2023 July Update: Aid for Displaced Ukrainians
From the onset of the war in Ukraine, the Hungarian Unitarian Church and its charity organization Gondviselés (in English: Providence) have responded to the needs of refugees and those internally displaced. This is the 2023 July update.
Please read a very personal report by IWC board member Gizella Nagy, who accompanied Providence staff on their April 2023 aid mission to Berehove, Transcarpathia.
Shipments to Southern Ukraine (Odesa, Mykolaiv, Liubashivka)
On 21 June 2023, Providence Organization dispatched its 7th relief consignment to southern Ukraine. IWC executive director Zsófia Sztranyiczki and her husband assisted with the loading of the van bound for Odesa.
The shipment included a generator worth $14,700 (for the emergency hospital in Mykolaiv) and 630 liters of a special dialysis solution worth $7,000 (for a hospital in Liubashivka, about 200 km north of Odesa). The aid shipment was delivered by Vladimir Skalski, who is a refugee guest of the Hungarian Unitarian Church together with his family, and Olivér Kiss, journalist of the local (Cluj) Hungarian newspaper. Please see a short video before departure:
A two-part special report (with pictures) of this humanitarian action is available here:
Shipments to Transcarpathia (Southwest Ukraine)
On 5 July 2023, IWC executive director Zsófia Sztranyiczki accompanied Providence vice president Rev. Attila Vagyas on Providence’s ninth aid shipment to Transcarpathia. They had hoped to be able to cross into Ukraine, but learned from Providence’s partners on the ground (Berehove,Transcarpathia) that the lines are so long at the border that it might take 4-5 hours to cross. The decision was made to transfer the shipment onto a Ukrainian van (which crossed the border for this purpose) at the Reformed Church’s Diaconal Center in Gelénes, about 15 kms from the Hungarian-Ukrainian border. The shipment, valued at $5,750 USD, consisted of two pallets of non-perishable food items, 60 pairs of rubber boots, cleaning products (liquid soap and detergent) and 205 tourniquets.
Since the onset of the war, Providence has delivered 16 (sixteen) aid shipments to Ukraine: 7 (seven) to southern Ukraine (Odesa and Mykolaiv area), mainly consisting of medical supplies, generators, and medications, and 9 (nine) to Transcarpathia (southwest Ukraine). The Diaconal Center of the Transcarpathian Reformed Church used part of the donations received for the internally displaced people that they are housing in the area, and the remainder were sent on to the regions ravaged by the war in eastern Ukraine.
Thanks to the generous donations of Unitarian Universalist siblings-in-faith and other donors from Romania and Hungary, the total amount that Providence has spent on various humanitarian and educational activities to support Ukrainian refugees and those internally displaced – from February 2022 to July 2023 – has reached $230,000 USD.