Irish Emergency Alliance funding provided support to affected communities in Ukraine and provide accommodation and other forms of support to refugees in Slovakia and Poland.
Tearfund Ireland partnered with Integra Slovakia to provide support to affected communities in Ukraine and provide accommodation and other forms of support to refugees in Slovakia and Poland.
Through the partnership of the Irish Emergency Alliance, Tearfund Ireland has invested over €65,000 in support. These funds supported 50 families with necessary house repairs. These repairs focused on winterisation, such as window and door replacement, roof and wall repairs. 20 selected families with children, received 20 mobile housing units. The family provided access to a plot of land (typically belonging to family or friends) which has access to electricity, water and sewage. Over 2,400 people were provided containers of food items (milk in powder, instant soup, sugar, pasta, etc) and non-food items (shampoo, toothpaste, blankets, mattresses, sleeping bags, etc). There was also regular counselling support and increasing psychosocial support for communities affected.
Shortly after the beginning of the war, when the fighting around Kyiv started to be very fierce, Maxim and his family decided to leave. They just wanted to save their lives, and were happy to find temporary refuge in Rivne, Western Ukraine. After the liberation of Irpin, they returned home. Their house was heavily damaged, with nothing but a few walls remaining.
“We were not here during the intensive shelling, but we saw a photo of our house burning,” explains Maxim. "It was really hard to see this,” recalls his younger daughter Nastya, bursting into tears. “But the hardest thing was to see our parents cry,” adds her sister Darina.
The family of Maxim has overcome the shock. During Integra's monitoring visit in September 2022, they were busy reconstructing their damaged house in order to prepare for cold weather. Maxim expected that with the help of the Integra Foundation, its Ukrainian partner Realis, a construction company and some local volunteers, he will be able to move to a new modular house before winter hits. His family's plan was to live in the new modular home while they gradually continue rebuilding their old house over the coming year.
In November 2022, during Integra's second monitoring visit to Irpin, Maxim's family's new modular house was just being installed, and when we visited them in January 2023, they already welcomed us in their new warm home. Maxim's wife Katarina showed us around and said she was very grateful that her family was able to celebrate the New Year in their own, nice and warm place.
She then added more quietly that Maxim, her husband and father of the family, will have to enlist with the army when their daughter turns eighteen this year. In Ukraine, there is an exception for men with three or more children - they do not have to serve in the army because they take care of the family. However, it is cancelled when the child becomes an adult at the age of eighteen.
"Now, we don't plan anything, we live from day to day. But we are happy to have each other and a roof over our heads," concludes Katarina with her luminous smile.