THE SALVATION ARMY RESPONSE TO THE UKRAINE CRISIS
Prince Charles of Wales recently visited the capital of Romania where a refugee response operation is in full motion. The Romexpo Donation Center in Bucharest welcomes more than 1,000 Ukrainians daily, offering free supplies like food, hygiene products, clothing and shoes, along with access to social services and counsel.
At the donation center, Prince Charles met with representatives from various humanitarian aid organizations, including Major Stephen Noble of The Salvation Army Scarborough branch. Major Noble spent the pandemic facilitating a food bank in Scarborough before deploying to Romania, where he has spent the last month collaborating with The Salvation Army’s International Emergency Services to provide relief to the incoming refugees.
During his visit, Prince Charles also met some Ukrainian refugees, most of whom are women and children. More than a million Ukrainians have crossed the border into Romania since the crisis began, forcing the nation and surrounding countries to adapt quickly to accommodate the needs of the displaced.
Where it is safe to serve, The Salvation Army officers have pivoted programs to provide food, clothes, blankets, and emotional and spiritual care to those who have been displaced from their homes and are seeking refuge.
In Ukraine, The Salvation Army Corps in the village of Pisočyn is accepting refugees and providing shelter and food assistance with the policy that “the doors of the corps are always open”. Relief items including food and generators were recently transported to Lviv from Poland and Germany. These resources are shared with the corps in Vinnytsia and Kropivnitsky. In Kropivinitsky, Salvation Army volunteers arrange food parcels which are distributed twice a week. Grocery queues have grown so long and time consuming that The Salvation Army offers sweet tea and conversation for people waiting.
The Salvation Army in Batumi, Georgia serves daily meals to more than a hundred displaced people from Ukraine. Every Friday in Tbilisi, the Salvation Army holds a children’s club.
In the Netherlands, The Salvation Army is supporting and coordinating emergency services in municipalities in numerous locations, including guest households in Eindhoven and Amsterdam. In Oude Pekela, The Salvation Army shelters more than 100 Ukrainian refugees. About 1,000 refugees are now staying on the various cruise ships in Rotterdam and The Salvation Army is looking into the possibility of serving children over 16 and facilitating the organization of youth assistance for families, and helping refugees register in the municipality’s Basic Registration of Persons.
Continuted Savlation Army objectives include:
Border Response – continue to meet and greet refugees at border crossings, train stations and airports throughout Europe.
Legal Aid – assist refugees with legal registrations and language support.
Logistics – continue to transport aid items into Lviv for onward distribution within Ukraine.
Safety – provide safe spaces for adults and children to meet and connect with others.
Collaboration – continue to partner with agencies, including UNHCR, Red Cross, Baptist Church, and municipalities.
Shelter– manage facilities for refugees in Salvation Army facilities and municipal shelters.
Anti-Human Trafficking – support awareness of trafficking risks.
Salvation Army officer in Vinnytsia, Ukraine