Being a mother of five means that Wendy Farrell probably knows a thing or two about moving children around. But a recent operation Farrell was part of helped move six times that number of children to safety from a war-torn country.
Farrell and her husband have been collaborating with a Western Ukrainian orphanage for a number of years, and one of their daughters was adopted from Ukraine.
Following Russia’s invasion of of the country, Farrell felt the need to help children in Ukraine. With her help, 31 orphans and five caregivers were rescued and brought to Krakow, Poland via bus. Farrell wants to bring the children to the U.S. to escape the war. However, the approval of their visas may take a number of months. She says that in order to expedite the visa process in the U.S. consulate in Krakow, the U.S. must provide reinforcements as the consulate is understaffed. CBN News reports:
“We are needing visas for 30 children and three caregivers. Our orphanage in western Ukraine, for the moment, remains intact. Overall, our children are doing remarkably well. They are safe and with caregivers who love them deeply. They are scared and worried but know we will take care of them and continue to keep them safe,” Farrell said.
The children are being housed in a dorm-like setting in Poland, but Farrell says they are anxious to be settled.
“We desperately need assistance in speeding up the visa process. The consulate in Krakow is low on staff and is expediting business visas only. We believe the U.S. needs to send reinforcements and prioritize visas for the most vulnerable first,” Farrell said.
“We have been amazed at the Ukrainian Consulate’s work ethic. They are working around the clock to process paperwork for Ukrainians. Our consulate has no appointments available until July and is doing nothing to help the two million refugees here in Poland,” she said.
Wendy says the Polish people have been amazing and welcoming of their neighbors. “They remember all too well the events of WWII here in Poland, and are grieved to see what is happening in Ukraine. But they are worried about the longevity of this crisis and the burden hosting this many refugees will cause. The U.S. has abundant resources and should take some of the burden off of Poland and other European countries. The support here in Poland is unsustainable,” she said.
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