Since the beginning of the Russian invasion on 24 February, more than 700.000 Ukrainian citizens have come to Romania. Although our country has mainly been a transit country, more than 80. 000 Ukrainians have chosen to stay in Romania. Romanians have received them for free in their homes, in refugee centers ran by local authorities or by NGOs.
Easter is coming
Romanian members of the largest support group for Ukrainians in Romania, UNIȚI PENTRU UCRAINA – Об’εднанi за Украiну – United for Ukraine, these days “adopt” families for whom they cook or buy Easter meals.
“I gladly offer to prepare a traditional Romanian Easter meal for a refugee family in Bucharest. Space doesn’t allow me to bring them to my place, but I take them the day before everything they need to their place of residence”, writes one of the group’s nearly 280,000 members, who has also “adopted” not one but two cases: 3 mums with 4 children and a pregnant mum with her aunt and two children.
“I offer Easter meal with traditional products for a family in the second sector, delivery the Saturday before Easter”, writes another member, who is also a volunteer in the North Station and has made a list of Ukrainian families in need of help.
Other members have placed orders for pastries and cakes or traditional Ukrainian products from refugees who are able to cook.
“We, two mothers and three children from Ukraine, are now forced to live in Bucharest. We were welcomed by kind people and we are very grateful to all the Romanians we met on the way. We make Ukrainian dumplings (vareniki), gingerbread for children, made with honey and a lot of love, Pasca, cozonaci”, is the message posted on the group that generated more orders from Romanians than the Ukrainian moms could honor.
United for Ukraine Fund
Also in support of the Ukrainians left behind in Romania, the UNITED FOR UKRAINE Fund was launched by the group of the same name. Firstly, the Fund collects donations from Romanians that will provide Ukrainians with what they need for the festive season. After Easter, what is left will be used for the families fleeing the war (food, medicines, hygiene products, clothes).
“For each of us the holidays are a reason for joy, we gather at the table with relatives, friends. Think that Ukrainians are now in a foreign country. They left with only a suitcase far from home, their families are divided in half. They have fathers, husbands, brothers on the battlefront, and the news from home is shattering. We have a duty to help them as much as we can to feel a little joy, to have a bit of normality on holidays”, explains Vlad Gheorghe, initiator of the group UNIȚI PENTRU UCRAINA – Об’εднанi за Украiну – United for Ukraine.
The money raised by the United for Ukraine Fund will go to NGOs supporting Ukrainian citizens in Romania. In addition, it will help families in Ukraine who ask for help in groups or in refugee centres. The remaining funds will be directed towards Ukrainians living in Moldova and across the border in Ukraine. Among the partner NGOs are Asociația pentru Relații Comunitare, Asociația ZI de BINE, Asociația Blondie, Asociația Copacul cu Fapte Bune, Big Hearts Society, Asociația Pentru Bine, Asociatia Maria Holtzhauser, Asociatia Sanatate pentru Comunitate etc. To donate one can do so via accounts opened by the Association for Community Relations, mentioning UNITED FOR UKRAINE Fund.
On the group UNIȚI PENTRU UCRAINA – Об’εднанi за Украiну – United for Ukraine created on 12 February by USR MEP Vlad Gheorghe from the Renew Europe group tens of thousands of Ukrainians have found accommodation, transport, job offers, donations of food, clothes, other products strictly necessary for those who leave behind their homes and life savings. Daily, hundreds of requests for help from Ukrainians are answered almost instantly on the group, which has about 280.000 members.