Support for Orphans, Refugees and Elderly People

Due to the war in Ukraine, human lives are at risk, people lack basic supplies and have been forced to leave their homes. IDPs have reached the Western part of Ukraine and refugees are arriving to Hungary in growing numbers. The Hungarian Reformed Church Aid has been providing emergency response from the first day. Daily update.

Reformed orphanage supported by foreign affairs workers and former Consul General in Ungvár (08:16)

On 9 March, the Consulate General of Hungary in Ungvár (Uzhgorod) handed over a donation to the Good Samaritan Reformed Children's Home in Nagydobrony, Ukraine, collected by the staff of the Ukraine Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and former consul general in Ungvár, József Buhajla. Andrea Katkó, deputy director of the children's home, expressed her gratitude on behalf of the children for their support. She said that they are constantly taking in children who have fled the war zone, so every donation is a great help to them.

In the shadow of war, in Transcarpathia (10:24)

The first major batch of the fundraising campaign announced at the end of February has arrived in Transcarpathia, with the help of the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid. András György, the project coordinator of the Presbytery in Bratislava, Slovakia, spoke about his experiences.

The donations were transported to the border in two vans - a van of the Somorja congregation and a van of the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid. Donations were delivered in Ukraine to the Reformed congregation in Csap, the Irgalmas Samaritan Reformed Children's Home in Nagydobrony, the St. Michael Roman Catholic Children's Home in Rát, the Diaconal Centre of the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia in Berehove and the Reformed community of Mezőkaszony.

The refugees arriving from central Ukraine is putting pressure on the Transcarpathian border settlements and on the villages near the busiest reception hubs. For villages further afield, no major food shortages can yet be reported, although the state has introduced restrictions due to the war. People are allowed to buy limited quantity of durable food, stocks are running low and prices are rising.

According to András György, project coordinator of HRCA, there is also a lot of anxiety in the Hungarian settlements in Transcarpathia. They have packed their bags so that they can flee in case of emergency. Each village has organised its own surveillance, of course in cooperation with the local authorities. Every day, the people living here have to cope with different information, as the Ukrainian authorities can change the regulations several times a day. This situation only adds to their uncertainty. Residents have become isolated, settlements are "depopulated" because there are no people on the streets. Community leaders - pastors, mayors, teachers - and volunteers try to take their part in handling the situation.

As many interpreters as possible are needed, as the trauma that the refugees are carrying puts a huge strain on staff and helpers. They try to offer all the help they can to those in distress and are very dedicated to their work. A huge effort is needed to deal with each and every new wave of refugees.

Most of them come to Transcarpathia from the Kyiv region. Road transport is relatively easy and simple from the capital to Uzhhorod or Mukachevo. Refugees from the southern regions are now heading for Romania. Among the Hungarian reformed congregations in Transcarpathia, the children's home in Nagydobrony has already received twenty girls from orphanages in Inner Ukraine, while the Catholic family-based children's home in Ratt continues to receive refugee families.

From sweets to the Bible - new donations for Transcarpathia (12:18)

Durable food, Ukrainian-language Bibles, sweets for children - the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid delivered a wide range of donations to Transcarpathia this week - reads the organization's Facebook page.

At the same time, they helped to deliver donations from the Reformed congregation of Debrecen Great Church and several congregations of the Reformed Presbytery of Debrecen to the reformed parish of Csongor, Ukraine. They are currently taking care of 30 Ukrainian families. In addition to a minibus full of non-perishable food and cleaning products, the Hungarian sister church sent a washing machine as support for these families. The ministry's vans have been delivering donations continuously: so far, more than 150 tons of non-perishable food and hygiene products have been delivered to communities in Transcarpathia and across our borders to help the reception of refugees.

The number of volunteers helping a day is approaching one thousand (15:16)

The number of people who want to help refugees fleeing the fighting in Ukraine as volunteers of the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid is constantly increasing. More than 3,100 people have already signed up, with over 900 of them working at train stations and other supply or aid points yesterday alone. As an indication of the gravity of the situation, the total number of staff is also growing day by day: while on Thursday the number of staff, including doctors, interpreters and short time workers, exceeded 1100, by Friday there were more than 1300. Donations are also on the increase, with 176 tonnes of aid distributed so far, of which almost 75 tonnes have gone to Transcarpathia.

Prayers and offerings of the Hungarian reformed community in Austria (19:37)

On 13 March, the Hungarian Reformed Congregation of Austria will hold an extraordinary service in Vienna for the people of Transcarpathia and for peace. Reformed pastor Mónika Karvansky, president of the Federation of Hungarian Protestant Congregations in Western Europe, told Pulzus FM's special edition that in addition to collecting money and material donations, they are also trying to help through prayer and cooperation. What has been collected so far will be sent to the region by the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid. She drew attention to the importance of helping not only families and children, but also the elderly, the sick and the needy, and therefore asked the congregations to pay special attention to their elderly brothers and sisters.

HRCA’s daily operation in numbers

  • Information requested: 2215 persons
  • Transport requested: 135 persons
  • Accommodation requested: 223 persons
  • Mental health assistance: 421 persons
  • Medical care: 217 persons
  • Meals, drinks: 2068 persons
  • Hygiene and childcare products: 367 persons
  • Blankets: 269 persons
  • Number of persons on duty: 167 persons
    • of which volunteers: 135
    • of which health worker: 5
    • of which interpreter: 5

Edited and translated by Anna Derencsényi, international officer of the Diaconia of RCH