An Expression of Gratitude

2022 Ukraine Fall News and Needs Story of Marta
Marta (center) shared her story of fleeing from Ukraine and finding safety in Romania and help from the Church and IOCC.
 
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Reuniting a Grateful Ukrainian Family 
 
Marta is a 20-year-old Ukrainian student now living in Romania (pseudonym used). She asked to share her story and express her gratitude to IOCC.
 
Marta’s journey to safety began with her hurried departure from her hometown in eastern Ukraine. For several weeks, she stayed in a friend’s apartment in another town. When bombs fell, they found refuge in the building’s underground parking garage.
 
While they sheltered underground, Marta had no access to phone or internet service—and, therefore, no way to communicate with her family. As the situation worsened, she and her friend decided to head farther west.
 
As they traveled toward Romania, Marta managed to reconnect with her family, who had also left home. Together, they crossed the border and, along with 25 other refugees, found shelter and support through IOCC and longtime Church partner Federation Filantropía.
 
“We had so much help from Romanians,” Marta shared. “They are very open; they want to give everything they have to help us. I am very thankful for them. We feel ... that we can’t continue our daily life because people in our country can’t live.”
 
Before the conflict began, Marta was a university student with plans to study for her master’s degree in Europe. For now, she is volunteering at an aid center, translating for Ukrainian refugees so they can receive medical aid and other assistance.
 
“I’m very thankful for everything ... that my family is with me and safe,” Marta said.
 
Marta is one of millions of Ukrainians who have sought safety in neighboring countries. IOCC is helping those who have arrived in Romania and Poland, while also providing aid in Ukraine itself. Along with shelter, IOCC has partnered with the Church to provide vouchers refugees can use for groceries and other essentials in Poland and Romania. IOCC is also conducting antitrafficking training in Romania, to help keep refugees from being exploited. In Ukraine, IOCC is refurbishing accommodation centers and repairing a parish kitchen to provide meals to displaced people. Needs remain great, and IOCC continues seeking new ways to serve.
 
IOCC and our partners remain committed to serving the people of Ukraine. For updates on our relief efforts, visit iocc.org/ukraineresponse.

 
Ukrainian refugee supported by FF.jpg
 
IOCC is serving Ukrainian refugees, including this woman in a Romanian shelter, and providing aid in Ukraine itself.

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