Women In Religious Orders Support Ukrainian Orphans

Source: Catholic News Service

In the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the displacement of refugees and orphans has led to an international humanitarian crisis.

Responding to the crisis, Caritas, the Polish equivalent of the United States based Catholic Charities humanitarian response organization, began coordinating relief efforts.

Olga Sulkowski, a 36-year-old mother of three and emergency response coordinator recalled upon seeing streams of migrants coming across the border saying, “It broke my heart.”

Opening her doors Sulkowski and her husband, Mariusz Sulkowski, have opened their home to shelter a family.

Since the outbreak of hostilities, the population of Poland’s capital city, Warsaw, has risen by more than 17%. Refugees can be seen lining the streets looking for work, assistance, and shelter.

One of the refugees, 46-year-old Svetlana Starovytska, was devastated to leave Kyiv because her husband and 21-year-old son were obliged to stay in the city and fight.  Fleeing with her brother took her and her younger children, Yaroslav, 12, Anastasiya, 9, and Stanislav, 5, they boarded a train to Poland in search of safety.

Upon crossing the border, a Caritas volunteer helped the family find temporary shelter before matching them with the Sulkowski family for placement.

“It was strange from the beginning, it is still strange, but it was very comfortable to have a safe place for the children,” Starovytska said of the three months her family has lived with the Sulkowskis.

The families of six children could often be seen playing together even as they used four different languages to communicate.

“We start a sentence in Ukrainian, add some Polish and Russian and end with English,” Olga Sulkowski said laughing.

Reflecting on their time together, Starovytska is grateful that she and her family are safe. In ordinary circumstances, they might have never met, however, when a genuine neighbor was needed, Starvytska is grateful one was found.

Source: Catholic News Service