In observance of Mother’s Day, we ask you to please take a moment to think of the mothers and children of Ukraine. Many of them will be spending this Mother’s Day in bomb shelters, refugee camps, or in the foreign countries where they fled. Other mothers made the difficult decision to leave their children in the care of relatives so that they may stay in Ukraine to fight or help out in other ways. Nova Ukraine volunteers are working through the holiday to support these families who need our help more than ever. And they need your help, too.
One mother’s story helping the needy in Ukraine
One of the mothers who inspire us is Elena, a Nova Ukraine volunteer who has been delivering food and other critical supplies to other mothers and children living in Lysychansk, a small city in the area of Luhansk close to active fighting. When the war broke out, Elena jumped in to help mothers in need, often with the help of her 15-year-old daughter.
When the bombing in the city escalated, Elena evacuated her family out of the area but she was compelled to support others who were unable to leave. Elena continues to make the journey back to her hometown on a regular basis. When we asked why she continues to do this dangerous work, she quoted The Little Prince: “As they say, you become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. So knowing that they are still there, I just couldn’t abandon them.”
Elena buys supplies such as food, diapers, bedding, and heaters in cities to the west of Luhansk and in nearby humanitarian centers and delivers them to mothers with young children living in bomb shelters and schools in Lysychansk. Despite the difficult circumstances, Elena keeps a positive outlook. She says: “Life is wonderful, and we will overcome all difficulties and troubles. We trust God. He will resolve them all.”
On this Mother’s Day, Nova Ukraine is proud to support Elena’s courageous volunteer work for families in her community. Elena is just one of the 4,500 individual volunteers that Nova Ukraine supports on the ground in Ukraine. Please donate to Nova Ukraine to support Elena’s efforts.
Update from the Mexico City Refugee Hub
As of May 1, we have over 500 refugees living in our Mexico City refugee camp, 350 of whom are children. These families are awaiting processing via the Uniting for Ukraine program to gain entry into the United States.
Our volunteers on the ground have purchased food, medicine, toys, bedding, and other items needed to get through Mexico’s hot days and frigid nights. The hub is run by multiple organizations, including the Mexican government, Nova Ukraine, United with Ukraine, as well as other charities, churches and individuals.
This week, Nova Ukraine put on a webinar with Russian-speaking immigration attorney James Root to answer questions about the Uniting for Ukraine program and pathways for entering the United States. Volunteers also set up a children’s corner for the young children living at the camp.
Providing Children’s Books to Ukrainian Refugees
Nova Ukraine partnered with Wroclaw Literature House to publish and distribute beloved Ukrainian children’s stories to refugees arriving in Poland. The publishing house aims to buy the rights to 12 titles and publish 40,000 copies of each. The books will be distributed free of charge to more than 50,000 Ukrainian refugee children in Poland. These children who were torn away from their homes will draw joy and comfort from these familiar stories. Moreover, this initiative supports Ukrainian publishers at a difficult time for the publishing market.
Zaporizhzhia Hospital Receives VAC Machines
Thanks to Nova Ukraine, urgently needed portable VAC machines and clamps were delivered to St. Nicholas Hospital in Zaporizhzhia. Vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) is an innovative way to close the edges of a wound through suction. The technique promotes healing by helping reduce fluid retention after surgery. These critical medical supplies are used to rescue the lives and limbs of people injured in the war. Doctors like these machines because of their small size and portability.
Pavlo Zhdanov’s Charitable Efforts in Kharkiv
Nova Ukraine helped fund the delivery of 20 tons of humanitarian aid to the city of Kharkiv. This project is run by the Kharkiv-based Charitable Foundation of Pavlo Zhdanov which delivers humanitarian aid to those in need. During the period from 2014 to 2015, Pavlo served in the Ukrainian military and fought on the front lines. “I saw with my own eyes the destroyed buildings and the civilians who left their homes and ran away to save their own lives.” Now in Kharkiv, war has caught up to him again, and Pavlo is determined to turn his personal pain into action with this charitable initiative.