Firefighters work on a fire on a building after bombings on the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv as Russian armed forces invade Ukraine from several directions. Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images
Ukraine crisis – emergency appeal
A letter from Pia Reierson, Head of Partnerships and Programs, Act for Peace
I’m sure you’ve seen the devastating reports all over the news. Since February 24, the world has been in shock at the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
I was heartbroken as I watched the war unfold. I can’t stop thinking of the children filled with horror at the sound of missiles, the mothers trying desperately to reassure their children, and the fathers whose worst fears are coming to life.
Will you please share this link with your contacts and invite them to help those forced from their homes? afp.org.au/ukrainecrisis
It’s a horrific situation. I recently heard from one of our partners in neighbouring Hungary, a member of the ACT Alliance. They shared with me the story of a young Ukrainian mother of three who is seeking refuge from this war. She described her family’s journey to Hungary’s Berehovo border crossing:
“My husband is on the frontlines. The women of my family have decided to take our children away from danger. We left Kherson and decided to reunite with my sister in Dnipro. By the time we were leaving Kherson we heard that Dnipro was being bombed so we had to take a different way. My children were asking where are we going and I couldn’t come up with an answer. We heard that the Polish border is completely jammed, so we decided to cross the mountains and try to make it into Hungary. My sister is still on the way, I have no idea where she or my nieces are.”
Sadly, this story is far from unique. According to the UN refugee agency, 1.5 million refugees have now fled their homes in Ukraine to neighbouring countries. And millions more could become refugees if the fighting continues.
Our ACT Alliance partners have already sent truckloads of relief to support families forced to flee their homes due to the war. The shipments include 28 tons of canned food, flour, sugar, oil, rice, pasta, biscuits, long-life milk, tea and hygiene products which will be distributed at the Beregszász and Uzhhorod reception centres in Eastern Ukraine.
But the scale of this crisis is unlike anything seen in Europe since the Second World War. And much, much more help will be needed.
Your gifts will help our partners on the ground provide both the practical and emotional support that those impacted by this crisis so desperately need.
I also ask that you and your congregation please join us in prayer for the people of Ukraine and all those impacted by this conflict.
Please pray for:
1. A peaceful resolution to this crisis that prevents further human suffering.
2. Safety for the children, women and men who have been forced to flee their homes and country, and for those still in danger in Ukraine.
3. The Russian citizens who have bravely declared their opposition to these attacks, and for all those who will bear the cost of a senseless war.
Act for Peace condemns this invasion, and our hearts are with the people of Ukraine and Russia who have been suddenly caught in a full-scale invasion they didn’t want or even believe was possible.
At times like this, I am reminded of the responsibility of each of us to search for the things that unite us, rather than divide us. I am inspired by the great acts of kindness being made by communities and our partners in the region in solidarity with their neighbours uprooted by conflict and disaster. And I humbly ask that each of us redouble our commitment to work for peace in our world.
Head of Partnerships and Programs
Act for Peace