One year after the invasion of Ukraine, the ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) teams continue to serve the people affected, whether still in Ukraine or outside its borders. ADRA will continue to support them through financial and material resources, with the involvement of professionals and volunteers in daily activities.
In the past year, ADRA transported more than 55,000 people to safety in Ukraine alone. It gave the Ukrainians 16.5 million loaves of bread, 412,000 liters of water, and 2.3 million food kits. ADRA sheltered 66,000 people. More than €18 million (approx. US$19.2 million) were allocated for various interventions, reaching over 7 million beneficiaries in Ukraine.
“As humanitarian workers, we see the daily suffering of children, women, men, elderly or young people affected by the war. We see the destruction, the violence, the death. This trauma will continue as long as the war goes on. After one year of such an unprecedented tragedy in Europe in the 21st century, it is time to bring hope and peace back to the destroyed land on both sides,” said Thomas Petracek, ADRA Europe’s director of Programs & Emergency Response. “Therefore, in a battle of the war, I appeal to all decision-makers to recall the purpose of life and to open the way from darkness to light. My cordial thanks and appreciation go to all who contribute to mitigating suffering and bringing hope to the depressed. ADRA will persist in serving and fulfilling its mission as stated in the ADRA motto: justice, compassion, and love.”
Activities within and outside Ukraine include humanitarian aid transports, distribution of food and non-food items, evacuations, water supply, accommodations, basic shelter reconstruction, winterization with heat and energy supply, psychosocial support and mental health, protection for women and children, essential medical check-ups for the refugees and internally displaced people, legal advice, foreign language courses, art therapy, support for children education, and medical equipment for hospitals and refugee centers in Ukraine.
Humanitarian Aid Transports
Transport of humanitarian aid is vital. ADRA has vast experience in the field, and many European offices have been delivering support. Among those is ADRA Romania, which has sent over 70 humanitarian aid convoys of donated food, hygiene products, clothing and footwear, books, and first aid products to Ukraine.
Shelter and Accommodation
Since the restart of hostilities, ADRA has helped people with shelter when they were traveling to safety. Many humanitarian spots enabled distressed people to take a break from fleeing the war horrors. People also need help with finding new accommodations in host communities and paying rent. In Poland, ADRA offers safe asylum and helps them to become independent with their Cash for rent program.
Families fleeing the conflict in Ukraine can receive financial support for renting an apartment for three months. Three regions in Ukraine have accommodation centers for internally displaced persons and serve the needs of people who had to find shelter from the effects of conflict.
ADRA’s Integration Centers
ADRA Poland is running several Integration Centers for Foreigners in various regions of Poland. The institutions are a comprehensive form of integration assistance. Their characteristic feature is the concentration of expert services in one place, addressed to people fleeing the conflict who decided to stay in Poland.
During the conflict, many infrastructures were destroyed. People lost their homes. They have lost access to basic needs such as water. ADRA offices, such as ADRA Czech Republic and ADRA Ukraine, partner with many organizations and private companies to provide Ukrainians with clean potable water.
ADRA teams in Ukraine and host communities around Europe have stepped up and ensured no one lacks food or other basic needs items. ADRA distributed tens of millions of loaves of bread, food packages, general-purpose supplemented kit, packages for babies and toddlers, and food certificates. Since April 2022, ADRA Ukraine has worked with the U(nited) N(ations) World Food Program, reaching more than 6.4 million people and distributing 36.439 tons of food assistance.
Despair, fear, anxiety, and loss of the meaning of life—since February 24, 2022, many have lived with such feelings daily. ADRA psychologists provide psychological support to help people overcome difficult moments and find lost footing. The physiological activities focus on different target groups, such as orphans, children, women who raise children with disabilities, and teenagers. The methods include individual counseling, group therapy, art therapy, and music therapy. These activities have helped hundreds of people who find it challenging to cope independently with traumatic experiences gained as a result of the conflict.
Equipment for Hospitals
Together with partners, ADRA provides the most necessary medical equipment to healthcare facilities in conflict conditions. Ukraine hospitals have already received medical equipment, such as laparoscopic stands, ultrasound therapy devices, surgical monitors for laparoscopy, defibrillators, ventilators, ECG machines, and anesthesia machines through the partnership with Airlink. ADRA Germany delivered two mobile-computed tomography scans. Hospitals also received beds.
Many offices are gathering funds for hospital generators, like ADRA Slovakia and ADRA Poland. The electric generator is a backup energy source for the most endangered hospital departments: operating theaters and ICUs. The supply of electricity to these wards is vital for patients.
Evacuation and Transports
Social transportation is crucial for residents of those Ukraine regions where it is impossible to solve urgent issues due to the destruction of infrastructure and transport restrictions. Visiting a doctor, shopping, or going to administrative facilities is more accessible with the social transportation ADRA provides.
ADRA is helping people survive the harsh winter in Ukraine. Wintering refers to efforts that improve or provide insulation and heating in a shelter. Insulation interventions, such as one from ADRA Czech Republic, can include insulating walls and ceilings and repairing or replacing windows with double-glazed models with a higher insulating value. They are also replacing damaged radiators, boilers, and heaters.
Shelters operated by ADRA are also deprived of electricity and heating supplies. Many places, including those with small children, do not have access to hot meals, and people are freezing in very cold buildings. ADRA offices are providing them with generators.
Many people, such as the residents of accommodation centers in Ukraine and those finding shelter in Romania, receive winter kits that include essential items for the winter period: thermoses, sleeping bags, and blankets.
Residents of the territories in Ukraine where hostilities took place are starting to rebuild their homes. ADRA is helping them with certificates for obtaining construction materials to reconstruct damaged homes.
During the holiday period, ADRA has shown what it means to lift people’s spirits in the darkest periods of their lives. With volunteers and local churches, ADRA organized several festive activities, like creating holiday decorations in Moldova, tree decorating, concerts in all 15 of ADRA Czech Republic’s volunteer centers, theater performances, crafting workshops, etc. Children in Ukraine and abroad received gifts with donations flooding all around Europe, including from Slovakia, Switzerland, and Belgium.
ADRA offices provide legal assistance in host countries for people fleeing the conflict zone, helping them access their rights and supporting their integration.
Since the beginning of the conflict, many people in Ukraine have faced the problem of destruction or damage to their real estate property due to hostilities. ADRA provides free legal assistance for internally displaced people in Dnipro, Ukraine’s fourth-largest city, with about 1 million inhabitants.
The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-European Division website.