23 August, 2023
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: October 26
ADRA is preparing for winter in Ukraine with a project focused on accommodation repairs in areas that were previously under Russian control and where buildings have been badly damaged.
The goal of Shelter for Ukraine is to ensure people disrupted by conflict have dignified and habitable shelter to meet basic needs during winter, and to facilitate early recovery. To achieve this goal, The Shelter for Ukraine project will provide light and medium repairs to shelter (through vouchers and direct cash transfers), and the voucher will also include shelter NFIs (household items, winter clothes and heating appliances) for households whose homes cannot be repaired or winterised by the time cold weather hits.
The voucher and cash based activities will benefit 400 private households (1200 people). It will also support three Internally Displaced People shelters with winter-related items, running costs, heating equipment and repairs to improve insulation. This activity will benefit 113 private households (340 people).
Target locations are:
Bucha, Irpin, Hostomel, Vorzel, Moschun, Nemishaieve, Makariv, Brestiv Village, Chernivcy
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: August 23
Words: Daniel Presecan, ADRA Emergency Response team member in Slovakia
ADRA is working in a refugee transit centre in Slovakia, 34km from the Ukrainian border.
During the day, the number of people arriving is not that significant, but during the night hundreds come from the border to our transit center where most just sleep until the morning.
During one of those mornings, I sat at a table while refugees, mostly women and children, prepared to continue their journeys after a night sleeping in the crowded tent. Across from me sat a woman and three young girls. I introduced myself and asked my usual opening questions about where they are from and where they planned to go.
Natasha is in her mid-40s and lived in a small town in Ukraine’s northeast before the conflict began. The main employer in her town was a factory where chocolate was produced and packed. Natasha liked to work there. She was eating a chocolate bar as she told me this.
“Don’t you ever get enough chocolate while you are seeing it and eating it every day?” I asked her.
“I thought I would,” she replied with a smile. “But from the time I started working there, the only thing that changed with me is that I have gained some extra weight, but love for chocolate stayed the same.”
Several days before we met, her town was fully occupied. Natasha still vividly remembers the day when a group of soldiers came to her apartment building with huge hammers and started entering the apartments. If no one opened the door to an apartment, they would violently hammer their way through.
Their message to the people in each apartment was the same: By tomorrow morning, your apartment needs to be empty or you will suffer the consequences.
That morning, Natasha decided to leave immediately. She was joined by her adult son, his wife, and three girls from her community. They travelled hundreds of kilometres to a town that was not occupied and this is where her son and his wife decided to stay.
Like most other men in Ukraine, her son would not have been allowed to cross the border and evacuate with them. His wife made the difficult decision to stay by his side. With a breaking heart, Natasha helped the couple settle into the new, safer city, then continued west with the three young girls.
“If I stay with my son, I cannot be of any help to him and his wife,” she explained to me. “Let me go to a neighboring country and hopefully I will find some work and be able to support them while they are here.”
During her journey, Natasha managed to connect with someone associated with another chocolate plant owned by the same company she worked for in Ukraine. Amazingly, the company promised her free accommodation and a job at their factory in Slovakia!
She is happy that her plan is seemingly going as intended. Nevertheless, she still longs for her town, her friends, and her family.
News reached Natasha that her chocolate factory back home had been hit by shelling, but she doesn’t yet know how badly it was damaged. If the factory owners manage to repair it after the war, she believes it will revive the life the town knew before this conflict. If they aren’t able to repair it, she is afraid the town will be left desolate.
She now had a job and accommodation waiting for her, but there was one small thing that she and the girls needed that would be even sweeter than the chocolate bar she was finishing as we wrapped up our conversation: a shower!
“We have not had it for several days as we were continually on the road,” she said.
After warm shower at the Adventist church nearby, they said they felt alive again, but the journey for these four ladies is not over yet. As we were walking to ADRA’s volunteer centre, they were on and off phone calls about the fate of their loved ones back home or on escape journeys of their own.
I couldn’t help but watch the expressions on their faces as they answered each call. There was a small uncomfortable spasm each time as they seemed to brace themselves for the worst news. When the news ended up not being tragic, they would exhale and visibly relax. Even thousands of kilometres away from the conflict, they were still experiencing it and will be until it ends.
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: June 30
It is day 126 of the Ukraine Crisis. Below is a summary of ADRA’s response in this time.
We are stronger together. This is more evident than ever as ADRA’s global network, local Adventist churches, and many other supporters and partners have come together to respond to this crisis.
Number of people helped: 710,000 (to date)
Number of projects: 60
Number of countries: 19
ADRA’s ongoing development projects have been suspended within Ukraine, allowing our team in the country to focus on emergency response.
- Delivering supplies to a women and children’s hospital including diapers, swaddles, and other essentials
- Providing psychological/mental health assistance to those sheltering from bombs.
- Coordinating transportation to help the most vulnerable evacuate safely
- Providing cash vouchers that allow people to purchase what they need
- Sending one of the very first humanitarian convoys into Ukraine to provide urgent aid.
- Continuing regular humanitarian convoys to Ukraine, delivering mattresses, bedding, hygiene kits, and other urgent essentials to help people who have been displaced from their homes within Ukraine
- Cash vouchers for vulnerable refugees to provide for transit needs
- Providing food, warm clothes, bus services, accommodation, washing facilities, and more to refugees arriving from Ukraine
- Distributing welcome packs at border reception points and on the railway, including hygiene items and other essentials
- Coordinating with local churches to provide accommodation and support refugees
- Developing a psychosocial support system for those facing mental health issues from their experiences
- Establishing temporary centers for refugees seeking shelter and safety
- Coordinating transportation services
- Providing daily meals and other essentials in refugee centers
- Acting as a contact point on the border to welcome refugees as they arrive, providing information and essential items
- Collecting material items in their warehouse for delivery to IDPs in Ukraine
- Providing accommodation through local church facilities and host families
- Welcoming refugees on the border with essential items
- Coordinating with local church leaders to provide accommodation
- Providing urgent care with mobile medical bus
- Developing transit centers to offer rest, nourishment, and psychosocial support
We will provide more updates as possible. Our teams responding in these countries are experiencing a crisis in real-time and will be putting the needs of humanity first to serve everyone who needs help.
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: June 9
ADRA has been responding to the Ukraine crisis since the conflict began in late February. While ADRA is responding in Ukraine and also in the surrounding countries that are receiving refugees, including Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, these numbers reflect the impact in Ukraine alone, as of June 9. Here is an update on the support you have made possible within Ukraine, in numbers.
? We have 23 individual projects within Ukraine as part of our response
? It is estimated ADRA Ukraine will help a projected 1.27 million people who have been affected by the crisis through their projects
? The collective ADRA Network, with funding coming in from Australia and around the world, has contributed more than $2 million to projects within Ukraine
? We have distributed 2.2 million loaves of bread
? 327,000+ metric tonnes of food has been delivered, helping 57,102 people
? 3,456 x 6L water bottles have been delivered 2km from the conflict line in Mariinka
? 54,000L of water has been trucked 5km from the conflict line in Avdiivka
? 3,289 people received hygiene kits
? 19,731 people have received cash payments or tokens. An additional 4,167 have been verified and another 21,248 are still to be registered
? 4,878 people have been evacuated from hotspots
None of this would be possible without your support of our Ukraine Response. We thank you for your generosity in helping those whose lives have been affected by the conflict. To donate, visit adra.org.au/disasters
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: April 16
ADRA Poland has been involved in helping Ukraine since the first hours of the conflict. ADRA Poland is active both in Poland, helping refugees, and in Ukraine, where they are providing humanitarian aid.
Almost every day a bus goes to Lviv, delivering:
On the way back to Poland the bus takes people who are fleeing from places occupied by war activities. So far, they have delivered 50 tonnes of humanitarian aid and over 1,500 people!
This activity is ongoing. At the same time, ADRA Poland have noticed “white spots” in humanitarian aid. These are primarily smaller towns where help is rarely received due to lack of constant communication. To give them equal access to relief efforts, ADRA Poland purchased 9-person minibuses that will reach the most needy.
The first minibus arrived in a secluded town on March 18.
This project is implemented in collaboration with partners, including you! To continue to support ADRA’s Ukraine Crisis support, donate at adra.org.au/donate.
Thank you ? Every amount makes a difference!
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: April 8
Distribution of humanitarian aid in the town of Nieżyn in the Chernihowski region of Ukraine.
Lying at the border with Belarus is one of the cities where the toughest battles have been taking place until recently. Last week, the city was surrounded by Russian troops. For many days it was under the fire of artillery and there was also an air attack. The municipal power plant was completely destroyed. The mayor of the city alarmed that Chernihowski was on the verge of a humanitarian disaster.
The situation in the region has improved, although there is no electricity, gas, water, and heating in many cities until today. Our humanitarian transport as one of the first arrived to the town of Nieżyn immediately after the withdrawal of Russian troops.
Thank you for your support so far! Thanks to your commitment, we can always provide food, water and other necessary resources to those affected by the war, especially those who are trapped in the ruined, cut off from the world towns across Ukraine.
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: April 6
ADRA Ukraine operates in Mukachevo, as well as on the border with Slovakia.
One of the offices of ADRA Ukraine is based in Mukachevo, Zakarpattia region. There are two warehouses here where humanitarian aid is shipped from all over the world on a regular basis. Every day with the joint efforts of the ADRA team and volunteers, the cargo is packed and delivered throughout Ukraine to help the most vulnerable in places where military operations are still ongoing.
In Mukachevo, food kits are distributed to citizens and personal hygiene kits can be obtained at the locations of where people have been internally displaced.
Food kits are also being handed out to people standing in long lines at the Uzhhorod-Vyshne-Nemetske checkpoint on the Ukrainian-Slovak border.
ADRA is helping those who have been forced to leave their homes and move to safer places.
Please note: ADRA Ukraine is working with their local contacts to receive and distribute supplies. ADRA is not accepting or helping to coordinate the shipping of donated goods. For more information on the best way to help in a crisis, visit https://donateresponsibly.org/
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: April 4
On Wednesday March 28, there was a special Concert for Ukraine, starring Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello, Snow Patrol and more. If you missed the concert, you can catch up on ABC iView here. This will be available until April 29.
All donations raised from the concert will go to the Emergency Action Alliance, of which ADRA is a founding member.
You can donate at abc.net.au/gives or by calling 1300 939 000
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: March 28
In times of disaster, a little kindness can go a long way.
Thank you to everyone who has supported our Ukraine response so far. Your act of kindness is helping to bring smiles to people who have lost everything.
ADRA is receiving refugees on the border in Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and Slovakia. Most of the women and children who have fled Ukraine cross the border with little more than the clothes on their back. Thanks to your support, we are able to provide essential goods including food, water, shelter, and most importantly, hope.
To support ADRA’s Ukraine response, visit adra.org.au/donate
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: March 24
A mother of two children, Masha thought at first that the conflict in Ukraine would end quickly. She chose to stay home until the bombs fell too close.
Finally, Masha realised she needed to flee with her two children. They left their home on foot, and embarked on a harrowing journey to safety.
An ADRA welcome tent provided her and her exhausted children with a place to rest, and she was connected to a nearby contact who has given her temporary housing.
You can read Masha’s full story at adra.org.au/mashas-journey-to-safety/
To support our response to the Ukraine Crisis, visit adra.org.au/donate
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: March 21
ADRA Australia has warmly welcomed the Australian Government’s $2 million commitment to Ukraine, which will support 15 Australian humanitarian aid charities that have united to launch an unprecedented, centralised appeal to help those affected by the war.
In a joint media statement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Foreign Minister Marise Payne and other key ministers, the Government said, “To enhance the response of Australian NGOs and their partners in the region, we will provide $2 million to the Emergency Action Alliance Ukraine Appeal – funding which will attract matched private donations.”
Michael Peach ADRA’s Emergency Response Coordinator in Poland said, “Poland continues to strengthen the systems for refugees and ADRA is also now exploring opportunities to support the at least 300,000 primary aged school kids from Ukraine who will be integrated into Polish schools. Kids that came across the border with nothing but the clothes on their backs. This war could last 4-6 months so it’s going to require a lot of money and effort.”
This Emergency Action Alliance Ukraine Appeal makes it easier for Australians to know how to help, and ensures funds are directed to those charities best able to help. Australians can donate to the appeal via the Emergency Action Alliance website.
ADRA Australia is proud to be a founding member of EAA and we encourage our supporters to give generously to the joint appeal. You can read more about the EAA joint appeal here.
Photo: Mykhaila* and her daughter from Loubny, central Ukraine, pose for a photograph at the Polish border on 8 March 2022. They travelled by train to Lviv, Ukraine, and then took a bus to the Medyka border crossing point and eventually arrived in Poland by foot. They intend to travel onwards to Germany. (*Name changed for security reasons)
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: March 16
A special message from the Church President of the Polish Union Conference, Pr Ryszard Jankowski, to Australian churches.
Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Poland are supporting the influx of refugees from Ukraine.
“Thank you for your friendship, thank you for your love, and for your support… For Ukraine, we need to pray. We want to be open, we want to be good Samaritans. We can’t pass by people who have great needs.”
To help support ADRA and the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s response to the Ukraine crisis, visit adra.org.au/donate
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: March 15
Meet Nina, a tech-savvy, resilient 82-year-old woman who evacuated Ukraine due to the war. And this isn’t her first time.
Nina was living in her 9th-floor apartment in a city caught in the war. Every night, she would hear sirens and explosions throughout the city. But she never went to a bomb shelter. “I am too old to go down from 9th floor all the time,” she said. “I just stayed there and hoped for the best.”
But then, her sister and brother-in-law decided to evacuate. She boarded a train from her home city to a small town across the border in Slovakia. She only took two small bags with documents, clothes, and “a flash drive with pictures on it.”
This isn’t Nina’s first time evacuating due to war. In 1942, as a toddler, she evacuated Ukraine for the first time with her parents during the Nazi invasion.
Nina is on her way to reunite with her son and two grandchildren in one of the neighboring countries. She knows her travel route well, but she doesn’t know when she’ll get to return to her 9th-floor apartment in Ukraine.
“I really don’t know when this will finish. But if it does finish, I would like to go back to my apartment,” said Nina.
To support ADRA’s Ukraine response, visit adra.org.au/donate
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: March 14
What does a welcome tent for refugees look like? Michael, one of our emergency communications officers who is in Romania, was guided through one of ADRA’s supply tents for incoming refugees by a local ADRA humanitarian. These tents provide incoming refugees with necessary essentials such as personal hygiene kits, food and diapers for young children, blankets for warmth, clothes and more.
With thousands of refugees crossing the border every day, this tent alone has to be restocked about five times a day. Your donations and prayers are helping make that possible! Visit adra.org.au/donate to give.
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: March 9
“My daughter didn’t deserve to leave her life like this. She’s still a child. She wants to play and watch her favourite movies. She asks, ‘why can’t we go to grandma’s house?’”
Victoria is a Ukrainian refugee currently seeking refuge in Romania. On the phone, Victoria’s husband tells her that he is still okay. Teary-eyed, Victoria admits that if not for her seven-year-old daughter, she would have stayed behind with him. But as the situation in Ukraine continued to deteriorate, Victoria’s husband insisted she take their daughter and flee across the border. Because of current restrictions, men between the ages of 18 and 60 are prohibited from leaving, but at least his wife and daughter would be safe.
Now, Victoria and several of her relatives are staying in a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Romania, almost 50km from the border with Ukraine. The church can hold up to 60 people at a time, and provides free meals, drinks, clothes, bedding, and access to shower pods, which were recently installed in the church basement bathrooms to accommodate the hygiene needs of the incoming refugees.
Some of them haven’t slept for four days, and haven’t showered,” says Vasile Copot, an ADRA volunteer at the church. “This is very important for them.”
For now, Victoria and her daughter are safe. It’s not much, but it is something she clings to.
“It’s a warm feeling in my heart,” she says. “Every chance I have to say, ‘thank you’, I say it.”
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: March 8
A humanitarian crisis is beginning to emerge in Ukraine. Because this crisis stems from a conflict zone, it is a layered crisis affecting people in different ways.
UNHCR is estimating up to 4 million people will become refugees due to the conflict.
As the crisis continues, crowds at the border are surging and conditions are becoming volatile. At the moment, this involves mainly women and children crossing borders on foot. Many have walked several kilometres to find safety.
➡️ Human Trafficking
The mass exodus from Ukraine is leading to a human trafficking issue at the border. Many women and children are now fearful of accepting rides from humanitarian agents as the situation becomes unsafe.
➡️ Internally Displaced People
The most vulnerable people in a conflict are internally displaced persons (IDPs). Currently, the U.N. estimates that 7 million people will become IDPs due to this crisis. Directly impacted by the conflict, most of these IDPs will have critical humanitarian needs.
➡️ What is ADRA doing?
ADRA is responding both within Ukraine and in surrounding countries. Our response includes:
– Providing life-saving supplies to IDPs in Ukraine such as warm blankets, food, medical supplies, and mattresses
– Welcoming refugees at border locations with essential items and a place to rest
– Coordinating with local Adventist churches and church members to house refugees
You can support ADRA’s Ukraine response by donating at adra.org.au/donate
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: March 7
Michael Peach is the Emergency Response Coordinator for ADRA in Poland, helping to coordinate the humanitarian response to those who are fleeing Ukraine and crossing the border. This weekend, he shared this update with us:
“I just want to share with you a short video that we received overnight from just inside the border, just a few kilometres from here inside Ukraine, where people, thousands of people, have queued overnight for more than 20 hours to this morning to get across the border into Poland in these very cold conditions.”
ADRA is responding to the Ukraine crisis by providing assistance to refugees and internally displaced people. We are providing food, water, blankets, and winter clothing to those who are fleeing the conflict. To support ADRA’s response, visit adra.org.au/donate
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: March 4
ADRA is a global organisation, and nowhere is this more evident than during our response to a crisis. We have humanitarians from all over the world coming together to support our team in Ukraine and all those affected by this conflict.
As thousands of people flee Ukraine every day in search of safety, ADRA teams in countries around the conflict zone are continuously evaluating their response to best reach every person.
In Poland: Poland is currently receiving the greatest number of refugees from Ukraine. ADRA humanitarians are meeting refugees with packages including hygiene items.
ADRA has also begun organising psycho-social support for incoming refugees, as well as coordinating with the local Adventist church in securing accommodations for displaced persons.
In Slovakia: ADRA teams in Slovakia are working with partners to support refugees at the border with basic needs such as psycho-social support and refreshments. They have also partnered with the local Adventist church to provide accommodations for refugees.
In Hungary: ADRA in Hungary has established a contact point for refugees at the border and coordinated with the local Adventist church to provide temporary housing. They are also coordinating the delivery of essential items to west Ukraine.
In Romania: ADRA teams have established five permanent reception stands for refugees at separate border locations. They have coordinated accommodations for refugees with the local Adventist church and have the capacity to accommodate over 2,500 people. ADRA is providing food, hygiene, and clothing items to displaced persons, as well a psycho-social support and medical assistance. Additionally, ADRA recently completed its second humanitarian convoy into Ukraine with emergency supplies.
In Ukraine: From the beginning of this conflict, ADRA, in partnership with the local Adventist Church, has been providing assistance and aid to people in Ukraine. Amongst other things, ADRA’s response in Ukraine includes:
-Housing IDPs in Adventist churches
-Helping transport individuals in transit to safety
-Providing supplies to shelters and churches housing displaced people
Please keep the committed humanitarians serving refugees and IDPs in your prayers. If you are able to give, you can do so at adra.org.au/donate
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: March 3
After 33 hours, the second humanitarian convoy from Romania into Ukraine arrived home safely.
The humanitarian donation of over 10 tonnes of supplies, implemented by ADRA Romania, was in collaboration with the organisation “Relihiyne upraadlinnya” Western Conference Transcarpatia, Headquarter in Lviv.
Tens of thousands of donated products (mattresses, beds, pillows, clothes, hygiene products, detergent, cooking food, first aid products, medicines and food supplements), transported on Wednesday March 2 with the help of 18 volunteers from ADRA Romania, have arrived at the Educational Center in Transcarpatia, the Center that became a shelter for refugees in Kiev area.
Emergency humanitarian assistance for refugees carried out by the volunteers of ADRA Romania continues at the Halmeu border points, in Satu Mare, Sighetu Marmatiei, in Maramure ș county, Siret, in Suceava county, Isaccea, in Tul county Te and the North Station, from Bucharest.
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: 2 March
During an ADRA network meeting, one of our colleagues in Ukraine provided a status update while shelling could be heard in the background. The audio clip provides a small portion of his update where the shelling is heard.
Our team at ADRA Ukraine, even as they live through the crisis themselves, continue to provide humanitarian aid along with partners and support from outside the country. They are working with the local Adventist Church to provide accommodations, food, water and hygiene to internally displaced people within Ukraine.
Another area of focus is providing psycho-social support, both to internally displaced persons and refugees who have fled the country.
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: March 1
Over the weekend, ADRA Romania began organising one of the first humanitarian convoys into Ukraine. This convoy delivered hope and supplies to internally displaced persons in West Ukraine. Supplies delivered included mattresses, sanitary items, linens and more. Volunteer drivers could see that many families live in shelters without electricity and with limited food supplies. Volunteers safely returned to Ukraine after 29 hours.
Refugees who decide to seek safety outside of Ukraine are welcomed by ADRA teams at the borders. On Sunday, ADRA teams in Poland provided food and welcoming packages.
As people travel away from battlefields and seek refuges across Europe, more ADRA teams are cooperating with Adventist churches. Many locations are now becoming shelters.
You can donate to ADRA’s Ukraine response at adra.org.au/disaster
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: February 28
As the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine continues, ADRA teams in the surrounding countries of Poland, Hungary and Romania are in position and ready to respond to the needs of incoming refugees.
As more people seek to flee the conflict in Ukraine, ADRA teams are reporting crowd surges and increased volatility at the borders. We continue to work at multiple border locations to ensure the safety of all who are seeking refuge in the midst of this humanitarian crisis.
Your donation today will help ADRA respond on the ground in Ukraine, providing water, food, blankets, clothes and shelter to those in need, while also helping surrounding countries prepare to care for those in need fleeing Ukraine. To donate go to adra.org.au/disasters. Thank you for your continued prayers and support
UPDATE on ADRA’s Ukraine Response: February 24
As tensions along the eastern border of Ukraine increase, ADRA is committed to supporting humanitarian efforts to deliver aid and support to those affected by conflict.
With ADRA Ukraine staff and volunteers in Kyiv, Kramatorsk, Mariupol and Mukachevo, ADRA is preparing to respond in any part of the country.
Already, humanitarian organisations are working together to identify the greatest needs and to prepare to respond. Anticipated needs include winter clothes, blankets, food and other basic items. And, on both sides of the “contact line”, water supplies have been disrupted, leaving over 400,000 people without access to water.
Additionally, ADRA has long-term programs that will continue to require support throughout this period of uncertainty. This includes continuing their program in the east of Ukraine where thousands of residents in the remote villages along the contact line are without access to water and other basic needs.
Efforts are being made to procure food, water and sanitation items, and non-food items to store in warehouses in other regions of Ukraine to be distributed if the banks and shops close. Similar work is happening to procure cash/certificates/vouchers to be distributed if the banks and shops close. ADRA is also working to obtain petrol to fuel ADRA and partner vehicles to evacuate the vulnerable population where the local authorities are not able to do so.
We will keep you updated with ADRA’s response in Ukraine.
If you’d like to support our disaster relief fund, you can donate here.