Wroclaw (Poland). Since 24 February 2022, the date of the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, the communities of Mary Help of Christians Province (PLA) have been committed to helping migrants who arrive in Poland from Ukraine, and Ukrainians who have remained in their Country.
Since 24 February 2022, more than 4 million people have left Ukraine fleeing the war, mainly women and children. More than 2 million arrived in Poland. Of these, more than 1 million moved to other countries, mainly in Europe, and over 1 million remained in Poland.
As of 1 April 2022, 46 Ukrainian migrants, women with children aged from 11 months to 17 years, have been welcomed in the FMA Houses of the Province and rooms are being prepared to be able to welcome other people, trying to find space, since the houses are not very big.
Despite the limitations required by the education law, the 10 FMA Kindergartens have declared to the Government their willingness to accept 77 Ukrainian children. 29 places have already been filled and more children are expected. 31 pupils from Ukraine were also welcomed in the Primary Schools and more can be accommodated. Some of these young people, who live in the FMA houses, follow the lessons held in Ukraine online, especially in Western Ukraine, where this teaching method is still possible.
The FMA catechists who teach in the State Schools or those of the Salesians of Don Bosco follow the Ukrainian students: in the 15 Primary schools of 11 cities in the province, there are 507 migrant pupils studying; in the 6 Secondary Schools from three cities, there are 59 young students from Ukraine. For some of them, the Polish language is not a big obstacle; others follow the Polish courses organized by the schools; others alternate Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, and English. The FMA try to help the children in the study of the language and to be for them a presence of caring and tenderness, which they so much need.
In the first days of the war, six FMA volunteered in Hrebenne, near the Poland-Ukraine border, where for two weeks they welcomed and helped Ukrainian people in their passage to Poland, trying to give them the necessary support and to be a presence of peace and fraternal charity. A similar mission awaited the FMA at the railway station in Wrocław, the arrival point for trains with migrants from Przemyśl, near the border.
Each FMA Community is committed to the collections for goods for the migrants, organized at the FMA Schools, in the parishes, in the Caritas points, and in the emergency centers of each city. Above all, medicines, food, baby products, hygiene products, blankets, sleeping bags, flashlights, cell phone chargers, energy accumulators, toys, stationery, disposable tableware, etc. were collected to take to the border. The generosity of the people is immense, since the collection, division, and preparation of parcels to be transported to the border and to Ukraine require many hours of work and the involvement of many people, including various FMA. Some of these products have already arrived in the communities of Lviv and Odessa.
The FMA present in Ukraine remained with the people, but left Kiev, the seat of the Preprovince of Mother of God (EEG). A Polish FMA from that Community is now in Lviv, while two others, one Ukrainian and one Polish, are in Poland, where they help as translators, in preparing the documents necessary for migrants, and in coordinating aid.
The FMA are involved in various activities. They collaborate with the various entities and with the various civil and ecclesial institutions to give a place to children and young people in schools and oratories. They help migrants to have a home and the necessary medical care, and to find work, etc.
Three FMA are also involved in drawing up projects for collecting funds, in contact with the FMA and organizations from Italy, Austria, Ireland, Spain, and Great Britain.
A great gift and support are the incessant prayers of all the Educating Communities of the Province for peace in Ukraine and in the world, to find the necessary aid, and for the victims. We pray with young people, children, and lay collaborators, and moments of adoration, prayer of the Rosary, and invocation to Divine Mercy have been organized. We pray that the war will end soon and that everyone can return to their homeland, which will be rebuilt, with the hope of having peace and more grateful and supportive hearts.
The Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians counts on the generosity of the Educative Communities, Associations and benefactors to continue to bring aid to the FMA of Ukraine and neighboring Provinces that receive refugees. You can send contributions and offerings, through Donate now or through the methods indicated on the FMA Institute website, designating the Ukraine Emergency in the causal.