Christmas, the celebration of the advent, is, for most of us, a festive time of joy and closeness. For children, it is a time of looking forward to gifts. For Christians, it is a time to celebrate Jesus' soon return. This Christmas is also the first, and hopefully the last, that millions of people have to spend away from home, separated from their families and friends because of the conflict in Ukraine. In 2022, ADRA Czech Republic strived to make their holiday season as comfortable as possible.
“The children are waiting for gifts and do not lose faith, but they miss home and their father very much. New Year is undoubtedly a special time, and it is fascinating to see how this holiday is celebrated in the Czech Republic. We plan to celebrate as always with family, but for the first time, without my dad. It is very sad,” explained Vladislava, a Ukrainian refugee in the Czech Republic.
Even though Christmas is celebrated in Ukraine a few days later than in the Czech Republic, and the customs and way of celebration are also different, the time spent with family and friends is what unites both countries.
Therefore, ADRA prepared various joint events for refugees from Ukraine, the vast majority of whom are women and children. The festivities brought Czech traditions closer. Additionally, they provided a friendly environment and an open community where everyone felt welcome and safe.
“Christmas is not a real holiday for me this year because we are not at home and there is a war in our country. But Christmas trees and children’s smiles remain ... We live with hope for better times,” Natalia said.
Thanks to Air Bank’s financial support, all 15 of ADRA Czech Republic’s volunteer centers were able to organize events for children and adults.
ADRA Czech Republic is encouraging us to open our hearts this Christmas time and remember those in need. We can support them through prayer and donations.