By Liz Milliken, NGO director for aged out orphan projects in Zhytomyr, Ukraine.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians are living in harm’s way, sleeping in basements at night and trying to survive without getting bombed (yes, in the middle of a ceasefire).
A friend of ours has taken in a family, three kids and their dad. The mom was at the open market and was killed in bombings along with her unborn child. Civilians and Ukrainian soldiers are dying every day. There are elderly and disabled people (who were unable to evacuate) who are now dying of starvation, especially in big cities where they are without access to garden plots. There is little to buy in the few stores that are open and no way for folks to get money to buy anything.
I wish things like this would make it to the news in the States.
As winter gets closer, the refugee crisis is getting more complicated. Many refugees have been living at government and non-government summer camps where there is no heat and they are being moved to new locations.
The refugees in my village were “lucky” to be moved to a sport campground that at least has some form of heat and where they are fed. The Zhytomyr ministry of sports and youth has been feeding these 60 people, but now they are out of money and are going into debt with every place they purchase food from, and their days are numbered for racking up debt with no way to pay it back.
I imagine it’s the same everywhere, nobody is sure how all the refugees are going to be taken care of. My friends from the sport campground are so grateful that they are not being bombed here in Zhytomyr like they were at home. They have peace that God can work things out, even though we don’t see a way through the darkness.