Due to the war in Ukraine, human lives are at risk, people lack basic supplies and have been forced to leave their homes. IDPs have reached the Western part of Ukraine and refugees are arriving to Hungary in growing numbers. The Hungarian Reformed Church Aid has been providing emergency response from the first day. Daily update.
Nearly 300 tonnes of donations handed over by Hungarian Church Aid (21:08, 2022.03.23.)
As of 23 March, the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid has delivered more than 289 tons of donations to people in need suffering from the war. Around 160 tonnes of relief supplies have crossed the border to Ukraine. According to the aid organisation, almost 161,000 people have been helped in some way so far, of whom more than 4,000 have received medical care and more than 1,600 have got mental care. 109 medical doctors have been assisting the work of the Hungarian Reformed Church on a voluntary basis.
No competition between aid organisations (10:33)
Sándor Pál, president of the You Can Help Foundation, was interviewed by Pulzus FM about the assistance in Transcarpathia. The president of the foundation informed the Transcarpathian radio station that all the organisations are working on both sides of the border to help each other. Sándor Pál himself was earlier the head of the board of trustees of the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid for ten years, he has been running the You Can Help Foundation for six years, and he is also a member of the board of trustees of the Maltese Charity Service. Sándor Pál said that support for people who had previously been living in difficult situations would continue, for example in the form of utility bills. Concerning the currant needs he noted that people no longer ask for clothes, but there is a constant shortage of food and medical supplies, as the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia have to provide for refugees and families who are struggling due to high prices.
Teachers' help requested in Transcarpathia (15:51)
Teaching has resumed in Transcarpathia from 21 march, for the time being in the form of distance learning. Teachers are encouraged to join an educational club for refugees, www.karpataljalap.net reports. To ensure that refugee children are not left behind, voluntary sessions are being organised, several times a week. Not all children will be able to join the classes, as many of them have arrived in the region from areas of Ukraine where fighting is currently taking place.
Eastern European aid organisations join forces (17:28)
NGOs and charities across Europe are making a huge effort to help refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. Representatives of organisations from Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Moldova and Hungary came forward to report on their work at the meeting of the European Economic and Social Committee's Other Interests Group III, the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid reported.
From Hungary, the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid was represented by communications officer Patrik Karsa, who spoke at the invitation of Kinga Joó, a member of the Committee and deputy chairman of the National Association of Large Families.
From hostility to human
"We are now helping those who have been told by the Ukrainian media for decades that Hungarians are separatists and enemies, and therefore they have a suitcase, a train station, and they should pack their bags and go. And now many of those who spread such hostile propaganda about us Hungarians are leaving with them." These are the words of a reformed pastor and church governor from Transcarpathia, whose parishioners have stayed at home, are baking bread, making tea and opening their homes to tired mothers with small children fleeing from Eastern Ukraine, so that they have a place to rest. And they accept the help, first with suspicion, then with wonder. On both sides of the border, Hungarians are helping. In the border villages, it is not only the charity organisation that are helping with the support of the government, but the members of our local churches who are volunteering. Thousands of people nationwide are donating their time, energy and money to provide not "just" aid, but people-to-people relationship and love to those in need. May those in our neighbourhood, who need to understand that we are not enemies, do so one day" wrote Bishop Zoltán Balog, ministerial president of the Reformed Church in Hungary in a reflection published at mandiner.hu.
HRCA’s daily operation in numbers
- Information requested: 480 persons
- Transport requested: 8 persons
- Accommodation requested: 106 persons
- Mental health assistance: 54 persons
- Medical care: 2 persons
- Meals, drinks: 607 persons
- Hygiene and childcare products: 201 persons
- Blankets: 0 persons
- Number of persons on duty: 101 persons
- of which volunteers: 71
- of which health worker: 1
- of which interpreter: 205
Edited and translated by Anna Derencsényi, international officer of the Diaconia of RCH.