All the Salvation Army Divisions and Region in Eastern Territory railed from the first hours when the war in Ukraine began to provide Ukrainians with essential practical help. Millions of Ukrainians became refugees and IDP’s fleeing the horror of war. Many of them have lost their homes – whether they do not access to their property or their homes were completely demolished.
A great number of Salvationists in Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine in cities, where it was conditionally safe, provided people with shelter, food, hygiene products, and baby food from the first hours of the war. On the borders with Ukraine, Salvationists took care of the safety and protection of people 24/7, informing about safe destinations, distributing flyers with information on preventing human trafficking, and providing useful phone numbers.
Romania Division Salvationists in cooperation with DGASM partners, starting from March 2022, running ‘Voucher’ project at RomExpo exhibition center, the largest exhibition center in Romania. This center provides a shelter full of warmth and support for the citizens of Ukraine.
All this together gave people hope.
22nd of April seems quite recently. This is the date when Romania Division celebrated its first month spent together with DGASM with a dance of “good will”. We are proud to share the good news about this initiative – Romania Division has distributed 100,000 vouchers to more than 25,300 children.
This project was recognized as a best practice and implemented in other Eastern European countries. This initiative was recognized as a great practice during a meeting in Prague in January 2023, where official representative of the Salvation Army from around the world gathered to assess the rapid response to the crisis in Ukraine.
The Bucharest City recognized a great social work and ministry to the refugees from Ukraine with a special Diploma from the Social Assistance Office for responding to the refugee crisis as a long-term project.
We pray for those who have been forced to become refugees by war and for those who, with their 24/7 ministry, help people in times of incredible challenges and difficulties. May the Lord give strength to all Ukrainians to wait for the dream time of returning home, and to children to have a happy childhood without losing their parents.
Words by Ivan Berezkin
The Salvation Army
Eastern Europe Territory