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[Ukraine]We have delivered hot meals to more than 5,200 people who evacuated from Ukraine

More than a year and a half have passed since Russia invaded Ukraine. The number of Ukrainian people who evacuated to Moldova have fluctuated depending on the situation but we have seen some increase in the number since June this year. Since April last year, Peace Winds Japan has provided support for private temporary shelter which accommodates Ukrainian people who had just arrived in Moldova. And we have provided hot meals at this shelter as well as improving the living conditions in the shelter so that those who arrived there could rest their body and heart.

Lunch (1)
lunchtime at a shelter

Our local partner NCUM (National Congress of Ukraine in Moldova) has been running this shelter, which provides various support needed in the first week of the evacuees’ stay in Moldova including supporting visa applications and searching for apartments for longer stay. While many other shelters make use of university dormitories and such, NCUM’s shelter is easy to access for the elderly and children because it is located on the first floor of a housing complex. And pets are allowed there too.

猫 (1)
a family with a cat

●Number of Evacuees Fluctuates

Moldova used to be a passing point for those escape the war in Ukraine to other European countries such as Germany. Many people who evacuated from Ukraine stayed for a few days in Moldova waiting for long-distance buses to western Europe. While the number of evacuees slightly decreased in the past months until the Kakhovka Dam in Kherson region in southern Ukraine was destroyed and the damage spread to neighboring regions in June. Then more people evacuated to Moldova. More recently, we have seen more people evacuating from Ukraine because of increased attacks on southern region including the city of Odessa.

An NCUM staff said she has seen “an increase in number of people with children, especially with big children.” It is assumed that more families are evacuating with bigger children because men over 18-years-old are not allowed to leave the country. More families decide to leave before boys turn 18 so that they have future. These subtle changes in the number and composition of the families escaping from Ukraine shows the anxieties they have for their futures, their life stories and difficult decisions they had made.

●Children-friendly Space

Peace Winds Japan in cooperation with NCUM have created children-friendly spaces in the shelter so that children and their parents can relax and have a good time in safe environment. We have also provided heating devices for the colder seasons.

child friendly space (1)
children play in children-friendly space

●Hot Meals

In addition to three hot meals a day, we have provided fruits and dairy products, as well as snacks and beverages for children to pick up at any time they want. We also provide pet food.
Managing the temperature of the hot meals was also important in the summer heat in order to avoid food poisoning.

Lunch (3) (1)

Lunch (2) (1)
We provided meals reflecting the season

NCUM staff coordinate with the food delivery company to ensure that hot meals are served hot.

●An Evacuee Working as a Volunteer Staff

Valentina, who escaped to Moldova shortly after Russian invasion last year, has been staying at this shelter for more than a year, which makes her an expert of this shelter. Now she works as a volunteer to support the new comers. It is her who leads the efforts to provide hot meals to those who are staying at this temporary shelter.

IMG_5366 (1)
Ms Valentina checks the list of people who received lunch

Peace Winds Japan continues to support Ukrainian people who escaped to Moldova. This project has been made possible in cooperation with NCUM and financial support from the Japan Platform and private donors .

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