After more than a year, Ukrainian refugees continue to find their way in neighboring Romania.
Almost 3.5 million Ukrainian refugees, mostly women and children, entered Romania in the first year following the Russian invasion in February 2022. Many of those moved through Romania en route to other countries, but many thousand have remained, with the assistance of family, government, and humanitarian agencies.
AIDRom - a Week of Compassion partner through ACT Alliance - recently shared a conversation with Marina, a mother of two and refugee in Romania since the beginning of the war.
One year ago, on February 24 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, unleashing a humanitarian crisis that continues to impact the citizens of Ukraine, and the neighboring nations that have provided shelter, aid, and resources. Alongside our ecumenical partners through ACT Alliance, Week of Compassion has been engaged in the response from the start and will remain in partnership for the long-term support and recovery to come.
“I was living a normal life,” eighteen-year-old Dmitry recalled. “I was studying logistics and marketing and playing football. I wanted to be a professional footballer, and had a contract with the Mariupol junior football team.”
Anna, also 18, is from Donetsk, and had already moved because of the earlier war (2014, when Russia annexed Crimea). Now in Mariupol with Dmitry, “I was studying law, wanting to become a lawyer.”
The young couple’s dreams of football and law were interrupted when they woke to a call from Dmitry’s parents telling them that the war had started.
back-to-school and winterization efforts in Ukraine
While the world watches intently for any small victory of reclaimed land and systems in Ukraine, the region is well into winter weather now, and concerns mount for those who have fled homes, tried to return home, or are making a new home elsewhere. From winterization and school restoration projects to specialized support for refugees with disabilities, Week of Compassion has come alongside longtime ecumenical partners, on behalf of the whole Disciples church, to respond to multiple needs across the region and in communities that are especially vulnerable and underserved.
Six months ago, on February 24, 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. From the beginning, Week of Compassion, through ecumenical partnerships with ACT Alliance and other partner networks, has been and continues to respond both to immediate needs and long-term recovery plans. Today, we recognize the six-month mark of this crisis - and note that Ukraine should be freely celebrating their nation’s independence day, August 24.
Hungarian Baptist Aid supplies arrive. (baptistworld.org)
Today marks 125 days - just more than 4 months - since Russian troops invaded Ukraine, and the destruction, casualties, and horror have not ceased. The Ukrainian people have gathered in force, receiving military aid, and holding out far longer than most global experts anticipated. Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis has grown, overflowing Ukraine’s borders into the surrounding nations that are welcoming and tending to millions of refugees, even as millions more internally displaced persons remain in country. The repercussions will be felt for years, and while relief supplies and aid have been immediate, the ripple effects and response will be long-lasting.
highlights from the World Council of Churches Central Committee, June 2022
Vy Nguyen, Ana Maria Melilla de Medio, Terri Hord Owens, Paul Tche, Nathan Day Wilson
“Joyful to share the work of the church with these Disciples leaders as part of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches.” With one sentence and a photo from the General Minister and President, the whole Disciples church came into the room in Geneva, Switzerland, joining global ecumenical partners for a week-long conversation and discernment about the church’s direction and faithful witness in turbulent times.