Aid workers are no strangers to working among wreckage, through air sirens, and sometimes even under active fire. Unfortunately, it is not only brave volunteers who are in harm’s way. No region of Ukraine is safe. Just this week, Russian long range missiles struck a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, Poltava oblast, central Ukraine – over 400km from the front lines. Over a thousand civilians are estimate to have been in the building at the moment – workers, visitors, families with children. The attack left at least 20 dead, and dozens more still missing.
The requests we hear from Ukrainian families are laced with desperation. Many families beg for the most basic things – a gallon of water, a pack of diapers, food to last the week. Your donations support volunteers in all regions of Ukraine, including emergency workers in Poltava. Our efforts continue to rebuild the pillaged homes in Bucha, deliver water to the residents of Mykolaiv, and support aid groups in the occupied regions of Kherson.
Natalia is Building a New Life from the Ashes of War
Nova Ukraine’s Adopt-a-Family program is a pilot program of direct financial support for Ukrainian refugees, both in Ukraine and in the United States. The program pairs donors and families in a very personal and direct way. Each donor of the program is paired directly with a family in need. After receiving the donation, recipients send us a photo or a personal message to pass along to our donors.
Natalia Chernys is one such recipient of an Adopt a Family donation. Her story has touched us in a very personal way, although her plight is not all that different from that of the many refugees who make it to these shores after a long ordeal.
Natalia never intended to leave Ukraine before the war. After the Russians invaded Ukraine, Natalia, her daughter and father sat tight for a full month, hiding in a bomb shelter in the outskirts of Kyiv, in a neighborhood bordering Bucha. “The streets were flooded by local residents who destroyed the dam to keep the enemy from passing to Kyiv,” Natalia recalls. “We patiently endured the fear and horror that was happening in our bloodied country.”
But then the fighting came closer and closer to their home. The last straw was when a cruise missile destroyed a nearby shopping center where her daughter used to work before the war. Natalia packed her daughter, father, their two cats and a dog in her car and began a long, harrowing, and often perilous journey — first through active war zones and eventually to Lviv and then Poland.
Digging Water Wells in Mykolaiv
As we previously reported, the city of Mykolaiv has been without clean water for over 75 days. The water systems in the southern city of Ukraine were damaged by Russian shelling, and active fighting in the area makes repairs impossible. Residents continue to stand in long lines for just a few gallon bottles per family. Your donations have offered a glimmer of hope to this proud city – using Nova Ukraine grants, volunteers have dug two operational water wells in Mykolaiv, and tested the water to make sure it is safe to drink. They now distribute the water to residents from a local source, and deliver large barrels of water to residents who live full time in makeshift bomb shelters.