Volunteers of our foundation went to help Ukrainian refugees on the border with Romania
Charitable Foundation “Keren Or Leyaldeinu” with the participation of the organizations Joint Israel, “Sokhnut” and other public organizations, provide humanitarian assistance to those fleeing the war in Ukraine.
How it was from the inside from Andonis Arthur:
On the way to the border, a large number of Ukrainian flags and banners are hung with words of support for the Ukrainians. A tent city for refugees was erected directly at the border point.
“The first feeling when you arrive there is as if you were at a fair,” says Artur. “There are tents everywhere. Thank God that it didn’t rain for a week, but it’s still quite dirty and very cold underfoot. They cook soup for people. “There are a lot of people – volunteers, police, and border guards. Arriving children are immediately offered sweets and toys to somehow cheer them up. For adults, there is soup and other food.”
Volunteers greet arrivals and give them free SIM cards so they can contact loved ones. Then they have to decide where and how they are going. Many have a plan – they go either further to Poland or to Germany. Some people travel in their own vehicles. For many, however, the situation is much more complex.
A large number of people are afraid to go anywhere, as they are mostly women and children, without men. Many sick people come out who have stood for a long time on the street, at a temperature of -3. They were immediately treated and distributed to hospitals. So the big problem was the logistics itself, since the refugee reception centers are very far away and it was very difficult for each family to find a safe transfer…..
The tent city near the border is not designed for a long stay – there are no conditions for sleeping and washing, there are no toilets. However, six kilometers from the border there is a refugee center – a large sports hall, where beds are installed and there are conditions for recreation. It fills up quickly, but there is another center 25 kilometers away.
However, many who have crossed the border do not want to leave it in order to be closer to their country, Artur says.
The main work for volunteers is in the refugee center. Every day you have to solve dozens, hundreds of issues, such as searching for relatives, acquaintances, transport, housing and medicine.
During our work as a volunteer, we met people from various regions of Ukraine – Kharkov, Dnipro, Kyiv, Nikolaev, Krivoy Rog and Donbass. For many, the journey took several days, someone traveled even longer.
People look exhausted, hungry, they talk about spending the night with relatives, on the streets and on benches in cities and even in the forest.
This trip would not have been possible without the help of our volunteers and the help of people who support the foundation. I want to thank everyone and say a huge thank you.