Every August 24, Brazil celebrates the Independence Day of Ukraine. The milestone was instituted in 2010, and the date chosen is the same as when Ukraine celebrates the declaration of its independence, which occurred in 1991.
In 2022, the Eastern European country completes 31 years of independence in the midst of war with its neighbor Russia. The conflict has left 5,587 civilians dead and 7,890 injured since February 24. The figures were revealed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) last Monday (August 22), six months after the fighting began. The authorities also stated that about 9,000 military personnel have lost their lives fighting to defend their country.
Since the beginning of the war, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Brazil has been providing support to the Ukrainian population. The work of collection, logistics, and distribution of funds and basic necessities has already benefited thousands of citizens who suffered losses in the conflict. This week, the agency's Brazilian team talked to Artem Dikthiaruk, director of emergencies for the Ukrainian team, to learn about the current humanitarian situation and how it is possible to continue helping (see below a thank-you video recorded by Artem that he gave to ADRA Brasil).
What is the current situation in Ukraine?
In the middle of Independence Day, the authorities and media are advising the population to double back and stay in the shelters, even though there are currently no completely safe places in the regions where we are directly operating.
We are entering the winter period, which complicates the current picture even more. People here still need clothes, food, and even to rebuild their houses, which, in many cases, are completely destroyed, to be able to face this change of season.
There is also a need for cash, as many Ukrainians are being relocated or evacuated from the most dangerous cities. They need to start their lives over with as little money as possible.
What are ADRA's activities in Ukraine today?
One of the [activities] here is the relocation of Ukrainians—taking them from dangerous places to safer cities within their own country. Among the main tasks in this project are the collection and distribution of financial resources, transportation of families to their new homes, food, shelter, etc.
We also continue to distribute food and hygiene items, especially to the population in our shelters. The help sent by Brazilians has been fundamental for this response, which still represents a great challenge for our team. In fact, a concern we have at the moment is getting trucks to bring supplies to the Ukraine from other European countries.
We continue to provide safe places to house families whose homes have been completely destroyed or are uninhabitable. We do complete management of these shelters.
Another [one] of our ongoing projects is housing reconstruction. Authorities have reported that there are 6.5 million Ukrainians displaced because of the war. The help sent by ADRA Brasil has also made this project possible.
Our team is also offering psychosocial help through telephone consultations and face-to-face meetings. With the help of trained volunteers, we have already performed 6 million interventions since February of this year.
How can we help?
The greatest support is prayer. We count on your prayers for our staff, employees, and volunteers. Today is six months since the conflict began, and we are exhausted. God is giving us the strength we need to continue on this journey.
We also continue to count on everyone's donations. To help us, just send us your contribution through ADRA's official website.