Just as we were all waiting for our lives to begin to “normalize,” the terrible war in Ukraine began, increasing the number of people who are victims of injustice in the world and, as a consequence, multiplying the pain and powerlessness of people.
We knew that in response to situations like this there is often a groundswell of solidarity which, in the case of Ukraine, has become widespread. We, Daughters of Charity, have received news from our Superioress General about the presence of the Company in Ukraine and the decision of our various local communities to remain and continue to provide services (to the extent possible) and to respond to the needs that arise from this crisis. Together with other communities serving in different missions, we also responded to the Pope’s call to believers and non-believers to pray together for Peace.
People have also asked us how they could collaborate and the various Provinces in Spain opened bank accounts specifically for donations that will help cover basic and urgent needs.
- The schools are carrying out campaigns to raise awareness and collect food, warm clothes, medicines, sleeping bags…
- On 22 March the first group of four families and fifteen young students arrived in Lanjarón. Two Daughters of Charity, together with the parish Caritas group, were there to welcome them and to help with everything necessary to provide hospitality. Earlier, a house was prepared to make it suitable for this mission.
- In Avila, a house was offered to welcome the refugees. But in order to give quality service it was necessary to work in a network. Thus, the Daughters of Charity, the diocese, the city council, ACCEM, Red Cross and Caritas have joined forces to provide a team of psychologists, social workers as well as persons responsible for logistics… In Cadiz, Murguía, Tui, Rota, Barcelona, Alicante, and other cities in Spain, the Daughters of Charity are opening their doors to welcome more refugees.
- A Sister will soon join a Caritas team from the Diocese of Merida-Badajoz to go to the Polish border where they will bring a group of 25 people back to Spain.
- A group of young people from Gijón and a Ukrainian friend of theirs left for the Slovakian-Ukrainian border to pick up 4 adults and 2 children. Before beginning their journey, they contacted the Sisters in Gijón because they wanted to hand over the donated materials they were carrying in the van. The Visitatrix, through the General Council, put them in contact with the Sisters at the border.
- Five entities – Accem, Cepaim, Red Cross, Apip-Acam the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul – working in Aragon with the Government of Spain in the international protection programme were the first to receive refugees. So far, 578 Ukrainians have been welcomed.
The Daughters, together with other individuals and institutions, have spared no effort to continue to respond to the current calls of our suffering brothers and sisters. As St. Vincent used to say “LOVE IS CREATIVE TO INFINITY.” And all this becomes a prayer entrusted to the Father who loves this world so much.