Salesians in Slovakia also provide training for volunteers working with Ukrainian children
(Mission Newswire) Since the beginning of the war, Salesian missionaries in Slovakia have been providing educational, social and medical assistance to Ukrainian refugees. Salesians gave shelter to 45 young people from the orphanage in Lviv. Younger children, ages 6-11, were placed directly with families, while the older children and youth, ages 11-17, were placed in Salesian centers. Some of these children have returned to Ukraine, while 12 of the youth remain in Slovakia to continue their studies. They will attend schools in Bratislava, Žilina and Hody.
To relieve their stress and anxiety, children and young people have engaged in a wide range of leisure activities, including sports, cultural trips and educational visits. With the help of donors, they were also able to travel abroad and visit Italy, Malta and Switzerland.
Salesians in Slovakia provide training for volunteers working with Ukrainian children, helping them understand how to deal with issues such as post-traumatic stress, crisis intervention, psychological support and more.
In Bratislava, Salesians offer Slovak language courses for women and children, as well as toy libraries and playrooms for children. The aim is for the children to feel safe and integrated into their new community.
“Refugees need more support than just shelter and basic needs met,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the US development arm of Don Bosco’s Salesians. “In order to really integrate and feel comfortable in their new home, refugees need to become part of the social fabric. Meeting the people in the community and learning the language are some steps to make the transition easier.”
To support efforts in Ukraine*, the Salesians have dispatched 12 trucks loaded with food, medical supplies and personal care products since the war began. Once the materials arrive in Ukraine, they are collected in a warehouse and then distributed to accessible locations. The delivery of the goods is not easy. The vans were subjected to long and constant journeys, which necessitated several vehicle repairs. In addition, one of the vehicles was damaged by gunfire. Despite everything, the help does not stop.
The Salesians continue to collect humanitarian aid and have organized logistical links between Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. A large warehouse has been rented in the Slovak city of Prešov, where all the material is stored before it is sent to Ukraine.
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ANS – Slovakia – Six months after the start of the war in Ukraine, generosity is always stronger than desperation
*All goods, services, or monies provided by Salesian Missions to programs in this country have been managed in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions imposed by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.