UKRAINE: UK charity offers another lifeline to Ukraine refugees

With picture of a Sister with IDPs in the seminary in Ivano-Frankivsk. (© ACN).
With picture of a Sister with IDPs in the seminary in Ivano-Frankivsk. (© ACN).

More than 200 displaced women and children in Ukraine will continue to receive food and shelter – thanks to fresh support from the UK office of a leading Catholic charity.

Ivano-Frankivsk Archdiocese, western Ukraine – which has been looking after displaced families since the start of the war – turned to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) to ensure it could provide ongoing care for those who fled their homes.

Most of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) being helped by the archdiocese are women and children who escaped Russian assaults on large cities including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Odessa.

Archbishop Volodymyr Wytyschyn of Ivano-Frankivsk told the charity: “Fleeing from the great catastrophe brought to our country by Russia’s war, people are seeking salvation and shelter in the western regions of our country.

“Especially in the Carpathian region, a considerable number came to us. Our archdiocese is involved in… the settlement of the people who need it most.”

The IDPs being helped by the latest ACN (UK) aid are based in Hoshniv Monastery, south of Lviv and in 10 parishes across the archdiocese – but the local Church is also caring for many others, including 160 in the seminary and 100 in St Basil’s High School.

Sister Euphrosyne Goida, Abbess General of the Congregation of the Holy Family which is looking after 160 IDPs at Hoshniv Monastery, said: “To date, Ukraine has come under unexpected missile fire in all regions of our country… The population, alarmed by this situation, is trying to find a safe place to stay.”

Appealing for help, she added: “Today we are asking for help for our people who are forced to flee their homes because of the war, to save the lives of themselves and their children.”

With the Sisters no longer able to draw an income from their catechetical work in parishes, they turned to ACN for food and other essential costs connected with housing the IDP women and children.

Dr Caroline Hull, national director of Aid to the Church in Need (UK), praised the work being done for IDPs in Ukraine.

She said: “Sisters, priests and others in Ukraine are doing amazing work looking after those who have had to seek refuge far from home.

“The UK office of ACN is delighted to be supporting the incredible work done by our Church partners.”

ACN (UK) will be providing more than £86,000 in fresh aid which, in addition to the emergency support in Ivano-Frankivsk Archdiocese, will also provide new kitchen appliances for 55 religious houses looking after refugees.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, ACN has provided more than £2 million in essential aid to help the Church minister to those affected by the war.