24 March 2022

(ANS - Warsaw) - The hard work of the Salesian Family around the world for the Ukraine emergency continues at full pace. The greatest burden of responsibility and practical work in the field at this stage falls on the presences in Poland, who are giving their best not only to welcome the refugees, but also to convey their closeness, affection, humanity to them. "They asked us what we needed as soon as we arrived; they offered us everything, they gave us everything, they helped us with everything.... We will never forget them," says Lydia, a Ukrainian refugee in Poland, about the welcome she received from so many Polish volunteers.

Lydia arrived in Warsaw from Dnipro, in the east of Ukraine, after four intense days of travel, together with her children, while her husband remained in Ukraine. They are worried, logically, "but we have hope in a peaceful future, which will come soon," says the woman. Supporting her in her confidence is also the experience of solidarity she has received in this circumstance: "There are more good people around than you might think and, in these situations, you can see why they do everything with their heart," she confided to Alberto López, sent to Poland by the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid.

Also from Poland is an initiative of solidarity carried out by some students from the Salesian schools of Piła, who brought food, clothing and other materials to Poznań to be distributed to Ukrainian families. And another story of hope, again from Poland, specifically from Przemyśl, just 15 km from the border with Ukraine: that of Yana, Zlata and Lev - a young Ukrainian mother and two children - who, thanks to the efforts of the Salesians of Civitanova Marche, in the Central Italy Circumscription, are now safe from the war in the town in the Marche region.

"It was a truly moving experience," said Fr Alessio Massimi, Rector of the Civitanova Marche Oratory. "We arrived in Przemyśl at the Salesian house and unloaded the van loaded with so much generosity from our parishioners. During the days that we were there, we went to the center where the refugees are being received, a large shopping center, and we made ourselves available to do anything. We found a great organization. We, in particular, fixed the beds every day, because people were accepted but the next day they left for various destinations, some in Italy, some in Portugal, some in Spain, depending on where they wanted to go. On their return we went to pick up Yana, Zlata and little Lev to take them to Civitanova where their grandmother Natalia is waiting for them."

Remaining in Italy, the Provincial of Sicily, Fr Giovanni d'Andrea, informed about the developments of the reception in that province too: "We are finishing the placement of single-parent 'mother-child' units with 'support families', so as to create a 'broad-based accommodation'. Today, with the help of a mediator, four children we welcomed, together with their mothers, have been included in the socio-educational activities of our oratory 'Santa Maria de La Salette' in Catania."

Other news of solidarity arrive from South Korea, where between the disbursement of the Province and the donations coming from other Catholic organizations, the Salesian coordination for the response to the emergency has received a large sum of money to be destined to the refugees; from the Province of the United States West (USA), where a single work, that of Bellflower, has collected a large sum of offerings, which will now be sent, always for the Ukrainian cause, to the Salesian Mission Office of New Rochelle; and finally from Great Britain (GBR), where the entire community of the school of Chertsey, animated by the parent of a student who is an expert in finance and computer science, is involved in a major project to collect materials and programs to enable young Ukrainian refugees to follow lessons by videoconference from schools in their country.



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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