Learning about the situation of displaced Ukrainians

Our Volunteering Starts

After a quickly prepared breakfast we headed off to the 8 o’clock volunteer training. Very brief and then off to our assignments. Yesterday we thought we would be at the border, but instead, we were assigned to the largest shelter in Przemysl. TESCO is a former giant supermarket that anchored a small mall. The vast supermarket space is now filled with cots marked like theater seats; row and seat number. When we arrived, they were all empty. People are on their own during the day as all the bedding gets changed daily. I didn’t get to walk around much, but it appears people do things to keep busy or at least occupied. The former shops that i did see are now occupied by various humanitarian aid agencies from around the globe.

World Central Kitchen is a 24 hour operation. We relieved the night shift and were into action immediately. we learned to cook the pre-made paninis that are very popular. This seemed to be the post breakfast and was very popular. We had a steady stream of people throughout the morning. Then lunch and dinner with more panini in between all of the food is freshly made and delivered to the site it is all quite good with a meat, a .starch starch and a salad or vegetable.

Observations And Feelings

The whole scene i would have to compare to being evacuated from a situation like Katrina, only instead of going to another state, you are in another country where they speak a different language and your future path is uncertain at best.

Most of the people we served have likely been at TESCO for several week and it is easy to observe how demoralized the are. Hardly ever a smile, they just seem to be going through the motions. I am welling up with tears as i write this. Moms, children and grandmothers act pretty much the same . This is not to say that we haven’t had pleasant experiences. one that comes to mind was a quick smile I observed from a small child who was given a colorful cloth bag full of small treats and there were others. But for this post, I’m sticking to the overall picture.

Going forward, I’ll try to talk about various encounters, but after our first 12 shift, Im tired and need to sleep