Since Russia launched a full-scale invasion on Ukraine in February 2022, the lives of countless children, women and men have been torn apart. Millions were forced to leave Ukraine and become refugees, and millions more are now displaced within the country. Approximately 17.6 million people – 49% of the current population – now need humanitarian assistance and protection, a vast increase from more than 3 million people who needed aid at the start of 2022.
The total number of Ukrainian and Russian troops killed or wounded since the war in Ukraine began is nearing 500,000, U.S. officials said. These war casualties have left tens of thousands of widows and orphans.
Despite the destruction wrought by Russia’s invasion, Ukraine has continued to provide services to its people at an exemplary level throughout the war. And much like their foundress – Blessed Mary Angela – the Felician Sisters are steadfast in aiding those impacted by the war.
Ukraine Update from Sister Maria Oksana Zhovnir, Provincial Councilor in Poland
For more than a year and a half, the war in Ukraine has been going on, which continues to bring suffering, a lack of basic living conditions, hunger, separation and, unfortunately, death. The elderly and children are the most severely affected. Families enduring the loss of loved ones and possessions still require support and help. Thanks to generous benefactors from Poland and abroad, and particularly our sisters from the Our Lady of Hope Province and their generous benefactors, we are trying to help the most needy people of Ukraine to the best of our ability.
Your Giving Counts
Each month, the Felician Sisters in Poland continue partnering with religious or humanitarian organizations to further their reach in supporting Ukrainian individuals and families. Your support combined with the support of Polish families helps to extend the reach of love and compassion to this war-torn nation.
Caritas Poland FAMILY Program provides material assistance to four families from Ukraine every month. Your support also helped the sisters sponsor a holiday for a group of children whose fathers died defending their homeland.
Parcel for Ukraine works in cooperation with Caritas in Przemyśl. Through your support, another 200 packages were prepared. Sr. Julia Kałdon and postulant Justyna Nowak helped to oversee this project and were assisted by a number of our novices who also joined in to help.
Late this summer, the Felician Sisters had enough funds to buy basic products and necessities for 150 families. These supplies were delivered by a local priest and volunteers to the residents of Kherson, a regional city in the southeast of Ukraine and has been occupied since the beginning of the war. All factories have been closed, and the residents have been living on the meager humanitarian aid from the Russians. Many families left because of the danger and difficult living conditions under occupation. The city’s population was 350,000 before the war and today, there are only 50,000 citizens. Most are the elderly, their caregivers, and children.
The Dnieper River flows through the city, dividing it into two parts. In November 2023, part of the city south of the river was liberated. The joy of the people was great! Still, they continue to be concerned for those family members who remain on the northern side of the Dnieper as they only have contact with them online.
Tragically, the Russians blew up the dam in Nova Kakhovka this summer causing severe flooding. Many homes were destroyed, as well as cultivated spring fields and gardens, which were the main source of sustenance for the locals. At that time, help was coming from different parts of Ukraine and the world.
Sister Maria Oksana visited Kherson September 23-25, 2023. She witnessed that Kherson and its surroundings are becoming less and less safe. The Russians continue their shelling and this stops humanitarian aid and other deliveries. She noted, “Looking from the sidelines, this city looks almost dead. People don’t go outside much, because of the danger, but also because of no work, and closed shops.” Sister Maria continued, “The children’s biggest dreams are to be able to play with their peers, and the elderly are to be able to buy what they like, not just what they get. Despite the fact that their everyday life is so difficult, they are very grateful for any help and believe that it will come to their city and peace throughout Ukraine.”
Consider giving today. Your donation makes a difference. Thank you, and God bless all who have given.