One thousand tonnes of life-saving aid to Ukraine

Depaul team member handing over supplies to Ukrainian woman

One thousand tonnes of life-saving aid to Ukraine

Published: 02 August 2022
Depaul International has reached an astonishing milestone, supporting people suffering the devastating conflict in Ukraine by providing one thousand tonnes of food, hygiene items and medical supplies.

We have awarded Depaul International £150,000 towards this vital support since the beginning of 2022, and have been overwhelmed by the huge difference the charity is making to vulnerable people during this crisis.

Depaul has worked in Ukraine since 2007, with shelters for homeless people in Kharkiv, Odesa and Kyiv. At the outbreak of the war, these projects were quickly transformed to become distribution centres for humanitarian aid, with many homeless people supporting the distribution of food and medical supplies. 

Here are just a few examples to demonstrate the real life impact of Depaul’s rapid response and hard work…

Yuriy’s story

Yuriy lives in a small village between Borodyanka and Bucha in the Kyiv region. When Russian troops tried to capture Kyiv, they also came into his village. Like many of his neighbours, Yuriy was hiding from the shelling and Russian soldiers in the basement of his home. As the days passed, it became more difficult for him to tell how much time had passed: he couldn’t see the sun and even today, he doesn’t know if he had been hiding for five days or a week.

When neighbours were finally able to get to Yuriy, they realised that he suffered from terrible frostbite. He was taken to hospital, but it was too late - Yuriy lost both of his legs at only 40 years old. Now, back home, his neighbour cares for him and helps him recover. Depaul visits them regularly, bringing food, medicine and other essentials such as an anti-decubitus mattress to make him more comfortable. Depaul will continue to visit for as long as the support is needed and hope that, with this help and the help of his caring community, Yuriy will be able to recover.

Bicycle Angels

A few weeks into the Ukraine conflict, a group of keen cyclists approached Depaul offering to deliver food baskets to older and housebound people across Kharkiv. A selfless act of kindness, but what inspired them to take the risk?

When the conflict began, Aleksander made the difficult decision to evacuate his wife and two daughters, whilst he stayed in Ukraine. He explained why he wanted to do his bit to help others:

“Saying goodbye to my family at the train station felt unreal. Afterwards, I returned home and just lay on my bed, emotionless. As bicycle delivery volunteers, we are united by a common goal – to help. We live without making plans for the future. We simply wake up, make our deliveries, spend a couple of hours of free time, and repeat. We are alive, and that is enough to be happy.”

The inspiring Depaul team

A short video from the Disasters Emergency Committee - who have also been providing vital funding support – documenting the inspiring work of the Depaul team led by Father Vitaliy:

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