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Preparing To Help Ukrainian Refugees in Romania

Preparing To Help Ukrainian Refugees in Romania
Ukrainian mother and child at the Ukrainian border February 27, 2022.

Dear Friends of Livada,

Many of you have asked what you can do to help. We are asking the same questions and want to give you an honest, up to date answer. There are many moving parts.

Over the past few days our staff in Romania was initially preparing for a group of 30 orphans from eastern Ukraine. However, at the border, some of the boys were found to be over 18, and not allowed to leave, so the entire caravan of kids and caregivers turned around to head deep into the Carpathian Mountains so they could stay together.

Since then, we have been told that there is a possibility of a partnership with a group that has 60 very young children that have all been finalized for adoption to the USA. Because there are no flights out of Ukraine, they might be headed to Romania so that adoptive parents can pick up the kids from there instead. IF this happens, then we are prepared to provide them safe accommodations, transport, food, etc. while they wait on parents to come and pick them up. This is still pending.

Meanwhile, our connections in Ukraine and at two of the border crossings from Ukraine to Romania have told us the following: An estimated 500,000 Ukrainians are mostly heading in Western Europe where they have family or other connections. They are calling this group “the first wave.” Approximately 70% of them fall into this category. The other 30% are displaced and all border towns are taking them in to church families and other make shift shelters. Emergency supplies are currently available at the border. The lines for cars at every border crossing are dozens of miles long and no men between the ages of 18-60 are allowed to leave. On the contrary, they are told that they have to get out of their cars immediately and join the army. The women and children are left to fend for themselves as best they can. On top of having the trauma of leaving home with kids in a hurry, they also have the trauma of such separation on the spot. Our contacts directly at the border have our contact information and offer to house and care for these women and children. This is also pending. We currently have 30 beds available in our large guest house (Casa Rene) that the staff has made ready.

The biggest preparation is yet to come. An estimated and anticipated “second wave” will be from those who did not have western contacts and are displaced with no safe place to go inside Ukraine. THIS IS THE GROUP THAT WE ARE PREPARING FOR THE MOST. We have two other facilities that we could ready for families if they were going to be displaced for a while. It is being reported on major news media outlets and at the border that this group will be 5 MILLION PEOPLE. These will be people who do not have western contacts and already do not have a lot of resources. Since all ATMs are out of cash in the country and credit/debit cards are not always available to be used, and infrastructures are being incapacitated, this will be an ENORMOUS humanitarian aid crisis.

Therefore, we are keen to NOT sound opportunistic here. We do not want to put out a plea for funds to help if we do not have refugees yet or a clear strategy, budget, and system of accountability in place. So as we are feverishly working on all of these things, we are asking for your PRAYERS. First, for Ukraine in every way possible. Secondly, for us to be connected with those the LORD wants us to help in any way possible. 

Once more is made clear, we will need funds to assist these Ukrainian souls. When we have certainty on who is actually en route, we will send out another email and Facebook announcement asking for your help and provide clear details as to what is needed. This is all being done in the name of Jesus and for His glory. Pray with us to that end as well.

THANK YOU in advance for praying with us for these things.

Bruce, Vio, and the Livada Orphan Care/Fundatia LOC staff team

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