Millions of displaced people, families forced to split up, children shattered by violence. Cities devastated and lives suddenly turned upside down. Faced with the horror of the war in Ukraine, many readers asked us to help this tormented population. So, in the most dramatic days of the conflict, we opened a fundraising campaign. Thousands of donations arrived in just a few weeks. Here is how we are using them.
In Cernivci, Ukraine, 30 kilometres from Romania, we have built the “Villaggio di Specchio d’Italia”, a 1,500 square metre tensile structure that receives over 1,800 people every day and provides them with hot meals and shelter. In the village there are clinics, kitchens, beds, games for children and an air-raid shelter made available to us by the local administration. An indispensable project: many families, despite having lost everything due to the bombs, do not want to leave and move away from their homeland. But that’s not all: hundreds of refugees welcomed in Italy in the first weeks are now asking to return to Ukraine, to areas of the country where they can finally live in safety. This is why we have activated a free shuttle service to facilitate repatriation.
In the first phase of the emergency, we sent dozens of shuttles, buses and trucks loaded with food, medicines and basic necessities to the Polish and Romanian borders. On our return, we accompanied the families fleeing the violence back to Italy, saving over 600 people, including 400 children, and delivering hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian aid.
We are also offering immediate financial assistance to the most vulnerable families who have arrived in Italy. In Palermo, for example, we have supported Elisabetta, a severely disabled girl who landed in Sicily with her mother after the outbreak of war. Like young Vlad, who is fighting multiple sclerosis at the age of 16: we accompanied him to our country and gave him a grant and a tablet device.
All initiatives are carried out in synergy with our sister foundation Specchio dei tempi, which has been appointed by the Piedmont Region to coordinate fundraising and the development of solidarity projects in favour of displaced persons. Specchio dei tempi has over 60 years of experience in such emergency contexts.