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Our trip to the Ukraine

Updated: Jan 14, 2023

With the cooperation of

Stadt Winterberg & and the Winterberg retailers

Caritas Konferenz Gruppe Siedlinghausen and Winterberg Caritas


Pastoral Verein Winterberg

Ancora GmbH


How did it start?

The Abitur group of 2022 from the high school had collected € 5,000.00 for refugee aid. With several donations and proceeds from the flea market Kipepeo distributes an amount of € 9,000.00.

We have distributed these over 3 countries, from which several new Winterberg citizens originate.

*€ 3,000.00 went to Médecins Sans Frontières in Afghanistan

*3.000,00 € to a physiotherapy centre for war victims in northern Syria (Molham Team Project)

*3.000,00 € should go to a project in the Ukraine. We are looking for an ongoing project in Ukraine, and we found it in contact with Lena Heese from Ancora GmbH in Berlin. Lena was born in the Ukraine and has been working with energy and passion for people in her homeland since the beginning of the war. Personal commitment is important to her and she regularly travels to Ukraine.

"Come with me," she said, "then you can see where your donations go."

A challenge that we have accepted!

"The most important thing, however, is the feeling not to be forgotten"

This is the motto of our campaign.

Humanitarian Relief operation Ukraine 4 and 5 November 2022

7 Booths with about 70 helpers during 2 days, that was a great cooperation!

About 250 full boxes were collected and 3,100 € donations received.

Many Winterbergers took part, that was exactly our goal!

We joined forces to load the trucks from BNT Spedition.

And on the same day, in good company, we were off to Berlin.

Gerda with Mrs Heese.

And our boxes were there as well.

We chartered a truck, driven by driver of Ancora GGMbH to the border of the Ukraine.

We were able to welcome our boxes back in Lviv and prepared everything immediately for the next day.

The first house.

Psycho-neurological institution for women (about 200 residents, 50 of them from war zones), Jactoriv.

Big problem in this facility is the food supply and heating due to multiple blackouts. When we were there, the electricity was gone again for a few hours. E.g. cooking food for about 200 people is very difficult.

Purchase of a so-called "goulash cannon" could be a good emergency solution.

Our next visit was the hospice in Yosypivka- Pavlyky with about 45 inhabitants

A hospice in Ukraine is actually more of a nursing home as we know it in Germany.

An old building with moisture and mold, the only option is a full renovation.

We helped with new metal dishes and towels.

The next day was for the facility for children, adolescents and young adults with cognitive and physical disabilities in Rozdil (about 50 km from Lviv).

From the outside an old building, but from the inside surprisingly well maintained. It was a nice visit.

Here you quickly get good friends. They were very happy with the hygiene materials, food and other goods we brought along. That's what they needed right now, because they almost ran out of money to buy groceries.

And then another hospice in Zhuravno.

There was a man who was very touched when he told us: "How nice that people still think of an old man like me".

Next to it was a children's home with many lovely small children.

They were very happy with the new clothes from ByZille from Winterberg and the boxes

with other goods.

In the children's homes everything looks a bit better, but even there you have to fill many additional children's mouths, 1/3 more children from the East of the country.

Children's home in Yasen – approx. 120 children (50 of them from the war zones)

A new day with only one visit, but about 170 kilometers from Lviv. That meant almost 4 hours driving by car. Main roads and the streets around Lviv are okay, but there is room for a lot of improvement in the countryside. For a long time this house was used for people suffering the consequences of the nuclear disaster of Chernobyl, but it is now a children's home. Well equipped, but still in need of a lot of things.

We were welcomed by the smaller children. The team was ready for a nice party. First with the small ones, then with the bigger ones.

Again, we were able to distribute ByZylle's clothes. Then the party started!

On the last day in Lviv we made 5 visits. But first we had to load 3 cars.

The first visit was something very special: Olja Dragan.

We brought her special gifts from the Jutta and Engelbert Rakoniewski Foundation.

Olja was so grateful and we received so much energy from her.

Childrens facility Velyki

The children were already waiting for us.

We made music together and we did some crafts together.

We gave them the rest of the clothes.

And now something completely different: Dog food for 21 German Shepherds in

Romanivka. They were evacuated from Kharkov in eastern Ukraine.

The last hospice we visited was in Rudky. It was also the best we have ever seen. It even had a common room where concerts or small events were held from time to time. But again, problems with regular power outages and the need for adequate food and hygiene items.

Again, the residents thanked us for our visit and brought gifts.

In this house there was also room for 3 refugee families from the Cherson area.

Our last visit was to Petro. And then the war is suddenly very close!

On our trip to Ukraine, we stopped at a modern rehabilitation center. War victims are cared for and treated there.

Petro, a war-wounded soldier and wife were waiting for us outside. After his injury, Petro can no longer walk. One leg had to be amputated, one arm is no longer functional due to its serious injury.

The affected parts of the body are full of scars.

Despite his "being torn out" of the normal life of a non-disabled person, I did not expect such bright eyes and such a warm smile from him. He told us cheerfully that he got commit-ment from the Netherlands for prosthesis fitting and is happy when he will finally be able to drive independently again.

We brought a gift for Petro: our own wheelchair, kindly donated by the Behrend family.

In no time and without any help, Petro switched to this new wheelchair. I have been working with handicapped people for several years and I have never seen anything like it. His wife stood by Petro's side, I only have the firm conviction that anything can be done...

Today, on Christmas Eve, I would like to share with you the sentence that Petro told us. He hit me right in the heart:

"I did not fight out of hatred against my enemies, but out of love for my homeland"


The collected goods reached their destination and we have seen many grateful faces.

But winter is coming soon. How will the elderly, disabled and children get through the coming months?

And then home we drove home full of impressions and thoughts.

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