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Walk 532.59 Miles in the Shoes of a Ukrainian Refugee

In a town just outside of Kyiv, Ukraine, the sound of bombs going off is heard in the distance. An immediate evacuation notice follows shortly after. Terrified families are faced with the difficult decision of having only one hour to choose from an entire lifetime of items, what to bring with them as they flee their country. In a panic, items are thrown into a bag not knowing if they will ever see their home again. They leave everything else behind in hopes of finding safety from the violence and destruction that has come upon them so suddenly.

A young man kisses his family goodbye as he leaves them just outside the border of Poland with a 5-7 day wait ahead before they can even hope to enter Poland. They have traveled 532.59 miles and that is just the beginning. The young father’s eyes fill with tears as he says goodbye to his family and begins his journey back to the military base to fight in the Ukrainian army. Men ages 18-60 are not being allowed to cross the border as they have all been conscripted into the Ukrainian forces to defend the country against the recent Russian attacks.

"This is a horrible time for me because any minute I could lose my kid. Any minute." a young woman who is originally from Ukraine and is now living in Chicago in the USA describes her agony regarding the safety of her 22-year-old son still in Ukraine.

A mother and daughter comfort each other on a couch
A mother and daughter comfort each other on a couch.

This is not a new conflict. This is an escalation of a conflict that has been going on since 2014. Currently, UNHCR predicts as many as 18 million people could be affected, and 7.6 million people displaced. The situation remains fluid and precarious. Some of the greatest struggles these people are facing include, not having enough, food, water, adequate shelter, and fuel or means of transportation to leave the country. These issues are made more precarious because certain areas are inaccessible to humanitarian organizations.

LIFE is working quickly to provide as much aid as possible to the people of Ukraine. As of yesterday, LIFE is donating funds to the Ambassadors of Father's House which is a parent company to the Father's House Orphanage in Kyiv. 147 orphans were able to successfully evacuate last week and are currently in Friarburg, Germany at a refugee center. There are still 33 mothers and their children at the orphanage that require assistance. This donation will help to ensure their trip, transportation, food, water, and ultimately, safe arrival at the refugee center in Germany. There are still millions of people in need of humanitarian aid in Ukraine, please donate now to ease the pain and suffering of those that have already lost so much.

A Ukrainian flag blows in the wind, the sun shining through it.
A Ukrainian flag blows in the wind, the sun shining through it.



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