In the last few weeks, life has changed completely since the neighbouring countries started to go to war. In the first days, everyone hoped that this would be a short-lived threat, but the increasing attacks and constant bombing have forced people to flee.
Refugees are arriving in Romania all the time. The wealthier ones are driving from one town to another in cars, well supplied and not requiring any special care, just stopping for a night’s rest.
Most refugees arrive by train, with nothing left. They are very exhausted. When the trains stop, the words “water” are heard from everywhere. Children cry, they don’t understand why they can’t go home. There were children whose mothers had wrapped them in their own t-shirts instead of diapers. They are cold, exhausted and desperate.
In Oradea, several aid organisations have joined forces to help the refugees. This way, each organisation can provide help where it is needed, according to its abilities and possibilities.
We, the sisters, mainly help in collecting and sorting the aid. To this end, we have transformed one of the sisters’ houses into a collection centre where, together with three other organisations: the SSVP, the Children’s Protection and the Catunul Verde Foundation, we receive and distribute donations to the needy. In the last few weeks we have collected tons of food, cleaning products, detergents and clothing. Some of these have already been distributed to foundations that receive and care for refugees. Most of it has been packed and sent to Ukraine thanks to the Lazarist Fathers. It is very good to experience the solidarity of the Vincentian Family, but above all it is important to make our brothers and sisters in need feel that they are not alone in their distress.
We help in whatever way we can. There have been times when we have prepared sandwiches for the refugees arriving at night at customs (I would like to mention here that there were 2,500 sandwiches distributed at customs on one night). Sometimes we help with distribution or offer hot tea to volunteers. All work is equally important and it is essential to keep the spirit alive in our exhausted volunteers.
Thanks to coordinated and organised work, the various aid organisations are able to work very skilfully together and complement each other.
Sr. Serafina DC