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Ukraniane
Helping Salesians Save Lives

Salesian Missions Australia has launched an Emergency Appeal to aid our Salesians of Don Bosco in Ukraine and surrounding communities to bring aid to refugees.

24th June Update

We are extremely pleased and greatful to report that with your generous support Salesian Missions Australia has raised over $208,000 for the ongoing relief effort for Ukraine. Meanwhile Don Bosco’s Salesians throughout Poland have become particulary active in aiding victims of the war; they share a sizable border with Ukraine.

The on-going challenge is to prepare housing for refugees who are mostly women and children. They have housed over 1100 refugees in Salesian works throughout Poland, however this number is dynamic and changes daily.

Community members working with the Salesians have also opened their doors to provide safe housing for Ukraine families. It is estimated it will cost just over 500,000 euros ($746,000 AUD) a month to continue to provide assistance.

Despite the complications of war, Salesians have managed to send dozens of humanitarian convoys to Ukraine, containing medical supplies, food, blankets, power generators and personal hygiene items. Community members also make their cars available to perform this important work.

Churches have been converted into storage facilities where volunteers from Ukraine and Poland participate in the sorting and packaging of donations, as well as providing assistance at reception points throughout cities and at the border of Ukraine.

Over 75,000 Ukrainian children have already started their education in Polish schools, some of them attended Salesian Schools in Ukraine.

In addition, the Youth Centres are open and offering special programs such as Polish language courses, medical and legal assistance, psychological support and facilitate the search for places for refugees to live and work.

Education is Stronger than Bombs

Yarina is 16 years old and left Lviv with her mother the day the war started. She admits that she likes biology, although she is still not sure what she will study when the war is over. She has seven hours of class a day and it's time to check her mobile phone to see her 30 classmates: "Some are in Italy, others in France and Spain, but most of us are in Poland".

Yarina's classmates are waiting for Physical Education class to come so they can use this time to chat with their friends about what they are experiencing in different places.

"We know that the war will end one day, and we hope it will be very soon. We all want to go back to Ukraine and be in our united families again. At the moment we are beating Russia in this aspect too, because they can't destroy our culture and our desire to learn, even if they bomb our schools”.

"The best thing we can do to keep our minds off the war is to keep busy," says Yarina's mother.

"I have started looking for a job in Warsaw and my daughter has online classes and connects daily with her school in Ukraine to try to keep everything as normal as possible."

A Desperate Call Answered

Fr. Josef Nuckowski, a Salesian from the city of Birbrko, Ukraine, sent out an appeal for an ambulance for the local hospital. His appeal was heard by some donors on the other side of the world, who lept at the chance to provide funds for such a worthy cause!

After some time searching for suitable vehicles and a reasonable price, two ambulances were sourced from Serbia. At the same time, three pallets full of vital medical supplies and gear arrived in Serbia, funded by the collections of many donors.

They were loaded into the back of the ambulance for delivery – all of these made possible only through a wave of kindness that wrapped around the world!

Free Polish Classes

40 Mothers and their children have found refuge at the Salesian school in Oswiecim, Poland. They are learning Polish together, in the hopes that they will be able to find work, integrate into mainstream schools and restart their lives.

Fleeing to Lviv

Lviv is a city in Western Ukraine, somewhat removed from the direct violence, situated 80km from the border with Poland. Many people flee from the worst hit areas of the conflict to this city and Salesian centres have tried to welcome as many as possible.

Four families, totalling 48 people arrived at the St. Phillip Rinaldi centre, having escaped their home in Lysychansk 40 days earlier. After their miraculous escape from their city they spent 40 days without a wash as they only had a little water to cook food and sip on, as they sought somewhere safe to stay. Sleeping conditions were particulary tough.

So many people have now fled to Lviv that the local government is setting up container-homes for ten thousand families. Some of these will be placed in Salesian Centres. These container-towns will provide each family with a little ‘home’ in a modified container. They include proper bedrooms, a toilet and shared mobile kitchens across multiple containers. The Salesians are eager to welcome these families as new parishioners and students!

Donations are tax deductible.

Tina Newton
Director
Salesian Missions Australia

Please note that the Australian Salesian Missions Overseas Aid Fund (ASMOAF) is a registered fund owned and operated by the Salesian Society (Vic) Inc. All donations for Emergency Relief and Development is tax deductible. Salesian Missions Australia is a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and subscribe to its Code of Conduct and registered with The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC).
The Australian Salesian Overseas Mission Aid Fund takes your privacy very seriously. To read our policy pertaining to your privacy, click here. All of our other policies are available here.


For further information, please contact the Salesian Missions Office 03 9377 6060 or Contact Us

Please note that the Australian Salesian Missions Overseas Aid Fund (ASMOAF) is a registered fund owned and operated by the Salesian Society (Vic) Inc. It has Australian Taxation Office approval for tax deductibility for donations given for the relief of poverty in developing countries.

ASMOAF supports various Salesian projects in developing countries in accordance with the wishes of donors.


22nd March Update

Don Bosco's Salesians throughout Poland continue to join forces to help the victims of the war. The on-going challenge is to prepare housing for refugees which are mostly women and children. Currently, they have housed over 1100 refugees in Salesian works throughout Poland, however this number is dynamic and changes daily.

Community members working with the Salesians have also opened their doors to provide safe housing for Ukraine families. It is estimated at a cost of 15 euro a day per refugee less Polish Government Subsidy it will cost just over 500,000 a month to continue to provide assistance.

Despite the threat of war, Salesians have managed to send dozens of humanitarian convoys to Ukraine, containing medical supplies, food, blankets, power generators, personal hygiene items including 47 tons of flour to make bread. Community members also make their cars available to perform this important work. Churches have been converted into storage facilities where volunteers from Ukraine and Poland participate in the sorting and packaging of donations and provide assistance at reception points throughout cities and at the border of Ukraine.


This video follows some of the workers as they go about their critical efforts

Over 75,000 Ukrainian children have already started their education in Polish schools, some of them attended Salesian Schools in Ukraine. In addition, the Youth Centres are open and offering special programs such as Polish language courses, medical and legal assistance, psychological support and facilitate the search for places for refugees to live and work.

We are pleased to say with your generous support Salesian Missions Australia has raised over $48,000 for Ukraine Relief. Thank you for your support as we continue to be united and pray for peace.

Natalka’s Story - Only Bread

Without light and heating for days, sheltered in a cellar, with all the shops closed and only being able to buy bread when it was distributed in the streets... this was Natalka's life with her children, aged five and two, before leaving Kharkov three weeks ago.

"The worst thing was the cold for my children, because all I could think about was what I was leaving behind – my husband, but most of all what I was gaining by saving their lives".

Natalka's eldest son, Oleh, often asks about his father. "I have told him that he has gone on a journey, when in fact we are the ones who have travelled".

Until they reached Medyka, the border crossing to Poland, they spent several days on foot, as well as by bus and train. "The worst thing was the cold and the snow, carrying one child in my arms, a big backpack and holding the other by the hand. It is very unfair what we are suffering," she says.

One of the Salesians of the house that took her in tells me that "they arrive with a lot of stress and anguish, even the children, for whom everything is new. One day, out in the courtyard, Natasha heard the sound of an aeroplane and Natalka was in a state of shock as she relived the moments before the bombing".

Natalka tries to talk to her husband every day, but they can't give each other much information either. "It is enough for me to know that he is well and that we are still united. I also console him with the solidarity I have received since I arrived in Poland, especially from the Salesians.

2nd March Update:


The lines at border control posts to leae Ukraine have been inundated by people seeking to escape the violence.

In Ukraine, Salesians are working tirelessly, caring for orphans as well as providing shelter and relief to those in need. Salesian Communities in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are actively working with local agencies to protect and take care of as many Ukraine refugees as they can, arranging transport and emergency shelter; providing food, baby formula, clean water and generators for heat and cooking; procuring and distributing medical supplies, blankets and personal hygiene items; whatever the need may be.


The Salesians in Ukraine have released a video highlighting some of the most pressing issues.

UNHCR, the U.N. Refugee Agency, has reported that almost 700,000 refugees have fled Ukraine for neighbouring countries in just 7 days since the invasion begun. Almost all of this number are women, children and the elderly; families have been torn apart as fathers, husbands and brothers have remained in Ukraine to fight (some conscripted, some volunteer). The U.N. has estimated the conflict could produce as many as 4 million refugees.


The conflict has robbed thousdands upon thousands of the most precious time of their lives; childhood.

In addition, Salesians in Ukraine are sheltering minors and their families who have remained in the country. Father Chaban Mykahylo, said, “This situation continues to be tragic. We do not know how long this war will continue, and we must be ready for a long period. There are many victims among the soldiers, but also among civilians. Throughout all of Ukraine, there is a danger of bombing. Our capital, Kyiv, is suffering a lot, as well as the areas bordering Russia. People are fleeing their homes and are in need of our help.”

To help support refugees you may wish to donate to the Salesian Missions Australia via our website Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund or contact our office on 03 9377 6060 or mail your donation to Salesian Missions Australia, P O Box 264, Ascot Vale, Vic 3032.


As each moment passes, more people reach the Ukrainian border and the situation only becomes more dire for all involved.

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