Jesuits welcome refugees fleeing Ukraine as crisis escalates

30 March 2022
A composite image of staff and volunteers welcoming refugees on the borders of Poland and Romania. Images taken by Sergi Camara and Marco Giarracca/Supplied by Jesuit Mission Australia

 

As the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine escalates, Jesuit Mission’s Ukraine Emergency Appeal is contributing to deliver 24/7 vital services on the ground to people in need.

With over 10 million civilians displaced, including over 3.6 million refugees fleeing Ukraine, Fr Marius Talos SJ, Director of JRS Romania and partner of Jesuit Mission, is welcoming an intake of refugees like never before.

“The first need is to welcome these people,” he said.

“We had to improvise essential assistance in terms of food, clothing, mattresses, medicines. At the same time, we have to ensure accommodation and legal advice for those who want to seek asylum in Romania. It’s something that we have never had in Romania,” he said.

By the time they arrive at the Romanian border, many refugees are exhausted from having spent two days travelling with only what they can carry. Many have had to say harrowing goodbyes to family members that have stayed behind to fight.

“It is also necessary to give psychological assistance to people that have experienced unimaginable trauma. Mothers and children, who cannot find their husbands or fathers,” said Marius.

JRS Romania is welcoming a large number of children and has created safe spaces, where they can paint and play with their peers.

“It is incredible to see the resilience of these refugees. I thank our Jesuit partners overseas for ensuring that vulnerable children are distracted and protected from the atrocities occurring in their home country,” said Helen Forde, CEO of Jesuit Mission.

In addition to Ukrainians, there are also students from Africa and Asia that are trapped and desperately trying to escape back home.

“There is hope against any despair,” said Marius.

“I sincerely appreciate this generosity that reveals us brothers and sisters even without knowing each other. We keep going. Thank you.”

Jesuit Mission is raising funds to support the coordinated emergency response of JRS Europe across Hungary, Poland, Romania, Macedonia, southeast Europe as well as within Ukraine.

Support of the Ukraine Emergency Appeal provides emergency shelter, food and essential items, medical escorts, translation and accompaniment to refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

To make a donation to Jesuit Mission for the Ukraine Emergency Appeal go to  https://jesuitmission.org.au/ukraine/ or call (02) 8918 4109.

To read the full interview with Marius go to https://jesuitmission.org.au/ukraine-jrs-romania/

With thanks to Jesuit Mission Australia.

 

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