The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced millions of children and their families to flee their homes and seek protection from the hail of missiles in basements and bomb shelters. They need urgent assistance and critical supplies. Today, the entire Ukrainian child population, some 7.5 million, is at risk as they experience the devastating impact of escalating armed conflict.
Your donation can help provide them with shelter, food, clean water, sanitation and life-saving supplies, as well as child protection services in the chaos of Europe’s greatest humanitarian crisis for decades.
Please give generously. They need our help.
Deutsch-Polnisch-Ukrainische Gesellschaft e.V.
Bank: Commerzbank AG
IBAN: DE12 1004 0000 0283 6179 00
BIC : COBADEFFXXX
Donation receipts are tax deductible and will be issued.
Since February 24, 2022, when the Russian army invaded, more than 1.5 million children have fled Ukraine. Dozens have been killed by bombs and missiles, and hundreds more severely injured. All of them need help and protection, especially those children without mothers or fathers. It was obvious to us that we should make rescuing such children our highest priority. First, we evacuated the 23 children from “Our Kids”, our centre in Kyiv, to a safe refuge in Poland. Then we began the task of evacuating other orphanages, and bringing many mothers and children to safety in Poland and Germany. Until March 14 these rescue missions succeeded without any form-filling or bureaucracy. We managed to work round the clock, and move about 800 vulnerable children to safety.
We organised their transportation, with other humanitarian and aid agencies. We were also able to offer all sorts of assistance on the spot, whenever it was asked for. We had no time to worry about documents or photos. On March 10, we were just starting to prepare for the evacuation of the orphanage in Sumy, planning to cross the Polish border on March 14, when we got the news: all evacuations must stop. A new law said that special permission from the government was required. We had to prepare new documents, send them in, and wait for the official permission to arrive. Thanks to the unexpected delay, we decided that all future efforts should be recorded in a diary.
98 PEOPLE, INCLUDING 65 ORPHANAGE CHILDREN, AND SEVEN NEEDING PALLIATIVE CARE; PLUS THE WHOLE STAFF, VOLUNTEERS AND THEIR NINE CHILDREN FROM THE NORTH-EASTERN UKRAINIAN CITY OF SUMY WERE EVACUTED VIA LVIV TO SCHELESWIG HOLSTEIN IN GERMANY
Thousands of children from orphanages all over Ukraine were evacuated via Lviv to the west. They had traumatic journeys – surviving in freezing basements, falling asleep to the thunder of shelling, and regular explosions of missiles. The north-eastern Ukrainian city of Sumy was ruthlessly attacked and largely wrecked by the invading Russian forces.
March 10, 2022: the GPUS together with Medicover Foundation and Malteser Hilfsdienst responded to the crisis and started evacuating one Sumy orphanage. The transfer from the war-torn city to Lviv was implemented by the NGO “Save Ukraine”. 58 kids were successfully moved to Lviv in one group. Only later did we realise that seven children in palliative care had been left behind in Sumy, since the director of the orphanage did not include them. An urgent transfer was organised and the seven joined the rest of the orphanage in Lviv, where all were provided with attention and medical care.
March 24, 2022: Late evening, the whole group, in two buses and nine ambulances, finally left the Ukrainian-Polish border. They reached their final destination the next evening: all 58 children and their caregivers are in a safe and beautiful place in Germany, where the kids were provided with toys, beds, food and, most importantly, attention and a friendly reception by German volunteers. All seven sick children were malnourished and two needed emergency treatment. The doctor accompanying the ambulance convoy decided to take them immediately after crossing the German boarder to a hospital in Cottbus, due to their dramatically worsening condition. The other 5 were transferred to a children’s clinic in Lübeck.
We owe grateful thanks to our colleagues from Save Ukraine, Medicover, Malteser Hilfsdienst, the diocese of Paderborn and Wildfrieden e.V., for such great and successful cooperation! A big thank you goes to the University Clinic, UKSH in Lübeck and the Embassy of Ukraine in Warsaw.
February, 2022: The Vlasenko family, refugees from Crimea after the Russian annexation of 2014, are forced to flee their new home of Vorzel, north-west of Kyiv, when the village was attacked by Russian troops advancing on the Ukrainian capital. The Vlasenko car came under fire as they fled, and 16-year-old Katya threw herself over her eight-year-old brother Igor to save him from the bullets. She was hit and badly wounded, and their mother Tatyana was hit by shrapnel. Igor shouted at the Russians to stop shooting because his sister was bleeding and severely wounded.
Both mother and daughter required urgent hospital treatment. They made it to hospital in Kyiv.
March 17: President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the family in hospital. A close family friend contacted Barbara Monheim, founder of GPUS, and begged for her help in finding a clinic in Germany where they could be treated. A rescue action started immediately.
First, the family was evacuated from Kyiv to hospital in Lviv, in western Ukraine. Then Inna Siemicz, team leader for the GPUS Warsaw emergency task force, organised a military helicopter, fully equipped for severely injured patients, to collect the wounded mother and her daughter from the Polish border, and fly them to the University Hospital in Krakow.
March 23: Thanks to the generous support of the Malteser Hilfsdienst in finding an air ambulance, Barbara succeeded in getting the Vlasenko family moved to a clinic in Germany. To protect their privacy, we won’t publish the name until their treatment is over.
We wish Tatyana and Katya a speedy recovery, and sincerely hope they will soon celebrate Ukraine’s victory together!
A heartfelt thanks to all those who contributed to make this remarkable rescue operation a success!