Humanitarian aid trucks ply from borders across Ukraine, first to regional humanitarian hubs, then by trucks, buses, cars, and even trains to the most remote villages of the frontline zone. Partner organizations, including Caritas from different countries, provide vital assistance to Caritas Spes. Many Caritas-Spes employees had to change their profile to become logisticians, procurement managers, humanitarian coordinators, etc., to develop a practical algorithm for humanitarian work in the first weeks of the military escalation. Our workers, who have adapted to the new activity, shared what they are doing now and what challenges they face every day to ensure those trying to survive the war.
“The city of Lviv has become a transit center for our Mission. We receive inquiries from different cities and humanitarian aid, which we send to the regions. Most of our staff accept goods from other dioceses of Caritas Poland”, — said Markiyan Stefanyshyn, Head of the Lviv Humanitarian Headquarters of Caritas-Spes of the Lviv Archdiocese. Before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Markian was involved in project activities, including working on a program to restore the monastery complex in Rava-Ruska. Today, he coordinates the work of the warehouse, which receives daily humanitarian aid from abroad. Assistance comes in various forms: food, hygiene products, baby food, diapers, clothing, household chemicals, sleeping bags, blankets, bed linen, generators, power banks, lanterns, etc.
Olena Kawa, Project Manager of the National Office, was delegated to Warsaw at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, where she and her colleagues launched the coordination of humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Olena said that Caritas Poland organized warehouses in Archdiocesan and Diocesan centers closer to the border with Ukraine. “Humanitarian cargoes from Poland and European countries are loaded into trucks and transported to Ukraine. From the Caritas Poland warehouses, the aid is mainly sent to the logistics warehouse in the Lviv Archdiocese, all over Ukraine”, — Olena Kava said.
Poland was one of the first countries to come to Ukraine`s aid accepting more than 2 million refugees from Ukraine and organizing unprecedented aid campaigns. Polish Caritas organized the `Box for Ukraine` campaign at the Roman Catholic parishes in Poland. Polish families collect boxes (list of products on the Caritas Poland website) with hygiene products weighing approximately 18 kg. They are sent to one of the Caritas Poland warehouses, from which they go to the Caritas-Spes warehouse in Lviv and are dispersed throughout Ukraine. Olena added that more than 10,000 boxes have already been sent to Ukraine, and this assistance is precious, given that it goes from family to family.
“Often, in addition to the things that are important for survival, letters of support are often placed in such boxes, which again shows us, Ukrainians, that we are not alone in this war,” — Olena added.
Since February 24, Caritas-Spes of Ukraine has received more than 130 humanitarian aid depots. Today, the Mission has two reception points in the Lviv and Transcarpathian regions, 6 regional humanitarian hubs, and 14 local humanitarian centers.
We thank our partners for their continued support. And to our employees and volunteers because their work brings us closer to victory.