Ukraine – Diary of aid

Since the first day of the war of aggression against Ukraine, the worldwide Kolping Family has stood by the people.

This is how KOLPING has been helping since day one:

+++ 11 July 2024: “Our lives are getting harder every day.” Vasyl Savka, National Secretary of Kolping in Chernivtsi, writes: “The situation in Ukraine is getting worse every day. There is not a single family left that is not mourning the loss of a father or brother, husband, uncle, cousin or close friend. Our daily lives are also becoming increasingly difficult. Already now, in summer, when solar power generation is at its most effective, we live without electricity for 10 to 12 hours a day across the country. This is particularly bad for children and for old people who have not fled their country. In all this suffering, Kolping is a real ray of hope. With the help of donations and voluntary help, we continue to send relief transports to the Kolping Families. Children’s clothing, food and emergency generators are needed most urgently. Just in May, we transported 25 generators to the Kharkiv region. We are also trying to supply the hospitals with bandages, medicines and equipment.

+++ 28 June 2024: Ukraine relief delivery reaches boarding school: Together with police partners, KOLPING Ukraine brought a humanitarian transport to the southern Ukrainian Oblast of Mykolaiv, around 260 kilometres south of Kiev, last weekend. The van was carrying around two tonnes of relief suppliesThe destination of the transport was a boarding school for children with mental disabilities and special needs in Pervomaysk. The 135 children and young people there were not only delighted to receive food, fresh fruit, clothes and shoes. Also on board were lots of sweets and toys that children from the Kolping Centre Oituz in Romania had lovingly donated to them for World Children’s Day. And so the joy was immense: the boarding school children enthusiastically helped with the unloading, looked at the presents from Romania and enjoyed lots of chocolate and sweets along the way. The boarding school management sent a big thank you to all those involved and donors of the humanitarian delivery: “These children have a difficult childhood – especially now, at such a difficult time for the whole country.” That is why it is so important that they can rejoice wholeheartedly. Many four-legged animals also benefited from the Kolping transport: the delivery included about 100 kg of cat and dog food for a local animal shelter. Photos

+++ 12 June 2024: 61th relief transport from Rumania with children’s surprise: Today, Corneliu Bulai is travelling to Chernivtsi again with a fully loaded van. Together with two other vans from other aid organisations, he is bringing special pots and pans for canteen kitchens, which the Kolping social kitchen in Czernowitz can make good use of. The Kolping social kitchen has been preparing around 450 meals a day since the beginning of the war. The group brings basic foodstuffs and tinned food. And this time there is a very special surprise: as Children’s Day was celebrated in Romania on 1 June, the children from the Kolping Centre in Oituz wanted to donate their favourite cuddly toys for children in Ukraine. In this way, a huge amount of colourful stuffed animals and dolls were collected – luckily the relief transport consisted of three vehicles this time! The Kolping Centre in Oituz looks after around 60 children every day, from kindergarten children to teenagers, many of whom come from poor families. A third of the children are so-called “Euro orphans” whose parents work abroad. Photos

+++ 11 June 2024: Continuous attacks on the infrastructure cause nationwide power cuts: ‘The city of Vovchansk has almost been destroyed. The people who received a generator from us in mid-May had to escape the city so quickly that they left everything behind,’ reports Vasyl Savka, National Secretary of Kolping Ukraine from Chernivtsi. ‘The energy infrastructure throughout Ukraine has been severely damaged by heavy missile attacks. There are frequent power failures or power cuts, even here in Chernivtsi, with four hours of electricity and four hours without electricity… In places where we have supplied the generators, there is no electricity or only for a few hours a day. This is a great help to people there. I can hardly imagine what it will be like in winter.”

+++ 28 May 2024: Kolping distributes generators in the Kharkiv region: With the help of the military police, Kolping handed over ten generators to families in Kharkiv. Kharkiv is part of the embattled region and the population is greatly suffering, also due to the irregular power supply. The generators are donations from Kolping Augsburg and were brought to the Kolping headquarters in Chernivtsi by Kolping Romania with a stopover in Romania. From there, the association organised the transport and distribution in Kharkiv. Photos

+++ 3 May 2024: Kolping supports children: “It is difficult for all, especially for the children, who have been deprived of their happy childhood“, says Vasyl Savka about the situation in Ukraine. “Whenever possible we try to give attention to the children. We deliver relief supplies to orphanages, send aid packages to extended families and organise interesting events for displaced children. At the end of March, we visited several villages and small towns in the region together with the National Police of the Chernivtsi region. 40 children from seven large families received help: clothes and shoes, food and sweets, hygiene articles and stationery and, of course, toys for the little ones. They were so happy about these unexpected gifts.” Photos

+++ 25 April 2024: Further training in trauma therapy: The third module of further training for 30 Kolping experts is taking place in Lviv this week. Since last November 30 Kolping employees have been completing a two-year complementary training to become trauma specialists. The experts, who work in various social projects of the Ukrainian Kolping Association, benefit from this additional qualification. They work with refugees, children and young people, people with disabilities and senior citizens. Kolping Ukraine offers this further training together with the ‘Foundation Wings of Hope Germany’.

+++ 22 April 2024: 60th relief transport from Romania: Last Friday, the 60th relief transport since the start of the war crossed the Romanian border. The transport contained food, sturdy shoes, bandages, walking aids, bed linen, and nappies for babies. Photos

+++ 18 April 2024: Power generators for the embattled areas: Russia has been attacking Ukraine’s infrastructure again for several weeks. Dams and hydroelectric and thermal power plants as well as the gas infrastructure are the targets of terrorist attacks. “We cannot rule out that the infrastructure of our other nuclear power plants and distribution grids is also threatened by Russian terror. The situation is currently extremely difficult. Every day Kharkiv is under attack and more than 200,000 people are currently without electricity, water and heating in the city,” reports National Secretary Vasyl Savka. End of March Kolping was able to forward ten power generators to the war region in Kharkiv, a donation from Kolping Augsburg. Photos. The police distributed the generators to the civilian population. The situation in Chernivtsi is still relatively calm, reports Vasyl Savka: “But the terrorist attacks on the power grid can already be noticed here. Time and again there are disconnections of electricity to avoid overloading the grids. And there are occasional emergency power failures. Today kamikaze drones attacked Ivano-Frankivsk. All the drones were shot down, fortunately.” Ivano-Frankivsk is also situated in western Ukraine, around 110 kilometres from Chernivtsi.

+++ 4 April 2024: New oven for the social kitchen in Czernowitz: Kolping Romania’s 59th aid transport had a special Easter present in its luggage. The social kitchen of the Kolping Family in Czernowitz received a new oven, and the joy was great. In a video, National Secretary Vasyl Savka expresses his gratitude for the solidarity. Since the start of the war, the voluntary helpers have been preparing around 550 hot meals a day for refugees and people in need. In the meantime, the kitchen has moved out of a school and now cooks directly at the headquarters of the Kolping National Association in Czernowitz. Generators, urgently needed backpacks for emergency doctors, first aid kits and hygiene products were also delivered. Photos
And future aid deliveries have also been secured. A new aid transport from Augsburg has unloaded its goods in Oituz so that the Romanian Kolping colleagues can forward the important aid to Ukraine in the coming weeks.

+++ 20 March 2024: 58th relief transport to Ukraine: In collaboration with the Leonardo Murialdo Foundation based in Roman, Kolping Romania delivered urgently needed donations in kind, including food, school supplies, clothes and shoes, to the Kolping headquarters in Chernivtsi with its 58th relief transport. National Secretary Vasyl Sawka is coordinating the further distribution. A new transport is planned for next week.

+++ 12 March 2024: Help for the south of Ukraine: Last week, the team of Kolping Ukraine in Chernivtsi sent 160 boxes of children’s clothes and 120 boxes of food and hygiene articles by post to Mykoloyiv. The city is located in the south of the country between Odessa and Kharkiv. National Secretary Vasyl Savka is travelling to Mykolayiv today to distribute the aid packages with a van. The clothes will be given to schoolchildren at a boarding school in the war region. The food and hygiene donations will go to families in need.

+++ 29 February 2024: Kolping Slovakia – Two years of help in Ukraine: “Together we succeeded and enriched each other”: “We have been accommodating refugees from Ukraine at the Kolping House in Štiavnické Bane since March 2022,” reports Margita Marková, Managing Director of Kolping Slovakia. “Some people moved elsewhere after a few weeks, others have been living with us for almost two years.” Last year, 15 refugees lived in the Kolping House, twelve adults and four school-age children. In addition to providing accommodation, Kolping provides material assistance and helps the families to find a place in a kindergarten or school and a job. Kolping also accompanies the families in everyday life, such as on medical appointments, celebrates birthdays or holidays together and organises excursions with the families (travel, culture, e.g. a visit to the theatre). Our motto is: “Together we succeeded and enriched each other,” says Margita Marková. Photos

+++ 27 February 2024: After eleven days, the Polish relief transport finally crossed the border: “Today we received good news: after eleven days of waiting at the border, the 31st humanitarian aid transport has just crossed the Slovakian-Ukrainian border,” reports Patrycja Kwapik, who coordinates KOLPING Poland’s aid to Ukraine. The 31st transport contained 31 pallets of clothing, bedding and shoes. That is 33,884 items of the product range in total! Father Oleg Salomon, the Praeses of KOLPING Ukraine, is responsible for distributing the relief supplies in Lviv. Today is World NGO Day. “We would like to thank all the organisations and individuals who are providing help for their support, cooperation, good will and determination to change the world for the better,” says Patrycja Kwapik. Photos

+++ 9 February 2024: Two rescue vehicles handed over in Kiev: National Secretary Vasyl Savka has handed over two rescue vehicles to the Ukrainian army in Kiev, procured by Kolping Austria. The vehicles will be used on the front line to provide first aid to wounded soldiers and transport them quickly to hospital. This will hopefully save many lives. The military doctor expressed his thanks with these words: “I am grateful for the support, that there are people who support and help in such a difficult time.” Photos

+++ 29 January 2024: A good start thanks to Kolping – Ukrainian children attend the regular school in Lituania: Some of the children who have been cared for by Kolping in Lithuania since the war have returned to Ukraine with their families. Those who stayed in Lithuania have been integrated to such an extent that Kolping has been able to close the Ukrainian pre-school group because the children go to primary school and can take part in regular lessons. The leisure activities organised by Kolping last summer also helped the children to feel at home in their new place of residence. Photos

+++ 21 January 2024: Kolping Austria delivers three rescue vehicles to Ukraine: The life-saving emergency vehicles were taken over by Ukrainian drivers in Vienna and transported to Chernivtsi. Kolping Ukraine will hand them over to the “paramedics”. These are teams of doctors who treat people near the front line and in the cities of eastern Ukraine, especially in acute cases – for example after bomb attacks. Kolping members from all over Austria financed the vehicles. Photo

+++ 17 January 2024: Kolping Romania’s 57th relief transport brings warmth to Ukraine – in a double sense: this year’s aid to Ukraine continues and the solidarity of the Kolping associations is stronger than ever. Today, Coordinator Corneliu Bulai travelled to Chernivtsi for the 57th time, this time accompanied by Kolping National Praeses Gödri István and Managing Director Eduard Dobre.  Once again, they were carrying urgently needed goods. In this harsh winter, the electricity generators, electric heaters and warm clothes for children and adults are particularly welcome. The load included a sewing machine, first aid kits, medical supplies and non-perishable food. Photos

+++ 19 December 2023: Visit from Ukraine to the General Secretariat in Cologne: Olesja Samoilenko runs a Kolping Residential Home for people with disabilities in Vinnytsya, central Ukraine. She travels between Germany and Ukraine because she and her autistic son escaped from the bombs to Germany at the beginning of the war. There is no lobby for disabled people in Ukraine, she says. That’s why the Kolping work is so important. Julia Savka accompanied her from Chernivtsi. “But even here there are siren alarms several times a day and we have to seek shelter,” reports Julia Savka. The war is omnipresent throughout Ukraine, even in supposedly safe places. “We are trying to survive. We don’t think about it too much, we help others,” says Julia Savka. “It makes us happy when Corneliu from Romania comes on a regular basis with a relief transport. Also, the solidarity and help of the other Kolping Families, diocesan associations and donors are a great help to us.”

+++ 7 December 2023: 55th relief transport from Romania to Ukraine: The convoy set off at 4 a.m. with parcels from the Erfurt diocesan association. Corneliu Bulai and his team bring food, waterproof ponchos, shoes and warm fleece jackets to Chernivtsi. Kolping Ukraine will then organise the distribution of the donations. The two minibuses reached the border crossing in Siret at 8 a.m. and are waiting at the border to continue their journey to Chernivtsi. Photo

+++ 5 December 2023: Kolping members from Rwanda are donating for Ukraine: Kolping members from Rwanda raised money for the Ukraine relief programme during their Procession on the World Day of Prayer. At a meeting in Kenya, Dancille Mujawamariya, Managing Director of Kolping Rwanda, handed over the donation in the equivalent of 2,000 euros to Karin Wollgarten, Managing Director of KOLPING INTERNATIONAL. This is how the Kolping World Family helps one another! Photo

+++ 28 November 2023: Training as a trauma therapy specialist: KOLPING Ukraine and the Wings of Hope Foundation Germany are responding to the lack of qualified trauma therapy with a training cooperation. At the beginning of November, they jointly started a programme in Lviv in western Ukraine, in which 29 Kolping employees will be trained as trauma specialists over two years and in eight modules. This additional qualification shall enable qualified staff from various social projects of the Ukrainian Kolping Association to create new psychosocial support services in their areas of work with refugees, children and young people, people with disabilities or senior citizens. Vasyl Savka, Managing Director of Kolping in Ukraine, reports: “People come to our centres who have had to leave everything behind, who have spent days in fear in cellars, have been shot at or have witnessed terrible violence. Many have also lost family members and friends. It is not easy to come to terms with such experiences; they need professional support. Photos

+++ 23 November 2023: 54th Kolping relief transport from Romania: A van from Kolping Romania has been on its way to the Kolping headquarters in Chernivtsi since this morning. It is carrying bed linen for a hospital, nappies and large packs of pasta. A second minibus accompanies Corneliu Bulai and brings warm fleece jackets, hats, sweets and games to Kolping, among other things. Photos of the arrival in Czernowitz

+++ 10 November 2023: Help for the people living near the combat zone in Kharkiv: At the end of October, the head of Kolping Ukraine, Vasyl Savka, brought food and hygiene products to villages near the combat zone with the support of the police. The team visited 15 families who had fled the war in the village of Velyka Homilscha, approximately 50 kilometres north of Kharkiv. For the last six months, Kolping has also been looking after a father with four children aged between 6 and 13. The mother was arrested by the Russians and is in prison somewhere in the occupied regions. “Their living conditions had already been bad before the war,” reports Vasyl Savka. “This time we brought winter clothes for the family and food, towels and toiletries.” With the help of Kolping, they will soon receive school books, a laptop and a water tank. A donor has also been found who will buy the family wood for cooking and heating so that they can survive the winter. Photos

+++ 7 November 2023: Kolping distributes relief supplies and organises legal assistance: At the end of October, staff from KOLPING Ukraine visited the village of Toporivtsi near Chernivtsi to look after the refugee families. Kolping provided information about the help offered by Kolping and the state. A lawyer was also present and was able to answer many questions (e.g. the replacement of lost documents, compensation for destroyed property, etc.) The families in need received clothing, blankets, bed linen, baby food, etc. Kolping will be back on site in a few weeks and provide assistance. Photos

+++ 13 October 2023: 53rd relief transport from Romania bringing nursing beds for the hospital in Chernivtsi: Today Kolping staff member Corneliu Bulai transported the last two nursing beds across the border for the hospital in Chernivtsi/Ukraine. The beds and other hygiene and food items were provided by the Kolping family Stadtlauringen from Germany which had brought the relief supplies to Kolping in Oituz, Romania in September. Kolping Romania supplemented the load with more food. As a symbolic act, Corneliu Bulai took the banner of the International Kolping Peace Walk with him, which was handed over to the Romanian delegation this year. In 2024, the Peace Walk will take place in Timisoara, Romania. It is important to keep praying for peace, and for a just coexistence worldwide. Photos

+++ 9 October 2023: War in Ukraine: “We have to be prepared for a marathon”: This is how the Managing Director Vasyl Savka describes the situation in Ukraine in an interview with domradio. ” It is relatively quiet here in Chernivtsi, but this is why many refugees come to us. They have big problems, of course. They need a shelter and food,” Savka says. “It is very difficult because so many people are coming and because we also need to transport relief supplies to the east, where people are suffering particularly hard. Moreover, there is our daily work with people with disabilities, with old people who need our help. Another task is the development of the communities where the refugees have been hosted. I think we have to prepare for a marathon. This is not a sprint with an end of the war in sight. We have to continue to make efforts to help people.”

+++ 5 October 2023: 52nd relief transport from Kolping Romania to Ukraine: Four hospital beds, food and hygiene articles are on their way to Czernowitz/Ukraine. It is a donation from the Kolping Family Stadtlauringen, which brought a truck with relief supplies from Germany to Romania to Kolping in Oituz in mid-September. The Romanian Kolping Association arranges the further transport to the Ukraine. From there Kolping organizes the distribution within Ukraine. Also last week Kolping Romania brought two vans with relief supplies across the border to Kolping in Czernowitz. Photos

+++ 27 September 2023: Kolping self-help group for refugees: For more than a year, refugees have been meeting every Saturday in Czernowitz for joint activities. The talks give support. The group understands sorrows and needs of each one because all have made similar experiences. Photos

+++ 20 September 2023: Kolping Family Stadtlauringen delivers 15 tons of relief supplies for Ukraine: A truck of Deutsche Post AG, a converted fire engine and the citizens’ bus of the municipality of Stadtlauringen were all needed to deliver the donations from Stadtlauringen to the transition point in Romania. 10 volunteers from Germany delivered Cucumbers, noodles, baby food, nappies, canned vegetables, potatoes, jam, as well as hygiene articles, mattresses and eight nursing beds to Oituz in Romania. Many children and adults from Oituz also helped to unload the vehicles. The three boxes full of sweets that were collected and packed by the kindergarten children from Stadtlauringen and nearby communities will soon bring joy to Ukrainian children.
The donations will be transported across the border to Chernivtsi by the team of helpers from Kolping Romania in the next few weeks. From there, Kolping will distribute the relief supplies locally and organise transports for the people who have to persevere in the embattled eastern part of the country. Photos

+++ 18 September 2023: Kolping lends an ear to the needs of the refugee families: A few days ago the team of Kolping Ukraine travelled to the village of Banyliw, about 50 kilometres west of Chernivtsi. The team members brought clothes, hygiene kits and medication for the refugee families there. ” In the conversation we presented our activities and also learned a lot about their problems and concerns”, reports the team of the National Office in Chernivtsi. “We are confident that we can solve some of the problems!” Photos

+++ 13 September 2023: Relief transport from Kolping Poland for Ukraine – a solidarity visit among friends: End of August Kolping Poland loaded its transporter and delivered relief supplies to a relief shelter in Uschgorod. Representatives of the Kolping Family “One World” accompanied the transport. The Kolping Family wanted to set a sign and visit their friends. “We think, particularly now it is necessary to go there”, says Magdalene Szczudlo. The delegation from Poland helped distributing the relief supplies and was happy about the encounter. “Kolping is an international family, and you don’t let down family members in times of need!” Report and photos:

+++ 7 September 2023: Psychological support for refugees and help for people with disabilities: “We are all traumatised by war to varying degrees,” says National Secretary Vasyl Savka. Kolping therefore offers therapy sessions for refugee families, both for adults and children. More than 1,000 people have received psychological support so far. The daily Kolping work also continues, for example the assistance of people with disabilities. In a number of towns, Kolping attends autistic children and young people. There is also a residential group and an integrative bakery where people with disabilities also work.

+++ 29 August 2023: Kolping gives people back their dignity providing them with food and a roof over their heads: “We have distributed 175,000 meals and sheltered about 2,500 refugees since the beginning of the war”, said Vasyl Savka. The National Secretary was joining us from Ukraine on the digital presentation of KOLPING INTERNATIONAL’s Annual Report. He reported that the Kolping kitchen in Chernivtsi had only been closed on two days, Easter and Christmas. About 550 meals are prepared there per day. However, Kolping’s associational and project work also continues to the full extent. He pointed out that 24 August, the day of the digital meeting, was the 32nd anniversary of Ukraine’s independence and the 547th day of the war.

+++ 23 August 2023: High level of expertise and commitment – Kolping Desk Officer finds out about the emergency aid and project work in Ukraine: Gregor Federhen, responsible for Ukraine at KOLPING INTERNATIONAL, was in Ukraine last week. “In all the facilities of the Kolping Society of Ukraine there was a good spirit and a very familiar atmosphere. I was also impressed by the high expertise and the great commitment of the therapists and doctors and also the volunteers who work in the Kolping centres”, he said. Although missile strikes are rare in the west of the country, they still pose a threat to the population there. “Against all adversities, the people continue to be united and support their army to the best of their ability. The senior citizens of the ‘Universities of the Third Age’ are also doing their part to strengthen the defence by preparing lunch boxes for the soldiers and making camouflage nets.” Photos

+++ 21 August 2023: Recreational activities for refugee mothers and children: A fragrant pizza, colourful mandalas or macramé angels – KOLPING offers refugee families a place of refuge. Mothers and their children meet up here to do handicrafts, to play, and to bake – the offer is varied. The families are welcome and there is always room for talks. This is comforting and helps them cope with the situation. Nevertheless, they still have many anxieties, they worry about relatives and friends still living in the embattled areas, about husbands, sons and brothers who are fighting as soldiers in the war. Photos

+++ 18 August 2023: Kolping Romania is sending the 50th relief transport to Ukraine today: Since the beginning of the war at the end of February 2022 our Romanian Kolping friends have brought a total of 97 loaded vehicles across the border to the Kolping headquarters in Czernowitz. Corneliu Bulai is always on board, and helpers are often on hand to assist him. Today Regional Praeses Stefan Ciubotaru is accompanying him. The second car is driven by a Sister. Apart from food and tourniquets to stop bleeding, many school supplies and games are also in the vehicle. After all, life and everyday life go on despite the war. The children from the Kolping Social Centre in Oituz actively helped with the packing and loading! … We thank the tireless helpers from Romania and the donors who make the support possible in the first place! Photos

+++ 14 August 2023: KOLPING provides active help: Internally displaced persons from the village of Stara Schadowa (situated between Chernivtsi and the Romanian border) asked KOLPING for help – they were in urgent need of clothes and medication for the most needy. No sooner said than done: Shortly thereafter; Kolping delivered the relief goods and also conducted a survey to find out which social benefits the refugees receive from the community and what could be improved. Photos

+++ 9 August 2023: Kolping delivers bandages to the embattled region Donzek: “With the help of the National Police from Chernivtsi and Donetsk we have sent today a relief delivery to Pokrovsk to the Central Hospital”, reports Vasyl Savka, head of Kolping Ukraine. “The delivery contains two pallets with bandages, first-aid kits and disinfectants, which we got from the partner associations: From the Kolping Diocesan Associations of Limburg, Augsburg and Erfurt and from our tireless helpers of Kolping Romania and Kolping Poland.” Two days ago, Russian soldiers bombarded the city of Pokrovsk/Donetsk region with rockets. There were several rocket impacts. The second impact occurred when the rescue operation started. More than 30 people were wounded and nine people were killed. Photos

+++ 8 August 2023: Mental support and legal advice: Kolping provides free legal advice and psychological support for refugee families and war-disabled people in Chernivtsi. In the premises of the Kolping National Office Kolping offers discussions, exchange of experiences, lectures and psychological strategies to help people cope with their traumatic experiences of the war. Photos

+++ 31 July 2023: KOLPING visits wounded soldiers in Chernivtsi: Thanks to the help of the local Kolping Family, Corneliu Bulai (Kolping Romania) was able to talk to wounded soldiers who are currently being treated in the hospital in Chernivtsi. A total of 250 injured soldiers are being cared for here. KOLPING Ukraine delivers meals and dressing material as well as medical equipment to the hospital. Most of the soldiers will have to go back to the front after staying in the hospital. “It was impressive to be able to speak with those affected. How much pain every war causes”, Corneliu reports moved. The contact between KOLPING Romania and KOLPING Ukraine is very close. Since the beginning of the war Corneliu and other helpers have been taking a minibus with relief supplies to the Kolping headquarters in Czernowitz every other week. Photos

+++ 28 July 2023: Journalists impressed by Kolping aid in Chernivtsi: This week KOLPING Ukraine was visited by the journalist Katharina Nickoleit and the photographer Christian Nusch. They met refugees in the emergency shelter in Chernivtsi, visited a psychosocial therapy group and the soup kitchen of the local Kolping Family to get an idea of the local relief efforts. “We are very concerned”, was their impression of what they saw and heard, including many very sad personal fates. All the more important for these people is the community aid network of the Kolping community – both on site and in the neighbouring countries. Photos

+++ 27 July 2023: 49th relief transport from Romania has started: Two vans are on their way to Chernivtsi: this time Corneliu is accompanied by the President of the Regional Kolping Association Moldova. The other vehicle is driven by a nun from the orphanage in Oituz. Flashlights and first aid kits from Kolping Augsburg and food, clothes, shoes, bed linen financed with donations from KOLPING INTERNATIONAL are loaded. Photos

+++ 18 July 2023: Romanian Kolping transporter totalled: On its way back from the partnership meeting of the Diocesan Association Würzburg to Romania the Kolping transporter had a serious accident: Past Timisoara an oncoming car crashed head on into the transporter of the Romanian colleagues. The Kolping transporter landed in the ditch and was totalled. By miracle, the windscreens were not destroyed, Corneliu, Ingrid and István as well as the person who caused the accident survived the collision without any major injuries – apart from the shock and slight pain. The bus is normally used for relief deliveries to Ukraine. Now the Association Kolping in Romania has to try and find a way to fund a new transporter. The planned transport is therefore cancelled this week. However, Corneliu is already planning the next relief transport to Ukraine, this time in a fully loaded car. Photos

+++ 17 July 2023: Kolping provides support for refugee families in Lithuania: In Kaunas, Kolping founded a kindergarten group for Ukrainian children who are looked after by three teachers from Ukraine. In the group, the children aged five and six are expanding their vocabulary in their Ukrainian mother tongue, but they can also already speak whole sentences in Lithuanian, reports Lina Kalibataitė from the National Office in Kaunas. The group consists of 13 children from 12 Ukrainian families. With the support of KOLPING INTERNATIONAL, it was also possible to employ three teachers. “The Ukrainian group celebrates national holidays and the birthdays of children and teachers. They also took part in a painting competition, and some of the children were among the winners. The parents appreciate the support from Kolping”, reports National Secretary Lina Kalibataitė. See the video

+++ 13 July 2023: 48th relief transports from Romania contains lights of hope: Last week Kolping Romania sent a minivan to Chernivtsi, loaded with tourniquets, sturdy shoes, tents and 100 candles made and donated by staff members of a sheltered workshops in Bucharest with much love and goods thoughts for people in Ukraine. Photos

+++ 1 July 2023: Clean water for the citizens of Kherson: Kolping has distributed water filters to the population of Kherson. The filter purifies the water contained in a special bottle, which can then be drunk immediately.  Photos

+++ 17 June 2023: KOLPING Poland sent their 25 th humanitarian transport to Ukraine:  About 1.5 tonnes of relief supplies, including plenty of nappies, were brought from Krakow to Lviv by members of the Association. The transport also included clothes for children and babies donated by Polish mothers. KOLPING Poland continues to be very active in Ukraine emergency relief: the financial value of aid provided by the Polish Association alone since the beginning of the war has exceeded two million zlotys (about 450,000 euros).

+++ 16 June 2023: 47th relief transport by KOLPING Romania to Ukraine with help from Erfurt: For its 47 th relief transport to Ukraine KOLPING Romania received support from members of the Kolping Diocesan Association of Erfurt, who were travelling through Romania on a partnership trip. Together they loaded the lorry in Oituz with plenty of canned food and 10 generators. Kolping Erfurt, which has had a special relationship with KOLPING Ukraine for many years, provided medical supplies, hygiene products, clothes, sweets and toys. The Kolping Hotel in Kronstadt/Brasov also provided 13 refugees from Ukraine with shelter and food on their journey through Romania.

+++ 14 June 2023: Kolping in Chernivtsi ready to receive new refugees: Vasyl Savka from the Kolping National Office expects new displaced people: “Because of the destroyed dam we now expect a new wave of refugees from Kherson and the localities along the Dnipro. It is difficult to judge how many people will come to which regions, but we are prepared. Many refugees from Chernivtsi and other western regions have returned to their home towns, therefore our shelters are currently occupied only by half.
From here we are trying to deliver aid to Kherson and its surroundings. Only about a week and a half ago, before the destruction of the dam in Nova Kachovka, I was in Kherson and the surrounding area with the support of the National Police and brought there a lot of food, electricity generators, bandages, etc. Last week and the day before yesterday we sent some pallets with necessary goods: Water purification tablets and powder for 220 tons and 228 water purification filters, four generators, candles and about 300 kilos of animal food.”

+++ 2 June 2023: Foodstuff for the people near the front: The 46th relief transport from Romania passed the border at 9.30 am: After waiting for more than two hours, Corneliu Bulai was able to continue towards Czernowitz, reports Romanian colleague Ingrid Arvay. This time he loaded almost exclusively food in his minibus. It came from donations from KOLPING INTERNATIONAL and two Foundations from Romania (NOWERO-Foundation and Vinzenz von Paul-Foundation). This time the food is mainly destined for the people who live near the embattled areas. Kolping Ucraine will organise the transport to the east of the country in the next few days.

+++ 1 June 2023: Kolping Austria supports Ukrainian families in Slovakia: Four families who live in the Kolping House in Štiavnické Bane since March have received donations in kind and foodstuffs from Kolping Austria. A co-worker of Slovakian origin organized the transport and, together with her husband and son, brought the relief transport to the 15 refugees. “We were happy about this help and the friendly meeting and we are very grateful for everything”, says Margita Marková, the National Secretary of Kolping Slovakia. “We are happy that also in this way the partnership between Kolping Slovakia and Kolping Austria is realised and strengthened.” Photos

+++ 26 May 2023: Relief transport number 45 started from Romania: Yesterday, another relief transport left for Czernowitz. This time above all foodstuff is loaded. It is needed for the 450 meals that Kolping prepares every day. In addition, Kolping distributes food to the suffering population in the east of the country near the embattled areas.

+++ 16 May 2023: Teamwork – This is how Kolping Romania helps in Ukraine: Ingrid Arvay coordinates every relief transport together with the team of colleagues from Timisoara, Neumarkt and Oituz, in coordination with KOLPING INTERNATIONAL, who sends the major donations, and Kolping Ukraine. “We do teamwork”, she emphasises. In Chernivtsi, every third inhabitant is a refugee. ” Currently, the safest place for these people is there,” Ingrid Arvay knows. “They stay with relatives, friends, and acquaintances or sleep in classrooms in schools that have been converted into dormitories. Thanks to a major donation arranged by Kolping, the rooms could be provided with new beds, mattresses and towels. “We know exactly who we help, we have a personal relationship with people there”, says Ingrid Arvay. Read the whole article about the Ukraine aid of Kolping Romania (German)

+++ 5 May 2023: Kolping Poland supports the Ukrainian Kolping Families in Stryi and Chernivtsi: Patrycja Kwapik reports about two relief transports that were sent from Krakow to the Kolping Families in Stryi and Chernivtsi at the end of April: “The most essential items such as blankets, towels, bed linen, hygiene sets, nappies for the elderly and injured, thermos flasks or even a printer reached the Ukrainian Kolping Families. All relief goods will be donated to centres for internally displaced persons and military hospitals.” 

+++ 4 May 2023: For the 44th time a relief transport starts from Romania: “This morning Corneliu Bulai set off again at four o’clock in the morning to bring the 44th transport of Kolping Romania to Ukraine”, reports Ingrid Arvay. “Yesterday shopping was done – durable food and as many canned goods as possible. Pasta packs complete the load, as well as dishes for the Kolping kitchen in Czernowitz. After four hours it has now reached the border town of Siret and will hopefully be able to cross the border safely and quite soon.”

+++ 28 April 2023: Kolping Romania is planning the 44th relief transport which will go to the Kolping kitchen in Chernivtsi and the people in need near the front: “The 44th relief transport from Romania is being prepared for the beginning of May”, reports Ingrid Arvay. We received a wish list from the management of the Kolping kitchen in Chernivtsi asking for basic foodstuffs, various vegetables, spices – but also for disposable gloves, aprons, and working tools such as knives or graters, which wear out badly through daily use. Hygiene and durable foodstuffs, especially tinned food, with ready-made or semi-prepared food are always in demand for redistribution to those in need near the front.”

+++ 13 April 2023: The Kolping Youth of Romania collects donations for the Kolping canteen in Chernivtsi: During Lent, young people from Oituz collected food donations for Kolping in Ukraine. “In pairs the young people went to see families, people they know, community shops and companies telling them about the work of Kolping in Ukraine, where committed people have been preparing up to 500 or sometimes more meals in the Kolping canteen every day since the outbreak of the war”, reports Ingrid Arvay from the Kolping Centre in Romania. The young people collected 120 litres of oil, 70 kilos of maize flour, 120 kilos of rice and sugar. Today the donations are brought across the border to Chernivtsi. The lorry is also loaded with other foodstuffs that could be bought through donations by the international Kolping community. It is the 43rd time since the beginning of the war that Corneliu Bulai and his team are transporting relief goods to Ukraine. Photos

+++ 7 April 2023: Kolping Poland is sending 19 pallets of relief supplies to Ukraine in the 19th transport: Thanks to donations from various organisations and the city of Krakow as well as the UNHCR Kolping Poland was able to load a big truck and drive to Lviv at the end of March. 50 boxes of hygiene packages, 555 pairs of children’s shoes, a pallet of clothes, backpacks containing toys and school material, baby seats and 5 prams were loaded. “The humanitarian aid that was sent to Lviv in March included a total of three transports worth more than 300,000.00 PLN (equivalent to about € 64,000)”, says Jozef Sikorski, the coordinator of Ukraine Aid of Kolping Poland. “This is a huge support. Although we have never acted on such a scale before, I am very happy that we were able to give such help to our friends in Ukraine.” Photos

+++ 31 March 2023: Being mobile thanks to Kolping: Kolping organises wheelchairs, crutches or rollators for elderly, disabled or injured people time and again. In the video an injured soldier is happy about his wheelchair. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation in Chernivtsi and will hopefully no longer need his wheelchair soon. Video

+++ 24 March 2023: Kolping Ukraine is currently accommodating 100 refugees: In Chernivtsi, there are air alarms three to four times a day, like in most other cities and regions in Ukraine, says National Secretary Vasyl Savka. But no bombs or rockets fall on the city. However, cities like Zaporizhzhya, Dnipro or Kharkiv are bombed daily and many people are injured or killed. Currently, there are about 100 people living in the Kolping shelters, “but the numbers are constantly changing because people stay with us for different lengths of time. Some only a few days, some up to half a year,” says Savka.

+++ 23 March 2023: Medicine and protective clothing for hospitals: Today Corneliu Bulai accompanied by Fr. Francis Farcasel transports a particularly large amount of medical aid material to Ukraine: 50,000 surgical masks, 30,000 disposable gloves, 2,000 operating gowns, 200 infection protection suits, 100 surgical glasses, 3,000 visors (a donation by the association “Friede und Gutes für Karansebesch (Peace and Good for Caransebes)” from Michelstadt/Germany. The load is complemented with painkillers, flu and cold remedies, which could be acquired thanks to donations from KOLPING INTERNATIONAL. For the remaining  loading space, the Kolping team Romania was able to acquire urgently needed canned ready meals. It is the 42nd transport that Kolping Romania sends on its journey, reports Ingrid Arvay from the Kolping headquarters in Romania. Photos

+++ 22 March 2023: Relief delivery to the east of Ukraine: “We continue to organize relief transports to eastern regions, like recently food packages for 1,500 families in Kherson. Photos. Kolping was supported by the police with the distribution”, reports Vasyl Savka from the Kolping headquarters in Chernivtsi. The packages also contained donations from Kolping Augsburg. Video of the distribution in german

+++ 16 March 2023: Food and power generator for Ukraine: Kolping Romania is on the way to Czernowitz with two vans. It is the 41st relief transport since the beginning of the war. The food for the Kolping canteen, which prepares about 500 meals a day for the refugee families, was financed by donations. In addition, the displaced people also receive basic foodstuffs to provide for themselves in the shelters. An urgently needed generator is also included. Photos

+++ 9 March 2023: another rocket fire and power cuts: “Tonight has again become a nightmare for many areas… After a relatively long break (about 3 weeks), Russia has once again tried to plunge Ukrainians into darkness and suffering”, reports National Secretary Vasyl Savka from Ukraine. “There was no other target, as only the infrastructure was attacked. But this will not break us, because we are strengthened by you,” he thanks the Kolping community.

+++ 3 March 2023: 40th transport from Romania to Ukraine: This is the 40th time that Corneliu Bulai from Kolping Romania delivered relief supplies across the Ukrainian border. Since the beginning of the war, small transporters have been driving to the Kolping headquarters in Chernivtsi almost every week. Yesterday the 80th vehicle arrived. Kolping Romania is closely networked with the Kolping Associations in Germany, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. In Oituz, which is located close to the border, the Association stores donations from Romania but also from other countries and provides relief transports across the border on a regular basis. This time, it delivered, among other things, a wheelchair, tents, tourniquets, gas bottles, boots and durable food. Photos

+++ 2 March 2023: Kolping Austria supports Ukraine with a big relief campaign since the beginning of war: Since the beginning of the battles, Ukrainian Catholic communities have proved to be points of contact for people seeking protection and for displaced persons. The support is coordinated by the parish priest of the Greek Catholic central parish of St. Barbara, Taras Chagala, and parish moderator Lyubomyr Dutka in Neuottakring, among others. He is native of Ukraine and also acts as the Praeses of the Kolping Diocesan Association of Vienna. Since then, more than 200 tonnes of donations in kind have been collected in Neuottakring alone. The “Action Kilo” proved to be particularly successful: In the local “Billa plus” branch, customers can donate one kilo (or more) of non-perishable goods each, which reach Ukraine from there within days. Photos. Up to 60 children are cared for daily in the parish home, and about 50 flats are organised for war-displaced persons. Moreover, the parish has bought 22 used ambulances at favorable prices, repaired them, equipped them and made them available to hospitals all over Ukraine. Thousands of first aid kits and high-quality medical equipment were acquired and delivered to Ukraine, as well as about 100,000 food packages. In Austria, Kolping actively helped on site: About 900 people found a place to live through a digital platform. In St. Barbara, among other things, a library, a theater group, two children’s choirs, German lessons are given, services, for example from hairdressers, are arranged free of charge and numerous cultural events and excursions are organized, for example a boat trip in which 500 children participated.

+++ 28 February 2023: Kolping Poland gives refugees from Ukraine security and a perspective: “Apart from basic needs such as accommodation and food, long-term help like job guidance and psychological counselling is needed”, explains Patrycja Kwapik, coordinator of Ukraine Aid in Krakow, to domradio. “People should not only have a safe place, but also a perspective to move on in life; despite all the many problems that the war entails.” The refugees are homesick and long for peace. Providing food is only part of the job. Therefore, we also try to spend time with people and to establish contacts to specialists.

+++ 24 February 2023: Today, 24 February, marks the anniversary of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Since then, the worldwide Kolping community has shown overwhelming solidarity with the Ukrainian people. Immediately after the beginning of the war, different Kolping levels organised a network of relief aid that has supported tens of thousands of people suffering from the war until today. Thanks to countless helpers, especially from the East European Kolping Associations, as well as a veritable flood of in-kind and cash donations, KOLPING Ukraine has so far been able to distribute more than 180 tons of food, clothing as well as other vital relief goods to about 90,000 people. To date, KOLPING Romania has sent relief transports to Ukraine 39 times, KOLPING Poland 16 times. More transports came from Hungary and the Czech Republic, eleven from Germany. Great things were also achieved in refugee aid. Since the beginning of the war, more than 2,800 internally displaced people have received emergency shelter and food in the various KOLPING Ukraine centres. More than 1,000 people have received psychological or therapeutic help. Thanks to KOLPING, tens of thousands of other refugees have found support and shelter in neighbouring countries. KOLPING INTERNATIONAL has helped coordinate many activities and has received the overwhelming donation sum of 2.3 million Euros for the Ukraine emergency aid to date. A heartfelt thank you to all who are a part of this commitment – be it through their energy or donations! Photos

+++ 21 February 2023: Kolping Poland delivers two tons of relief supplies to Ukraine: On 17 February Kolping Poland carried out another relief transport across the border to Uzhgorod. Among other things warm sleeping bags, field beds, winter jackets, and field cookers were loaded. During a charity ball Kolping Poland also collected donations for the Ukraine emergency aid. Photos

+++ 17 February 2023: One year ago, on February 25, the escape of the Sirotenko family from Bucha began. They found refuge in the Kolping House in Slovakia: the Sirotenko family comes from near Bucha and fled right at the beginning of the war. “On the evening of February 25, tanks were standing near our house, and the Ukrainian military told us to pack up quickly and evacuate the children,” Julia Sirotenko describes the beginning of their long escape. Together with her husband and children Sofie (9) and Mikhail (12), they left for the west of the country risking their lives. They lived in Kamjanez-Podilskyj for several months. “We hoped war would end soon and common sense would prevail, but unfortunately this did not happen.” When also this town was attacked with rockets, the family fled to Slovakia and has been living in the Kolping House in Banská Štiavnica ever since. The family is grateful for the warmth and help they receive at Kolping. Photos “Here it is quiet and peaceful. We are as calm and happy as possible. We are grateful to everyone who helped us when we needed help most urgently.” Julia Sirotenko has written down her escape story in German. To PDF.

+++ 13 February 2023 This is how Kolping helps refugee families in Lithuania: Many people have fled to Lithuania from Ukraine. Kolping helps them in Kaunas, accompanies families and supports the children wherever possible. They attend kindergarten or school, and in their leisure time Kolping offers many activities, games and sports activities to help the children in their new environment. This video from Lithuania shows with many photos how the children are cared for at Kolping. At the end of the video two parents as representatives, express their gratitude for the care. “Thank you for the happy children, the very good education, all the activities, the work of the teachers. When the children get sick and cannot go to Kolping, they are very sad because they like it so much… We would like to thank you on behalf of the Ukrainian parents for the support and the possibility that our children can stay with Kolping during this difficult time. We are happy that the children learn, get good food and are offered different leisure activities.” To the video

+++ 10 February 2023: A day in the Kolping Refugee Center in Chernivtsi: A dozen children are lively discussing the news of the day. Little Zabar has a new tooth. Yasmina learned her favourite poem by heart and Mikhailik eventually persuaded his mother to buy him football shoes…Despite air alarms and power cuts, the families in the former school try to live normal daily lives and enjoy the small things. The children have coloured the walls and are happy with the new toys. This and other shelters are supported with donations. Photos

+++ 9 February 2023: A generator for the school in Chernivtsi: “This morning at four o’clock the 39th Kolping relief transport headed for Ukraine”, reports Ingrid Arvay from Rumania. This time, a big power generator is transported to a school in Chernivtsi. On the ground floor of the school, Kolping has set up a centre for refugees with the help of donations, where mainly mothers with children from the war area are accommodated. Here, in addition to sleeping accommodations, there are also bathrooms, washing machines and a children’s playground. In several rooms, activities are offered by volunteer Kolping members, especially for the refugee children. Regular school lessons are held in the other part of the school building. The generator will be of great help, since the power is repeatedly interrupted for longer periods of time. “Sometimes there is power for two hours, then again there is none for five hours,” reports Ingrid Arvay. “Also included in the luggage are wheelchairs, candles and many small camping cookers so that the families in the shelter can heat up their food during power cuts. Solidarity with Ukraine continues!” Photos

+++ 8 February 2023: 3,900 war refugees have sought refuge at Kolping in Slovakia since March: The Kolping House in Slovakia is a temporary refuge for war refugees from Ukraine. Since March 2022, Banská Štiavnica has received around 3,900 people, sometimes for one night, some stay longer. “Apart from accommodation, we also provide our friends from Ukraine with material help and food. We accompany them to doctor’s appointments, when looking for a job, to school, to training and to visits to the authorities. We also try to give them human and emotional support and when possible to spend leisure them with them. We have become a community”, says Margita Markova, head of Kolping Slovakia. Photos

+++ 2 February 2023: Kolping Romania delivers generators to Ukraine: The 38th relief transport from Romania is on its way to Chernivtsi. On board are six urgently needed generators, medicine, foodstuff, warm clothes and much more. Photos

+++ 31 January 2023: Group activities for refugee children: In the Kolping refugee shelter for internally displaced persons in Chernivtsi, pedagogues regularly take care of the children and offer creative games: Painting, storytelling, singing and group games. One activity took place outdoors under the motto: “Because blue and yellow is my country’s flag! Photos. The children have fun, experience togetherness, they develop ideas and courage and, above all, they should be one thing above everything else: children who forget the war for a short time and can simply be children. These group activities take place two to three times a week. They are also funded through donations to KOLPING INTERNATIONAL.

+++ 26 January 2023: Kolping Ukraine organises legal advice for refugees: The Kolping National Office in Chernivtsi is a contact point for refugees – in every way. Today a lawyer and a social worker provided advice to women who escaped from the war. They addressed issues such as financial aid, finding accommodation, housing for children, and workers’ rights. The women have fled from Nikolayev, Luhansk, Kherson, Severodnonetska and Rubishne.

+++ 19 January 2023: Kolping Romania delivers food for social kitchen in Chernivtsi: pasta, rice, flour, oil and other foodstuff are delivered today by Kolping from Oituz via the frontier to Chernivtsi. The foodstuff is for the Kolping kitchen that provides a warm meal for hundreds of refugees every day. Warm winter clothes are also on board. It is the 37th relief transport for Ukraine. Photos

+++ 11 January 2023: Humming of generators and photos of fallen soldiers are omnipresent in Chernivtsi: Corneliu Bulai, staff member of Kolping Romania, accompanies relief transports to Ukraine from the very first day. He reports about his last operation that you can hear everywhere in Chernivtsi the buzzing of the power generators, which are constantly in use. Also the war dead are reminded of: Photos of fallen soldiers are displayed in public places. Photos

+++ 9 January 2023: Kolping Romania sends 36th relief transport: On 5th January two vans set off again for Chernivtsi. On board this time: a large power generator, warm clothes, blankets, toys and food for the Kolping social kitchen in Chernivtsi, which prepares about 450 warm meals a day.

+++ 24.12.2022: Kolping Ukraine thanks for the support: Ten months ago, on February 24, the Russian attacks on Ukraine started. On Christmas, Vasyl Savka, Executive Director of Kolping Ukraine, sends greetings to all supporters. He expresses his thanks with these words: “Thank you all for your prayers, help and support! It is not that painful and difficult to fight on all fronts when you know that there are people like you who help us. It would be impossible without you! Therefore, my prayers are for you and your families that you will never hear air alarms and that the sky above your heads will remain peaceful forever!”

+++ 23.12.2022: Kolping braves power cuts: Also in Chernivtsi and surroundings, electricity is rationed and there are repeatedly power cuts for longer periods of time. The whole population suffers as a result, including the children who come to the Kolping House for the group lessons. The children make the best of the situation: They turn on the flashlight, throw shadow plays on the wall and guess animals. This is how the guardians manage to mitigate the situation. Laughter is good and brings people together. Even in the dark. Photos

+++ 21.12.2022: Christmas presents for refugee children: This was a good distraction and a great joy for refugee children from the war region. In Khmelnytskyi and in Czernowitz the girls and boys in the Kolping shelters got presents donated by Kolping Romania and Kolping Erfurt. Photos

+++ 16.12.202: The Kolping community kitchen has prepared 145,500 lunches since the beginning of the war – The General Praeses’ visit to Ukraine ends today: Yesterday, General Praeses Christoph Huber visited the Kolping community kitchen that also provides a refugee shelter with 220 lunches daily. In Chernivtsi yesterday the General Praeses talked to the residents and children in a Kolping refugee shelter. He also met the Kolping Family of Chernivtsi. Today the one-week visit of Christoph Huber ends. During his visit, he could get an overview of Kolping’s Ukraine emergency relief and talk to people on site about their worries and needs. Photos
Corneliu Bulai from Kolping Romania is currently on his way to Chernivtsi. It is the 35th relief transport of Kolping Romania. He carries with him Christmas parcels from Kolping Erfurt for the tireless Ukrainian helpers. He also loaded warm clothes and food for the Kolping community kitchen, which has prepared 145,500 warm meals since the beginning of the war.

+++ 15.12.2022 Ukraine: Power cut and air alarm – encounters in the dark: How does it feel when one has no electricity during several hours a day – and in winter? And air alarm reminds you time and again that you are in a country where a terrible war in raging? General Praeses Christoph Huber has already made this experience during his one-week travel through West Ukraine. Alarm sirens abruptly interrupted a conversation between him and representatives of the regional administration of Vinnytsja. At the local Kolping Center, the meeting with children with special needs cared for there and participants of the Senior Citizens’ University had to take place in the dark because of a power failure. The same applied to the visit to the Kolping Center for assisted living in Vinnytsja. But this did not harm the joy of meeting each other. Photos

+++ 13.12.2022: Kolping is a beacon of humanity: Last weekend, General Praeses Msgr Christoph Huber travelled via Romania with a Kolping relief transport to Ukraine. He is visiting Kolping Families and Kolping institutions in the west of the country and is accompanying the distribution of the relief supplies. “Every single encounter is incredibly valuable, even if some experiences are so sad you wouldn’t think they were possible. But Kolping is a beacon of humanity here,” Christoph Huber reports from his visits to Shargorod and Chernivtsi. During his trip, the General Praeses experiences the hard everyday life of the Ukrainians. Even in the west of the country, there are frequent power cuts. In Chernivtsi power is only available for 2-3 hours a day, reports Vasyl Savka of Kolping Ukraine. On Sunday the General Praeses saw the Board of Directors’ members of KOLPING Ukraine, and in the evening he was able to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Kolping Family Chernivtsi in a church service.
On Monday Christoph Huber went to Shargorod, 250 kilometres away, to visit the Kolping Rehabilitation Centre for children with disabilities. At present, 30 children and young people are cared for here. 30 refugees are accommodated in the annex of the Kolping House, among them are 12 children. Photos

+++ 12.12.2022: 34th relief transport from Romania in company of General Praeses Huber: Last weekend the 34th relief transport was carried out by Kolping Romania to Chernivtsi. General Praeses Christoph Huber who is staying in Ukraine for one week accompanied the transport. Previously, the General Praeses had supported the Romanian Kolping Youth in Oituz to pack 100 present bags for children in Ukraine. With the help of donations from KOLPING INTERNATIONAL, the Romanian Kolping Association was able to buy 11 smaller power units and a 600 kg 14 kVA emergency power generator. Additionally, they procured urgently needed medication such as analgesics, antibiotics and cold remedies, as well as warm clothes, shoes and sleeping bags. Photos

+++ 2.12.2022: Kolping offers self-help group for internally displaced persons: A self-help group of people from the embattled war zones who have fled to the west of Ukraine meets regularly at the Kolping office in Chernivtsi. The next meeting of the group will take place tomorrow, 3 December. Kolping is promoting this offer on its social media channels. The advertisement reads: “Warmth and acceptance, conversation and support. We would love to see you!”

+++ 1.12.2022: Chernivtsi – power cuts increase, Kolping community kitchen continues to supply meals: “We have 50% electricity”, report the colleagues from the Kolping headquarters in Chernivtsi. Fortunately, the National Office has acquired a generator last winter so that Kolping Ukraine is hardly limited in its work. Since the Kolping community kitchen belongs to the critical infrastructure, it is connected to the power supply network, which is supplied in any case. Thus, fortunately, about 450 meals can still be prepared and distributed every day. However, a large part of the population is time and again affected by power cuts and sits in the dark in cold homes.

+++ 24.11.2022: Power generators urgently needed in Ukraine: The neighbouring Kolping associations support Kolping in Ukraine with all their strength. Kolping Romania is currently trying to get hold of power generators. Only a few generators are still available for private households. Larger generators are sold out and are being reordered. Vasyl Savka, Managing Director of Kolping in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, reports: “It is madness what can happen in the 21st century that people have to experience such challenges in the approaching winter… In some regions in the west of the country, people have already been without electricity for 48 hours and as a result without heat, water and means of communication. Thank you for your support and help!”

+++ 18.11.2022: Number of internally displaced persons high, Kolping refugee shelter completely full: More and more people from the embattled east of Ukraine are fleeing to the west of the country, reports Kolping Managing Director Vasyl Savka: “The number of people is increasing each day because the infrastructure in the eastern cities is completely destroyed. Our refugee shelter in Chernivtsi is completely full and in Shargorod up to 50%. Most people are looking for accommodation in larger cities because there are more job opportunities there – although the prospects there are not really promising either with an unemployment rate of 30%,” Vasyl Savka describes the situation. “In the 42 years of my life, I have seen Chernivtsi without electricity for the first time, not in a single window, nowhere… it was really shocking for me. The war has also caught people in the west of the country and torn them from their comfortable lives. The situation is very difficult, as the Russians have destroyed about 40% of our electricity supply. Up to 10 million Ukrainians are left without electricity, heating and water… In some cities the electricity is turned on only for a few hours,” Savka said.  “So I hope we all understood – we all have to approach victory with all our strength!”

+++ 10.11.2022: Kolping Poland delivers 2 tons of emergency aid to Ukraine: Patrycja Kwapik, coordinator of the Kolping Poland’s Ukraine Aid reports about her 11th relief transport: “Immediately after crossing the border we were greeted with an air raid alarm in Uzhgorod. For the locals, this is as much a part of everyday life as the lack of street lighting and the frequent power cuts due to damages to the electricity grid. However, our arrival provided great joy and undisguised gratitude on the faces of the staff and volunteers of Kolping Ukraine. Together we quickly and efficiently loaded more than 2 tons of relief supplies. Some of them were delivered the same day to the people in need who are cared for by Kolping Ukraine in the Kolping Centres in Uzhgorod, Shargorod and Chernivtsi. However, the most part of the donations goes to the east of Ukraine where fighting is going on, and to areas which have been liberated from the Russian occupation. That is where warm clothes, field cookers and longer-lasting food can really save lives.” Photos

+++ 4.11.2022: More relief supplies for Kolping Ukraine: A new relief delivery from Kolping Poland will be delivered to the Kolping Centre in Uschgorod today: The Polish Association brings sleeping bags, blankets, camp beds, medicines, bandages, warm clothes, cookers, gas bottles and canned food across the border to support the suffering population. Photos

+++ 26.10.2022: “We are very exhausted. The war is a marathon”. Help for refugees in Dniporo/East Ukraine: We are very exhausted. Winter is approaching. In every family we are worried about heating the house, what will happen to the light, will there be enough money for the necessities,” says Lyudmyla Osaulenko, President of the Kolping Family Dnipro. “It is hard for us in our homes. But how hard it is now for people who have been expelled from their homes? Our freedom has a high and very bitter price. We feel exhausted, but we have to help the army, our people and our loved ones. War is a marathon and longer and harder. Looking into the eyes of these people? What do you see? Pain, fear, hope, disappointment…. Our people who have lost their homes urgently need support!” Together with the relief organization “Happy Women Ukraine” the Kolping Family Dnipro helped the refugee families and distributed food packages, warm clothes, first aid kits, bandages and baby food. “We cannot help people to return to their homes. But we can give them our attention and support them,” said Lyudmyla Osaulenko. Photos

+++ 20.10.2022: 31st relief delivery from Romania to Ukraine: First aid bags, medical articles, bedding for hospitals and baby food are loaded. These goods were donated by Kolping Augsburg and loaded via different Kolping stations; via Hungary to Romania and now to Czernowitz to Kolping Ukraine.

+++ 17.10.2022: Slovakia – Equipment for the refugee shelter: The Kolping House in Štiavnické Bane has now been equipped with washing machines and refrigerators. This is a great help for the refugee families. The electric piano is very popular. Miša and Sofia immediately played a song for the visitors. Photos

+++ 7.10.2022: Visit in the country of those who have confidence in victory: Gregor Federhen, desk officer for Ukraine, has recently returned from Ukraine. In Uschgorod he mainly visited the refugee work and Kolping projects. The city is located close to the Slovakian border, where a very active Kolping Family provides humanitarian aid. Despite all the suffering, optimism prevails among the population: Here is his report

+++ 30.9.2022: 77 war refugees find refuge in new accommodation in Chernivtsi: In the rooms of a former school, an additional refugee accommodation has now been opened, also with the help of KOLPING. It provides accommodation for up to 80 people. With material donations from Ikea Romania, the sleeping rooms could be equipped. At the moment 57 adults and 20 children live here. The refugees get a daily warm lunch provided by the Kolping social kitchen. It is delivered by the president of the local Kolping Family, Ludwig Markuljak. Photos

+++ 23.9.2022: Ukraine – Help for traumatised children: In the frame of the project “A Roof for Refugees”, children at KOLPING learn to express their feelings through art. Their stories contain so much pain and fear,” reports art therapist Julia Savka in Chernivtsi. “I will draw a sun for you, so big and glowing yellow. So that you can touch it when you are cold and lonely … I will also draw a dog, so cheerful and barking, so that you can always hear when a stranger is near our house.”
Also joint actions like recently baking an apple pie helps the children and makes them forget their worries for a short time. “After these encounters, one values life with all its colours and all its little joys all the more,” says the therapist. Photos

+++ 21.9.2022: Self-help group for refugees: In Chernivtsi, KOLPING organizes psychosocial support for war refugees on a regular basis. In the group, the persons affected can talk about their worries, fears and problems. A therapist accompanies them and gives psychological support. Feedback of a participant: “Thank you Elena and Valerii for this wonderful opportunity to talk about important subjects and to open up a little bit. It is an important support in the current situation. I wish there were more courses like this!” (Margarita T.) Photos

+++ 15.9.2022: The 26th relief transport from Romania to Chernivtsi: 30 boxes with food, 400 first aid kits and large quantities of medical equipment and medicines (protective clothing, medicine, infusion solutions, and syringes) arrive at KOLPING today in two vans in Chernivtsi. Moreover, they bring a very valuable cargo: The Romanian KOLPING co-workers Corneliu and Vlad take a young Ukrainian mother and her small child back to their home country. In the Kolping House in Czernowitz, the family will finally meet again after half a year of separation! Photos

+++ 2.9.2022: 9th transport of KOLPING Poland to Ukraine: The team from Krakow brought many special articles necessary for survival without heating, electricity, gas or water to Uzhgorod – e.g. field cookers, gas bottles, water purification tablets, sleeping bags, mattresses, tents. Also clothes and shoes, more than 840 canned food as well as first aid kits and materials for bandages were unloaded. Kolping Families in Poland had collected many of the relief goods as donations. In addition, some of the 1,500 packages of nappies and hygiene articles, which had been collected by the Kolping Family Werpeloh in Germany, could be handed over to the Kolping Centre in Uzhgorod. As a thank you, the committed helpers from Poland received handmade pictures that the seniors of the KOLPING University of the Third Age had made for them. Photos

+++ 29.8.2022: 23rd transport from Romania to Ukraine: This time the two transporters from Romania had loaded loads of new mattresses, blankets, pillows, bed linen, towels as well as 2 washing machines – parts of a generous donation from the furniture store Ikea Romania, which was made possible with the help of KOLPING Serbia. The goods will be used to equip a new refugee shelter of KOLPING Ukraine and have already been thankfully received. Now KOLPING Ukraine can help even more internally displaced persons in the country. Photos

+++ 18.8.2022: 22nd transport from Romania to Ukraine: Today another van from KOLPING Romania is leaving for Czernowitz. It delivers hygiene articles, clothes, first aid kits and lots of food stuff to Ukraine. On board are Julia Savka and a representative of the Kolping Youth Ukraine. They are on their way back from Serbia, where they participated in the Kolping Youth Week in Novi Sad. Photos

+++ 12.8.2022: 21st aid transport of KOLPING Romania: Yesterday two minibuses with food, first aid kits, bandages, crutches and electric sewing machines and fabrics arrived at the Kolping headquarters in Chernivtsi.

+++ 5.8.2022: Transnational relief transport for Ukraine: Today Corneliu Bulai from KOLPING Romania again travelled to Chernivtsi to bring the first cargo of the 30 tons relief supplies to Ukraine that have been delivered by KOLPING Augsburg via KOLPING Hungary to Romania. All KOLPING associations work hand in hand and filling out the customs forms, the coordination of the route and storing has long since become routine. More deliveries of medications, first aid kits, power banks, groceries, clothes, shoes and toys from Augsburg will follow form Oituz to Ukraine in the following weeks. Photos

+++ 2.8.2022: KOLPING Ukraine supports war refugees to find a job: In Chernivtsi, KOLPING provides assistance in finding employment. Job applications from individual refugees and work offers are posted on the social media channels. For example, Tatiana from the Lugansk area found a job as an accountant in a construction company thanks to KOLPING. Before that, she worked temporarily in the laundrette that the association set up for the refugee families in Chernivtsi. Photos

+++ 29.7.2022: Help the people in the Kharkiv war zone: KOLPING delivered relief supplies from its headquarters in the west of Ukraine (Chernivtsi) to Kharkiv, which is 1,100 kilometres away. The city is located in the embattled northeast of the country. “Kharkiv has been very heavily destroyed and the infrastructure is barely functioning. The city is also being bombed by Russian missiles every now and then,” reports KOLPING Managing Director Vasyl Savka.
This relief action was coordinated by many countries: The donations originate from KOLPING in Hildesheim and Augsburg, from Liechtenstein and Romania. They were stored at KOLPING in the Romanian border area and brought across the border to Chernivtsi by KOLPING employees from Romania and Hungary. A volunteer organisation from Kharkiv then collected the relief goods with a bus and distributed the urgently needed food, baby food and hygiene articles, to those in need. Photos

+++ 28.7.2022: Psychological help for war victims: In the premises of the KOLPING National Association in Chernivtsi, group therapies for internally displaced persons and war veterans take place on a regular basis, led by two female therapists. Positive thinking is very important here: the women and men talk about their talents in the group, and how they can use them to their advantage”. The atmosphere is warm, the meeting is cheerful and dynamic,” says Vasyl Savka, Executive Director of KOLPING Ukraine, about the round. Photos

+++ 27.7.2022: Ukraine: New refugee shelter in Shargorod for up to 100 people: The Kolping Rehabilitation Centre in Shargorod/Ukraine has been rebuilt and now has additional space for up to 100 war refugees. At the same time, however, care for young people with disabilities continues. The expansion and renovation of the centre was also made possible by donations. Vasyl Savka, Managing Director of KOLPING Ukraine, thanks all donors in the video. During his visit, he also delivered folding beds, food and hygiene articles to the centre, all of which were also financed by donations. To the video:

+++ 26.7.2022: Newsletter of the Kolping Youth Europe reports about the European relief in Ukraine through KOLPING. To the English newsletter

+++ 25.7.2022: New accommodation for refugees in Shargorod: The conversions are almost finished. In the next days the first refugee families can be accommodated in the Kolping Center. When all rooms are ready, up to 100 people can find refuge there. The center is used as a rehabilitation center for children and young people with disabilities and has now been expanded. Care places for children from refugee families will also be made available. Photos

+++ 22.7.2022: KOLPING helps in the crisis region: Last week, the National Association of Ukraine organised an aid delivery to the embattled Chernihiv region. The situation there is very tense and everything is lacking. KOLPING distributed food, baby food and hygiene articles such as nappies to the affected population. Photos

+++ 21.7.2022: Ukraine: KOLPING emergency assistance continues, people are again increasingly fleeing from the southeast of the country: “After the wave of return of many Ukrainians from abroad, many people are now again fleeing from the southeast of the country to Chernivtsi”, reports Vasyl Savka from the National Office of KOLPING Ukraine. “We have about 55,000 refugees in the city now, it might also be 60,000. Our social kitchen continues to operate and 430 meals are prepared every day.” Today, the Executive Director of KOLPING Ukraine is going to Shargorod to deliver folding beds to the KOLPING shelter, since new refugees are expected. Another relief transport from KOLPING Romania to Chernivtsi has been announced for today.

+++ 19.7.2022: Regular relief bridge Oituz – Chernivtsi: Today the team of KOLPING Romania starts for their 17th trip to Ukraine. The minibus has loaded food, sturdy shoes and medical equipment, wheelchairs and sleeping bags, among other things. The next relief transport is already planned to leave in two days’ time. Photos

+++ 14.7.2022: 16th KOLPING relief transport from Romania to Chernivtsi/Ukraine: Today two vans from Oituz are again delivering relief supplies to Ukraine. Food donations are also loaded that were first brought to KOLPING in Oituz by KOLPING Hungary and are now being taken across the border. Photos

+++ 8.7.2022: For the 15th time a transport from KOLPING Romania reaches the Ukraine: Almost every week relief transports from KOLPING Romania head to the Kolping headquarters in Chernivtsi/Ukraine. Today the 15th delivery since the beginning of the war was received. Photos

+++ 6.7.2022: Humanitarian transport from Poland: Even a heat of 30 degrees and long queues at the Slovakian Ukrainian border could not stop the helpers from Poland: Today another KOLPING relief transport arrived at KOLPING Ukraine. It was loaded with groceries, bandaging material, orthoses, wheel chairs, water filters, shoes, clothing and hygiene articles. Photos

+++ 30.6.2022: Relief convoy on its way from Romania to Chernivtsi: This morning at 4 a.m. two more minibuses from KOLPING Romania (Oituz) left for Chernivtsi in Ukraine. They deliver medical equipment, shoes, backpacks, wheelchairs, bedding for hospitals and a lot of food, especially canned food, to the Ukrainian national association.

+++ 29.6.2022: Medicines for the population in the war zone: “We distributed medicines and bandages to the civilian population in Cherkask last week,” reports Vasyl Savka of KOLPING Ukraine. The town is 60 kilometers away from the front line and medical care is very poor, the managing director continues. Some of the medicines were purchased locally, some came from KOLPING Romania’s last aid transport, which was sent by mail to Cherkask, 1080 kilometers away. Photos

+++ 23.6.2022: KOLPING helps Ukrainian preschool children in Lithuania: KOLPING takes care of Mariya, Mark, Sofia, David, Varvara, Alisa, Vika, Roma, Milana, Ivan, Solomiya, Artem – these twelve children go to the Ukrainian class of the KOLPING preschool in Kaunas/Lithuania. The association employs two Ukrainian teachers and one Ukrainian educator. The games, excursions and sports distract the children and allow them to enjoy their daily lives in a safe environment with as little worry as possible. At the end of June, the free state support for Ukrainian refugees (e.g. kindergarten/school) will expire in Lithuania. However, in the KOLPING preschool, the children are exempt from fees for another year, reports Lina Kalibataitė, managing director of KOLPING Lithuania. Photos

+++ 21.6.2022: Converted social centre will serve as a refugee shelter and centre for people with disabilities in the future: Since the beginning of the war KOLPING Ukraine has converted the consulting and conference centre for people with disabilities in Shargorod into a refugee centre. Around 500 people have stayed overnight so far, and there is no end in sight. Rooms that have been empty so far are now being expanded and renovated so that the educational facility can start operating again. Refugee children with disabilities will then also be able to use the centre in the future.

+++ 15.6.2022: School lessons and football: In Lithuania, KOLPING helps refugee children and their families: In Kaunas, KOLPING has employed two refugee female teachers from Ukraine who currently teach 12 Ukrainian children in the KOLPING elementary school. In addition, the children learn Lithuanian, music and sports together with the local children. “The joint classes help the children in both groups to get to know each other better and to learn from each other,” says Lina Kalibataitė, Executive Director of KOLPING Lithuania. A Ukrainian educator also works in a kindergarten in Kaunas. The Kolping Family Kaunas participated in a peace march with the Ukrainian refugees in May and organised a football competition on June 8. Photo

+++ 10.6.2022: 13th transport from KOLPING Romania to Chernivtsi: Another aid convoy sets off for Ukraine today. The five minibuses have loaded food, wheelchairs, shoes and sewing machines, among other things. Photos

+++ 9.6.2022: Slovakia: “We help the refugees and are available for them.” KOLPING Slovakia has accommodated up to now 31 persons and also cares for refugees who are accommodated elsewhere. They are provided with groceries and clothes, accompanied to authorities or doctors. The association helps the families with job seeking and places in nurseries or schools. Togetherness is important for KOLPING: Apart from psychological counselling, KOLPING also offers many common activities and gatherings, like excursions, discussion groups or song evenings. “We want to spend time together and strengthen the community continuously, day by day,” emphasize the Executive Director of KOLPING Slovakia, Margita Marková, and the Natioal Praeses Pavol Zat’ko. Moreover, KOLPING Slovakia has also accompanied several relief transports to the Ukraine. Here 24-year-old Nastja reports, how she was received with her mother and her grandmother in Slovakia.

+++8.6.2022: KOLPING Romania helps with 35 vans full of relief supplies, children’s campaigns and accommodation for refugees: The staff of KOLPING Romania knows the route between Oituz and Chernivtsi quite well by now: 35 vans have crossed the Ukrainian border since the beginning of the war. Donations from KOLPING Augsburg and Hungary, temporarily stored in Romania, were also loaded. Two play activities for schoolchildren and young people were organized by the Romanian and Ukrainian KOLPING team in Chernivtsi to bring some joy and distraction into the everyday life of the children. Photos. KOLPING Romania has so far helped about 60 people with accommodation, partly the families are passing through, and sometimes they stay for several weeks.

+++ 7.6.2022: KOLPING Poland has accompanied 120 refugees since the beginning of the war: “So far, we have provided comprehensive support to 120 people, from transport from the border to accommodation and food and local support,” reports Patrycja Kwapik, who coordinates Ukraine relief at KOLPING in Krakow. In addition, KOLPING is currently helping 10 Ukrainians in Poland to find jobs. The expertise of the association is helpful here, because KOLPING Poland has been running a professional career counseling service for many years and helps people reintegrate into the labor market. So far, the association has organized six relief transports across the border to Uzhgorod and delivered over eleven tons of relief supplies.

+++ 3.6.2022: 100 days of war – KOLPING Ukraine has helped 40,000 people so far and distributed 80 tons of material donations: “So far, 1,200 people have received shelter at KOLPING in different cities and facilities,” Vasyl Savka, head of KOLPING in Ukraine, sums up the help since February 24. Since the beginning of the war, 450 lunches have been cooked every day in the social kitchen. It is run by volunteers, and refugees also work here. So far, around 43,000 meals have been prepared. Photos
“We have received over 80 tons of aid from our friends in Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary and have been able to help around 40,000 people,” Managing Director Vasyl Savka says. “In the coming weeks, even more refugees will join us as we create more shelter options. In Chernivtsi, KOLPING will convert a school building into a hostel with up to 80 beds. Thank you for your great help and your tireless commitment!”

+++ 2.6.2022: Children’s festival on Child Protection Day: On yesterday’s Children’s Day in Ukraine KOLPING came up with something very special: At the same time, a children’s sport event took place in the Romanian city of Oituz and in the Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi. The day before, a transport from Romania delivered, among other things, also sweets and trophies for the children to Chernivtsi. Photos. In this way, children in both countries were connected. In Chernivtsi alone, 130 children participated and had a lot of fun. And there were only winners and happy faces. Video with pictures from Oituz and Chernivtsi

+++ 31.5.2022: 12th transport from KOLPING Romania to Chernivtsi: On board were not only groceries but also flour, which as in so many countries is in short supply. Also medicine, wheelchairs, folding beds and bedclothes as well as sweets for the sports event which is planned tomorrow on the occasion of Children’s Day simultaneously at KOLPING in Oituz/Romania and in Chernivtsi. The donations also came from Augsburg and Hungary and have now been transported across the border by the Romanian colleagues.

+++ 25.5.2022: Augsburg-Hungary-Romania-Ukraine: There is currently an aid transport from KOLPING Augsburg on its way to Ukraine via the KOLPING stations in Hungary and Romania. It has already passed the border crossing at Gheorgheni. Loaded are wheelchairs and walkers, 500 kilos of flour, 1 pallet of radio equipment and a pallet of tablets for water treatment. Photos

+++ 24.5.2022: A fleeing report: Three month ago, Russia started the war in Ukraine. Since then more than 14 million people have fled. 6.5 million refugees have fled across borders since the conflict started and 8 million people have been displaced from their hometowns inside Ukraine. Nastja (24 years old) is one of them. In March, she fled together with her grandmother and mother from Zaporizhia in the eastern Ukraine to Slovakia. She has been living here for two month. Read about her escape and how her family is being helped in their new environment. To the fleeing report

+++ 23.5.2022: Ternopil: Re-opening of day care centre for disabled children – also for 30 child refugees: With the beginning of the war, the kindergarten for children with disabilities had to close after only a few months of operation. Now the day care centre has reopened, and in addition to the 50 local children, 30 children who fled the war with their families are also being cared for. The centre is funded by donations. Photos

+++ 20.5.2022: Relief transport from Romania to Chernivtsi – children lending a hand: Three minibuses left Oituz/Romania for Czernowitz yesterday. Relief supplies from KOLPING Erfurt and Limburg were also loaded. The children from the KOLPING Social Centre in Oituz actively helped to load the buses. VIDEO 

+++ 17.5.2022: Relief delivery to the embattled Donbas region: “On 10 May we organized a relief transport with the help of volunteers to Novomykolaivka,” reports Vasyl Savka, Managing Director of KOLPING Ukraine. The village is located almost 1,100 km from the KOLPING headquarters in Chernivtsi in the embattled Donetsk region. “The transport arrived yesterday. As there is no internet service, photos have only reached us today.” As medical aid and medication are in short supply, about 60 people have received medicine, hygiene products and bandages, as well as other urgently needed relief supplies. Local police supported the operation and helped with the distribution. Photos 

+++ 16.5.2022: Relief transport from Hildesheim arrived in Ukraine: Another truck from Hildesheim with food, baby food, shoes and sleeping bags arrived today at the Kolping headquarters in Chernivtsi.

+++ 11.5.2022: Help for the people in Dnipro: Yesterday KOLPING donations arrived in Dnipro by cargo train. Foodstuff, medicines and hygiene products came from KOLPING Hildesheim and Rumania. They were previously delivered to the KOLPING headquarters in Chernivtsi. Dnipro is situated between Kiev and Kharkiv. Photos

+++ 10.5.2022: At the weekend two tons of relief goods were delivered to Uzhgorod by KOLPING Poland. Photos

+++ 6.5.2022: KOLPING supports the children’s intensive care unit in Chernivtsi: The team of doctors and nurses in the hospital in Chernivtsi is grateful for delivery of medicines and medical equipment donated by KOLPING. The respiratory bags for sick children in the intensive care unit of the children’s hospital are also urgently needed. Photos

+++ 5.5.2022: Aid transport from Romania with diesel generators, food and medicine reaches KOLPING Chernivtsi: “I am amazed myself what all fits into two minibuses,” Vasyl Savka marvels. Today he has received another aid delivery from KOLPING Romania. Corneliu Bulai and an employee drove from Oituz to the KOLPING headquarters in Czernowitz/Ukraine. Mountains of pasta and canned food are now piled up in the office of the managing director. The food is urgently needed for the social kitchen in which around 400 meals are prepared every day. Two diesel generators were delivered, procured by KOLPING Hungary. Medicines and urgently needed tourniquets for dressing wounds were also transported, as well as sturdy shoes. Photos
Some of the goods are now being reloaded and taken to Khmelnytskyi, Kharkiv and Chernihiv. VIDEO

+++ 4.5.2022: Four new diesel generators for KOLPING Ukraine: KOLPING Hungary managed to obtain four urgently needed diesel generators. Through the well-functioning KOLPING network, the generators are currently stored in Oituz/Romania and will be delivered to KOLPING in Ukraine during the next relief transport.

+++ 3.5.2022: Yesterday, another relief transport from Hildesheim reached the KOLPING headquarters in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. It was loaded with 10 tons of food, bandages and urgently needed medication, hygiene products, bedding, blankets and clothing.
Last weekend, KOLPING Managing Director Vasyl Savka gave a video report on the situation in Ukraine and the help KOLPING is providing at the conference of representatives for international partnership work in Munich. Photos

+++ 29.4.2022: Help for refugees in the Ukraine: KOLPING has up to now, distributed 70 tons of relief material and 26,000 meal portions: “So far, we have taken care of about 900 refugees in our facilities,” says Vasyl Savka, Executive Director of KOLPING in the Ukraine. “Most of them stay for a few days, some also for several weeks. More and more people are coming to the city. Here in Chernivtsi, the population has therefore grown by a third, and this is a big challenge. KOLPING helps: The KOLPING social kitchen has prepared 26,000 portions of food since the beginning of the war, and about 400 people are fed every day. In the meantime, about 70 tons of relief materials have arrived at KOLPING in the Ukraine and have been distributed. For example, to Khmelnytsky, which is situated 240 kilometers away from Chernivtsi. This is where many families have fled from the Russian attacks. Photos

+++ 25.4.2022: Laundromat for refugees opened: In Chernivtsi /Ukraine, KOLPING has set up a laundromat where the laundry of refugee families is washed and dried. Photos. The KOLPING social kitchen in Chernivtsi prepares at least 400 meals a day, which are distributed to those in need.

+++ 22.4.2022: Ukraine: Aid deliveries are immediately forwarded to those in need: Vasyl Savka, Managing Director of KOLPING Ukraine, thanks for the help: “We have distributed almost all material donations of the relief supplies during the last two weeks. We gave some of the donations to refugees in the cities where our Kolping Families are active: in Chernivtsi, Uzhgorod, Khmelnytsky, Stryy, Shargorod and Dnipro. The rest was given by partner organizations and volunteers directly to people who live in places that have suffered the most from Russian aggression: Butsha, Irpin and Chernihiv.”

+++ 19.4.2022: Slovakia: Refugees find shelter in Kolping House in Štiavnické Bane/Slovakia: Since March 8 KOLPING Slovakia has accommodated refugee families from Ukraine. At the moment 17 persons are living in the Kolping House Štiavnické Bane. KOLPING welcomed them into the community and celebrated Easter with them. On Easter Sunday, the group climbed Sitno (1008 m), the highest peak of the Štiavnica Mountains, together. “Through joint activities, we try to give each other hope and get through difficult times,” says Margita Marková, managing director of KOLPING Slovakia. Photos

+++ 17.4.2022: Poland: Help for child and adolescent refugees: In Korzkwa, KOLPING offers encounters for child and adolescent refugees where they can dance, bake or play games. This way, the children can get used to their new environment and enjoy some happy hours. Photos

+++ 16.4.2022: 1,500 drinking bottles with integrated water filters have arrived at KOLPING in Ushgorod to supply the refugees. Dirty water is purified and can be drunk immediately. The bottles could be bought at a reasonable price, they were delivered free of charge by the company to the Slovakian border, where KOLPING Slovakia received them and arranged for their further transport to Uzhgorod (Ukraine). Video

+++ 15.4.2022: Early Easter joy for 60 children in Chernivtsi: They received Easter presents from Romanian school children. The Easter surprise was handed over by KOLPING employees from Romania, who reached Ukraine yesterday with their seventh aid transport. A great joy and change for the children in Chernivtsi! The highlight was the fun they had in the schoolyard, where everyone joined in enthusiastically and the war was forgotten for a short time. Photos

+++ 14.4.2022: Normality is good: In Ivano-Frankivsk, KOLPING helps child and adolescent refugees to forget the war for a few hours. In Kolping’s own bakery, the young people can bake to their heart’s content and have fun. The local Kolping Youth organised a music evening for the young war-zone refugees. For music connects and is good for the soul. Photos 

+++ 13.4.2022: Thank you for your donations! This is how they help directly and on the spot: Vasyl Savka, Managing Director of KOLPING Ukraine, thanks the neighboring KOLPING associations for their help: “In the last two weeks, we have passed on almost all the transports that came from you to Chernivtsi and Uzhgorod. We distributed a part of the relief goods on the spot, to the refugees in Chernivtsi, Uzhgorod, Khmelnytskyj, Stryj, Shargorod and Dnipro, where our Kolping Families are active. Another part was given through partner organizations and volunteers directly to the people in the places that suffered especially from the Russian aggression: Butscha, Irpin, Chernihiv“.

+++ 12.4.2022: A look behind the scenes of the social kitchen in Chernivtsi: At least 400 meals are prepared every day in the KOLPING social kitchen in Chernivtsi and delivered to internally displaced people. Volunteers who live here as well as displaced persons work in the kitchen. Chef Vladimir Yemanov is from Kyiv and fled to Chernivtsi due to the war. His family has temporarily moved to Romania. Vladimir helps by doing what he is very good at: cooking. This video has English subtitles and gives an insight into the work of KOLPING featuring the many volunteers who provide such important survival help in the social kitchen day after day.

+++ 11.4.2022: Sewing machines and school lessons support the refugees: Last Friday, the sixth relief transport from Romania arrived at KOLPING in Czernowitz, Ukraine. The transport also contained relief supplies from KOLPING Hungary. In addition to urgently needed shoes, medication and food, sewing machines were also handed over to helpers. Photos. They give sewing workshops for the refugees, in which they sew clothes, but also, for example, first aid bags. Refugee schoolchildren from the east of the country receive lessons.

+++ 8.4.2022: 70,000 refugees in Chernivtsi: “An evacuation train with 700 people arrived in Chernivtsi yesterday. Now we have about 70,000 refugees in the city,” reports Vasyl Savka, Managing Director of KOLPING Ukraine. “The situation has improved a little bit for us here in Chernivtsi, at least the last three nights we were able to sleep at home. But in general, we now expect the situation in the east of the country to worsen. Our social kitchen continues to function and prepares 420 to 450 meals a day, today it was even 510.” Photos

+++ 6.4.2022: This is how KOLPING helps the refugees in Slovakia: At the moment five families are accommodated in the Kolping House in Štiavnické Bane, another family is accommodated by the Kolping Family Šurany. In addition to accommodation, food and clothing, people receive help from KOLPING in dealing with the authorities, integrating the children in school or kindergarten and finding a job opportunity for the adults. Soon a language course for adults will be offered. The families also receive psychological support from KOLPING.

+++ 5.4.2022: New aid transport from KOLPING Romania next Friday: urgently needed food, medicine and hygiene articles will be delivered.

+++ 1.4.2022: An aid transport from Romania has delivered the first beds and bedding. The drivers also visited workshops of volunteers who produce useful things like first aid kits every day, and a school where refugee children can learn and play under the care of Kolping members. Photos

+++ 31.3.2022: In Chernivtsi, the Kolping Family is currently supporting about 20 refugees who may stay there for a longer period of time. KOLPING Ukraine has also started to convert a school in Chernivtsi into a large refugee shelter. Because once the escape corridors should be open, many more refugees are expected there.

+++ 30.3.2022 KOLPING Romania: Website supports refugees – In Romania the association informs in Ukrainian about help with accommodation, job seeking and contact persons: Moreover, KOLPING Romania plans to acquire a bigger lorry to transport the relief supplies.

About 35,000 refugees are currently in Czernowitz, says Vasyl Savka, Executive Director of KOLPING Ukraine. KOLPING Ukraine headquarters are located here. More and more people are arriving every day. “Many of them stay here, the capacities are slowly reaching their limits,” says Savka.

+++ 29.3.2022: Another aid convoy from Romania to Ukraine: This morning, 5 vans passed the Romanian border town of Siret towards Ukraine. The relief supplies from KOLPING Hungary are also being dispatched right now. They were temporarily stored at KOLPING Romania at the end of last week. The convoy is heading to the KOLPING National Office in Chernivtsi. Photos

+++ 24.3.2022: Kolping reports the arrival of more refugees at the Kolping Hotel in Brasov. Moreover, families are expected in the Kolping House Karansebesch. This afternoon an aid delivery of three minibuses from KOLPING Hungary arrived in Oituz (Romania). The relief goods (food, mattresses, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, hygiene articles) will be stored temporarily at KOLPING and will be brought across the border to the KOLPING National Office in Czernowitz next Tuesday. The transport will be accompanied by the Kolping Youth Szeged, which has collected and packed part of the relief goods. Photos

+++ 23.3.2022: KOLPING Poland has already received 125 refugees in the Kolping House in Luborzyca. Most families are passing through. KOLPING accommodates the refugees, provides food, clothes and the necessities and helps with the onward journey. This is how donations help: Video from KOLPING in Krakow

+++ 22.03.2022: How KOLPING Poland helps people in Ukraine – “There is a great solidarity”: In Poland, people are currently providing a particularly large amount of help for Ukrainian refugees. Kolping Poland is also active and brings relief supplies from Krakow to Ukraine, most recently last weekend. Coordinator Patrycja Kwapik explains the situation in situ. To the interview (German)

+++ 18.3.2022: Two tons of relief supplies on their way to KOLPING Uschgorod: Today a car with two tons of relief supplies is travelling from KOLPING Krakow to Ukraine. The transporter is expected to arrive in Uzhgorod tomorrow. On the way back, refugees can be taken along and brought to safety.

+++ 17.03.2022: New aid transport from Romania starting tomorrow – Romanian Kolping Family integrates fled family: Tomorrow the 4th transport from Romania will start with two minibuses. Corneliu Bulai and National Praeses Istvan Gödri will be accompanied by two priests from the Republic of Moldova. “In the meantime, more and more people from Ukraine are also arriving in Romania and they are not just passing through but want to stay longer for the time being,” reports Ingrid Arvay from Romania. “Like, for example, a family with three children who are taken care of by members of the Kolping Family Gheorgheni. (Foto) They are accommodated in the Kolping House. Two of the older Ukrainian boys are already enrolled in the local soccer club. Today they are joined by a woman from Kiev.”

+++ 14.3.2022: KOLPING helps to equip refugee shelters: In Uzhgorod, two refugee centres are being equipped with the help of KOLPING. Thanks to field beds from Krakow, among other things, which KOLPING delivered last week, 350 people in total will have a place to stay.

+++ 13.3. 2022: Transport from Romania supports food distribution in Chernivtsi: The KOLPING social kitchen in Chernivtsi received cookware and food. It now provides food for 400 people every day. An aid convoy from KOLPING Romania has brought urgently needed material donations and food to the KOLPING headquarters in Chernivtsi, including pots for the social kitchen. Photos.  Managing Director Vasyl Savka reports that in Chernivtsi there is now a flight alarm every night. Families from the vicinity of Mykolaiw have found refuge in the Kolping House in Shargorod. The town is located between Odessa and Kherson in the embattled south of the country.

+++ 11.3.2022: Relief supplies from Germany, Hungary and Romania: Six KOLPING transporters from Erfurt have been on their way to Ukraine since this morning. After a stopover in Kosice (Slovakia) they will continue to Uzhgorod on Saturday. Yesterday, employees of KOLPING Romania took over the material donations from Hungary at the Romanian border in Gheorgheni. They were supported by the local Kolping Family during the reloading. Photos. Now the aid transport continues to KOLPING in Chernivtsi. Also on their way to Chernivtsi today are three minibuses of KOLPING in Oituz (Romania). Photos 

+++ 9.3.2022: More relief supplies from Rumania and Hungary: In the next two days, five KOLPING vans will leave from Oituz, Rumania, for Chernivtsi, 280 kilometers away, with urgently needed donations in kind. Another relief transport comes from KOLPING Hungary directly to the border station Siret. Photos

+++ 8.3.2022: Refugee families expected in Lithuania: KOLPING Lithuania is preparing for the arrival of the first refugees from Ukraine. “We are expecting the first women and children every day”, reports Lina Kalabitaitė, Managing Director of KOLPING Lithuania in Kaunas.  The Kolping House in Troskunai can accommodate up to 30 people.
The first refugees have already arrived at the Kolping House in Štiavnické Bane, Slovakia.

+++ 8.3.2022: Delivery of relief supplies to Chernivtsi and Uzhgorod: Today, a team from KOLPING Poland and Slovakia is starting a joint relief transport to Uzhgorod. VIDEO. A KOLPING transport from Hungary is also on its way today to the border in Georgheni and then on to Chernivtsi. Among other things, urgently needed sleeping bags, power banks and chargers, air mattresses, analgesics, wound dressings, blankets, rescue blankets and canned food are being delivered.

+++ 7.3.2022: KOLPING Poland in Krakow is a contact point for refugees: people are attended here every day, mostly families with small children. They receive a hot meal and can choose what they need from the donations in kind delivered. The staff members are currently packing the remaining donations in kind; they will be delivered to Ukraine on Tuesday.

+++ 6.3.2022: KOLPING delivers urgently needed relief supplies to the border, the danger is growing: Today the city of Vinnytsia was bombed, it is situated 280 km from Chernivtsi, the headquarters of KOLPING Ukraine. The planning and implementation of the relief transports are being carried out at full speed at KOLPING. There are many initiatives from people in Germany who are bringing donations in kind to the border. KOLPING Hungary will bring urgently needed sleeping bags, rescue blankets, medication and canned food to the border crossing in Gheorgheni at the beginning of the week.

+++ 5.3.2022: Fear of attacks and sabotage: This is the situation in the west of Ukraine: Kolping Ukraine’s Managing Director Vasyl Savka describes the current situation in an interview with

+++ 5.3.2022: Chernivtsi – 350 people are receiving a hot meal today thanks to donations from KOLPING: The relief supplies delivered yesterday from Romania (photos) are just being distributed, as Vasyl Savka reports directly from Chernivtsi. Part of the food has been given to a soup kitchen, which will prepare a hot meal for at least 350 people today and serve it free of charge. Photos. With the remaining food donations, the kitchen will be able to feed hundreds of people over the next few days. Last night there was no air raid alert in Chernivtsi and people finally had a quieter night, reports the Managing Director of KOLPING Ukraine.

+++ 4.3.2022: Your help has arrived! Appreciation video from Chernivtsi: “You are just great! You are doing so much for us!” Vasyl Savka from KOLPING in Chernivtsi/Ukraine says thank you for the first relief delivery from Romania and the great willingness to donate. TO THE VIDEO

+++ 4.3.2022: Coordination of help in the west of Ukraine: Relief deliveries from neighboring countries are coordinated by KOLPING Ukraine from the cities of Chernivtsi, Lviv and Uzhgorod, where they are distributed directly to the population.

+++ 3.3.2022: Relief transport from Krakow to Ukraine: A first transport with donations in kind from KOLPING Poland is on its way to Ukraine. The van from Krakow is loaded with warm clothes, shoes, thermal underwear, thermos flasks, medicines and blood pressure monitors. Photos

+++ 2.3.2022: Collection and transport of relief supplies and attending refugees: Kolping Families in Poland and Romania collect donations in kind and foodstuffs, which are packed by KOLPING staff members and brought to the border. Pictures from Krakow (Poland), from Gheorgheni and Timisoara (Romania) and from the Romania border crossing of Siret.

+++ 2.3.2022: Ukraine: Shelter for refugees partly already occupied: Also in Chernivtsi in the west, residents had to seek shelter in the cellars this night and already twice this morning. Here and in three other cities (Lviv/Lemberg, Uzhgorod and Shargorod) KOLPING has provided shelters for the war refugees. The places in Lviv/Lemberg and Uzhgorod are already occupied.

+++ 1.3.2022: Situation report from Chernivtsi/Ukraine: Hundreds of thousands of people are currently on the run in Ukraine. They are also receiving help from KOLPING Ukraine. Its Executive Director, Vasyl Savka, is in Chernivtsi and co-ordinates accommodation and food. Already 6,000 people have arrived in Czernowitz from the war zones.  A situation report.

+++ 1.3.2022:  Interview: “Our Kolping countries are prepared.” – KOLPING Desk Officer for Central and Eastern Europe, Gregor Federhen, reports on the refugee situation on domradio.

+++ 1.3.2022: First refugees accepted in Romania: “The first family from Ukraine arrives in Timisoara today. We are further prepared with our 130 places in the Kolping houses”, reports Eduard Dobre from KOLPING Romania. Staff member Corneliu Bulai is going to the border area of Siret today. In the meantime, the first Kolping brothers and sisters from the war zone have also arrived in Poland. The Kolping House Luborzyca has received the first group of refugees from the Kolping Family of Tarnopol, and Lvowa is expecting the next families. KOLPING Slovakia also offers accommodation in the Kolping House and with private persons.

+++ 28.2.2022: KOLPING Ukraine: Emergency camp ready: The National Association has provided accommodation for the fleeing families in Chernivtsi, Uzhgorod and Shargorod. Photos

+++ 28.2.2022: KOLPING Romania is preparing to receive refugees from Ukraine: “KOLPING Ukraine has informed us that there are mothers and children who need accommodation. We were able to identify 120 accommodation options in Kolping localities in Oituz, Ploscuțeni, Gheorgheni, Brasov, Ivo Camp, Rusca Montană, Caransebeș as well as in private houses in Ilidia and Slatina Timiș”, reports Eduard Dobre, Managing Director of KOLPING Romania. He added that means of transport would be provided in Gheorgheni, Oituz and Brasov for the reception of refugees. “Tomorrow, a staff member of Kolping will be going to the border to assess the situation. We will try to hand over relief goods on Wednesday.”

+++ 27.2.2022: KOLPING Poland has received the first refugees from Ukraine: The families with young children come from the capital Kiev and from Ternopil and Lviv, situated in the west of the country. “We are providing transport from the border, accommodation, food and all possible help and care. We are expecting the arrival of mothers with young children and people with disabilities, among others.”

+++ 26.2.2022: KOLPING associations organise relief measures: KOLPING INTERNATIONAL is in constant contact with KOLPING Ukraine and the associations of the neighbouring countries Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. KOLPING Ukraine has started to enquire about available accommodation capacities as well as communication and transport possibilities. In addition to accommodation and food supply, it is also being examined where initial medical assistance and other support services can be set up.

+++ 25.2.2022 Confusing situation after the start of war: After the Russian army attacked the first Ukrainian cities in the night, the Executive Director of KOLPING Ukraine, Vasyl Savka, says: “We don’t know whether people will also have to flee from here. We all live in a state of uncertainty and fear. If we stay, we want to offer refuge to refugees from the war regions. For this we need folding beds, water cisterns and first aid kits. We also give first aid courses to our population. Many people want to do something. For this, we need above all medical equipment. The need is already great, and we don’t know what lies ahead.”