Ukraine! Newsletter March 15th, 2022

Dear Members and Friends,

News from our friends & partners who stayed in Ukraine or refugees:

  • Received from G… last week :

“Unfortunately, the situation is such that there is hardly any safe place in Kharkiv.  My flat was badly damaged by the shelling, but the main thing is that we are all alive.  The only place where the situation is better now is in the metro station.  There are so many people who have lost everything, many without clothes and shoes, nothing.  These people came out of their homes with what they were wearing.  They all need help.  A…, I and other people are trying to help them in some way.  There will be no banks opened in Kharkiv in the near future, as shelling and bombing are very frequent.  I spent my money and then borrowed from a few acquaintances to bring several packages of warm clothes for women and children – jackets, jumpers, trousers – to the Historical Museum metro station.   The food that enters the metro, currently in a dangerous situation, is transported by the city authorities.  Some problems with medicines, but we are thinking how to do it.  From the bombed houses, from our flats, we carried washing machines and refrigerators.  The metro station lives like a small self-sufficient city.  I will try to inform you often, I don’t promise anything, there is no time.
Always yours, G…”

  • Received from G… on 14 March :

“We continue to stay in Kharkiv – me and A….The shelling and artillery fire continues.  Some houses have been damaged, destroyed, from the street windows water from the damaged heating systems and water pipes freezes, turning into ice cascades from the windows of the houses. But the city lives on, some food shops are open only in the morning and not during the air raid. The heating in one of the upper flats is also damaged, with water running in streams to all the lower floors. Emergency services are not working, A… and I are troubleshooting. We are continuing to help people in the metro at the Historical Museum station, with the products we buy, as far as possible.
Thank you for taking care of us and helping us.”

  • Received from O… on 15 March at 18:40 :

NB: O…, responsible for the ass. Avenir in Zhytomyr, is herself a refugee in Poland. With a contribution from Vivere she assists the most vulnerable mother-child situations. Her text message :

“I had to take some rest because my daughter D… is very sick, probably a virus, a lot of fever. We share the same floor with 12 other refugees. It was extremely cold at the border, it took us 5 days to reach it. I have already been able to help four women with children. They are all grateful to you.

Refugees threatened by human traffickers

Working in Ukraine and elsewhere for the past eighteen years to combat and prevent human trafficking, as well as being involved in legal proceedings to convict traffickers, Vivere is necessarily on the alert: the precipitated mass exodus of people fleeing the Kremlin’s bombs is creating a disorder and vulnerability that organised crime is already trying to take advantage of to force more victims into so-called ‘modern’ slavery.

1’42” interview (in French) also available here :

Poland is not only remarkable in welcoming Ukrainian refugees but also in strengthening its law to counteract human trafficking!

“The lower house of the Polish parliament voted on 9 March on the law on support for Ukrainian citizens arriving in Poland as part of a large-scale Russian invasion. 439 Seimas deputies voted for the adoption of the law, 12 were against, three abstained, according to Ukrinform. The document provides for the provision of an identification code (PESEL) to refugees from Ukraine. Their stay in the country will be recognised as legal for 18 months. They will be able to legally find a job, have access to free medicines. Ukrainian pupils and students will be able to study in schools and universities. Individuals and organisations that provide refugees from Ukraine with accommodation and food will receive an allowance of about 1.2 thousand zlotys per month. The aid will not be paid for more than 60 days. In addition, refugees will receive a one-off grant – 300 zloty per person. A special fund will be created in the state bank BGK, from which aid to Ukraine will be financed. In addition, a target reserve will be created in the Polish budget. The law also strengthens criminal liability for human trafficking and pimping committed during the war in Ukraine. According to the Polish Border Guard Service, since 24 February, 1.4 million refugees from Ukraine have arrived in the country.”

Effort in welcoming refugees by countries in the region

Some of Ukraine’s neighbours have generously opened their doors to refugees. On this map we can see that Moldova, the poorest country in Western Europe, is the one that hosts the largest number of refugees in proportion to its population!

Two members of Vivere are going to Moldova tomorrow to visit our local partner, the association Compasiune, which in the village of Costesti, shelters several dozen refugees. They will also meet with our partner in Transnistria who is also assisting Ukrainian families. This will be the occasion to hand over to each of the two partners the financial aid that several of you have kindly entrusted to us, by establishing with them a work plan for the continuation of the activity, as we had already made a first money transfer on 9 March.

Thanking you for your generosity and for your attention on these situations,

The Vivere Committee