Helping the victims of a forgotten war

2015-12-02 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Civil war in Ukraine has left some 3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Caritas Internationalis is working to raise awareness about what is increasingly becoming a 'hidden war'. 

Bramble Badenach-Nicolson spoke with Patrick Nicholson, Director of Communications at Caritas Internationalis, about his recent trip to Ukraine and the situation on the front line.

Listen here: 

Upon his return from Ukraine, Mr Nicholson spoke of the hopeless situation that clouds over Ukraine and her people. 800,000 civilians are living directly on the front line and food, fuel and medicine is in short supply. With winter rapidly approaching, the outlook is becoming increasingly bleak.

He mentioned a conversation with a couple who find themselves in the same circumstances as many other Ukrainians. The husband had been kidnapped and tortured while the wife and child had been threatened by soldiers during his absence. Whilst the husband escaped from his torturers, the trauma he bore from his experiences was so unbearable that he enrolled in the army and left his wife. She is now receiving help and psychological support from workers at Caritas Ukraine.

Caritas Ukraine provides humanitarian assistance in the form of clothing, footwear and other necessary items to hundreds of people a week in Ukraine. Its winter assistance programme provided nearly 2,500 individuals assistance during the winters of 2012 and 2013, distributing clothing and fuel during the extended period of below average temperatures.

Caritas Ukraine’s social service programmes have established rehabilitation centres for individuals struggling with substance abuse, they provide reintegration assistance for Ukrainian migrants, render direct assistance and seminars to prevent human trafficking, assist incarcerated individuals and provide home care to the elderly and those living with HIV/AIDS. 

(from Vatican Radio)