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Helping Ukrainians Escape Russia in Her Parents Memory

With the conflict in Ukraine many have been seeking for ways they can help, leading to untold stories of heroism and humanity. One such story centers around Tetiana Stawnychy, whose own parents fled Ukraine to escape communism and the Soviet Union in 1944. Now, she is on the frontlines helping Ukrainian families, yet again seeking relief from a Russia regime.

Staying and helping is her way of fighting, and Stawnychy explains why she does:

In some weird way, I feel like finally the world is seeing what I’ve seen for the last 20 years,” she said. “This is what I saw here, I saw this something…some gem that was hidden under all of the problems that exist in a post-Soviet, post-communist country.

There was something like solid gold underneath.

Stawnychy believes Ukraine and it’s people are worth fighting for, and a lot of help is needed. Everything from food to supplies psychological and emotional support. She believes the refugees and those trying to escape now are going to be broken down and worse off than the first waves. Those still there are living in constant fear, and escape is a fleeting hope. A drive out of the country that use to take 6 hours, can now take longer than 30 hours. With martial law in place, that means those fleeing in their cars can’t stay on the road or out at night, so they also need to be able to find a place to stay making the process even more difficult. Stawnychy offers encouragement to those looking for ways to help, all the love and support offered can lead to healing.

Allen from Crux writes:

Looking to the future, “that’s what we’re trying to do now, we’re trying to think through different scenarios and trying to think

through how we can be prepared,” she said, noting that most of Caritas’s planning is focused on meeting the needs of the

internally displaced.

“There’s that first initial response of meeting peoples’ immediate physical needs and a light calming down just by offering that

kind of kindness or physical care, but then it goes deeper,” she said, because if people want to resettle somewhere, they need help

finding a place to stay, finding work, and integrating into their new environment.

Stawnychy recalled a conversation with the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Sviatoslav Shevchuk,

shortly before the invasion, in which he praised Caritas’s work, saying he has learned a lot from them “because Caritas in its

action carries a deep truth, it’s a restorative truth…of love and the dignity of the human being.”

“It’s the truth of the incarnation, the truth of the encounter, of love, of this sacrificial love for the other. That’s the restorative and

redemptive piece,” Stawnychy said, adding, “I really see it in our centers that are working. It’s that, it’s something that’s

restorative, something that gives life.”

Read the whole story here.

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