Students in Ostrava cooperate with charity to raise money for children in western Ukraine

Photo: CTK

Students in Ostrava in the east of the country, in cooperation with the humanitarian aid organization ADRA, are taking part in a project to try and raise money for children in western Ukraine, specifically in Mukačevo where the charity supports a local school; students in the Czech Republic have been baking pre-Christmas goods to raise money to help.

Photo: CTK
With Advent well under way, students in Ostrava have been doing their part to try and help others with less: specifically children in western Ukraine. Students have baked seasonal goodies to help aid organization ADRA raise money. Some told Czech Radio, that such projects were important for them, not least because, under a school programme, they had visited Mukačevo before.

“For me it’s a matter of the heart. After I visited, I came back changed and I reassessed my priorities. Most of us at home worry about needless things. Some of these children get their single meal of the day at school: buckwheat or soup. Calling it soup is being generous.”

The situation in Ukraine is on many peoples’ minds both because of the coming holidays and because the conflict in the eastern part of the country has not abated. ADRA Czech Republic has been involved for some time, providing material aid for those displaced by fighting, which continued even after a ceasefire was declared. I discussed the situation, and ADRA’s role in different parts of Ukraine, with spokeswoman Kateřina Piechowicz.

“ADRA, as a network organisation, working in more than 100 countries, including Ukraine; when the war conflict began we started helping internally-displaced people and families leaving conflict areas. We provided them with food, medicine, hygiene items, clothes, psychological counselling where needed, and especially nutrition for children. Mostly in refugee centres but we also operate in the conflict zones themselves but that is more of a problem.”

In conflict areas, I noticed that you had also operated in Donetsk… was that difficult under the circumstances?

Photo: CTK
“Very difficult. There we worked with local staff but security has been a problem. We don’t operate in areas where there is a high risk.”

You also provide help in the west of the country, not affected by the conflict…

“That’s right. We help children from weaker social backgrounds at a boarding school. These are children where the parents are alcoholics or gamble and the kids suffer from a lack of attention or a lack of love. We help organize trips for them, including trips to the pool. For some it was the first time in their life.”

It is encouraging that Czech schools and students are interested in helping…

“Of course. It gives students much in their own lives and in some cases new beautiful friendships.”