Crisis in Ukraine: JRS Providing Safe Spaces for Refugees
Image: A Ukrainian family have safe accommodation at JRS Ukraine’s residence
This week will mark a month since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has triggered one of the largest refugee crises in recent times and caused unimaginable distress to our brothers and sisters.
Jesuit Missions is working in collaboration with the Xavier Network and the Jesuit Refugee Service in Eastern Europe (mainly Ukraine, Romania, Poland and Hungary) who are accompanying the arriving refugees. We have people on the ground in these countries and are in constant contact with our partners to make sure we send help where the need is greatest.
JRS Ukraine, which has a safe home in Lviv, has been welcoming displaced people as they look for a safe place to rest after days of travelling in dangerous conditions. JRS began preparing for the onset of further hostilities from Russia as early as December last year by storing food and basic medical supplies and getting alternative sources of heating and electricity. Fr Andrii Syvak SJ describes how donations received are helping Ukrainian refugees: “Support is now arriving from all across JRS and the Society of Jesus and we can effectively respond to the needs of the current situation. At this tragic time for Ukraine, the experience of working with displaced people is a real blessing. It allows us to effectively help those who have been forced to leave their homes.”
In Romania, the focus so far has been on transporting people fleeing the violence from stations and the border, providing accommodation and basic supplies as well as counselling and legal services. At JRS Romania, the team includes Syrians who themselves know too well the horrors of war and are now working hard to provide a warm welcome for Ukrainian refugees. In Poland (which continues to be the country receiving the highest influx of refugees, with over 1.8 million so far) JRS are ensuring safe accommodation and basic provisions as well as sending medical aid to Ukraine. Long-term, JRS in Poland would like to provide scholarships and language courses for Ukrainian students settled in Poland.
Image: Syrian refugees now working for JRS distribute supplies for Ukrainian refugees
Thank you to our supporters for their generous donations which have raised over £10,000 for Ukraine. If you have not yet donated and would like to, please click here.