Roughly two months after conflict broke out between Russia and Ukraine, and the humanitarian crisis that then ensued, an international Tzu Chi Relief team has finally come together in Warsaw, Poland, to lead large-scale humanitarian aid distributions.
Traveling from Istanbul, Turkey, Tzu Chi volunteers Faisal Hu and Nadya Chou drove to Warsaw to meet with Tzu Chi USA C.E.O. Debra Boudreaux, who flew in from California. Together, they planned to meet with organizers from NGOs already working with people seeking refuge from Ukraine, including the Camillians and the Polish Red Cross. Being on the ground in-person, according to Debra, is crucial for planning large-scale activities.
“If we have the capacity and manpower to be available here,” she points out, “it’s a good place for us [to] directly [deliver] services and provide [urgent needs] in a practical way [and] interact with the new residents.” While Tzu Chi volunteers already in Poland have helped greatly in relief efforts thus far, greater resources, including the efforts of Tzu Chi’s media team, can help shed closer insight into the situation.
At a local train terminal, Debra observes crowds conglomerating at booths with resources for those seeking refuge: “there’s a lot of vulnerable women bringing their children, to come over here, to either find a destination they want to go, or to get resources to help them, when they’re coming over here.”
Of their current needs, she’s able to see what is already being provided, but also what basics are most needed for those who’ve just arrived: “everybody would like to try to provide services including phone cards, communications, transportation, [help] to buy a train ticket.”
With your support, we can make our forthcoming distributions a success. Donate now: tzuchi.us/ukraine