Ukrainians in Rome send dozens of trucks with medical supplies to their country

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04/03/2022
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The Ukrainian community in Rome is rallying to respond to the challenges of the war. They have spent all week loading trucks with food and medical supplies to send to their country. They fill several a day.

FR. MARCO
Rector of the Basilica of Santa Sofia in Rome
“We are loading the fourth truck and hope to load a fifth today. We want everything we've collected to reach Ukraine as quickly as possible so the supplies can be distributed to the people who need them.”

They gather at the Basilica of Santa Sofia in Rome, which is a point of reference for their community. On Sundays, they pray and hold catechism classes. But last week, they were surprised by the unexpected arrival of hundreds of people with donations, and they were forced to cancel the rest of their activities. It's what one catechist recounts.

ALESSIA
Ukrainian in Rome
“At one point, there were so many people that we had to stop our catechism classes, and we all got together, children, teachers and catechists... to carry out this service.”

The basilica's rector is very impressed with the response of Ukrainians and Italians, who spontaneously came together after seeing social media posts sharing what they were doing.

FR. MARCO
Rector of Basilica of Santa Sofia in Rome
“They responded with great love for their country and their people. They showed up to volunteer after seeing a very simple petition for help on social media. We weren't expecting this response. We are very grateful to God and to the Ukrainian and Italian people for their solidarity and fraternity.”

Alessia is one of other Ukrainian refugees in Rome. She has been here since 2014 when Russia invaded Crimea. For her, the war is nothing new.

-“In reality, we have been fighting for eight years.”

She says she is doing well in Rome and that she learned Italian very quickly. But her family chose to stay in Ukraine. When she saw the latest news about the Russian invasion, she went through a very difficult moment of crisis.

ALESSIA
Ukrainian in Rome
“The first two days I was extremely stressed. I was crying and almost fell into depression. Now it's different because I don't watch the news. I can't bring myself to watch the news. I volunteer here 24/7 and am ready to help my people.”

Alessia chose to participate in this initiative because she wanted to lend a hand to help her country. She gave her phone number to a few people and now receives phone calls from all over Italy. She knows that many cities in Ukraine have been reduced to rubble, but that is not her biggest worry.

ALESSIA
Ukrainian in Rome
“This doesn't matter. The people are what matters. I have many friends who have been underground for four days. It's terrible because we don't know how they're doing. They don't have Internet access and can't contact us.”

But despite not having any news from their loved ones, these Ukrainians continue to coordinate efforts and ask the rest of the world for prayers and humanitarian aid.

RM

TR: CT

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