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From Ukraine to Poland to Switzerland: How 66 Children were Rescued, and 36 Others are Joining the Mission

As of this writing, it’s been 129 days since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which started on February 24, 2022. So many lives lost, dislocated and destroyed. However, as many of you know, one of the shining lights was the rescue and relocation of the Wings of Hope orphanage from Kiev to Poland. 66 children and two chaperones were saved, and it was a spectacular feat.

While in Poland, even though there were challenges, it was a manageable situation. A small sleepy town of wonderful people opened their hearts and doors for these little angels. However, it was unsustainable in the long term. After all, the establishment was a hotel, and like all businesses, no matter how much you would like to help, it eventually must get back to business as usual or it will close down. Their sacrifice was noble and timely, and the children had time to adjust to their new normal – Ukraine was put in their past.

During this time, many of you were very generous with your time, talent and treasures, to help provide for their needs, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Medical supplies, food, clothing, hygiene products and more were provided to do as much as possible to keep them innocent. Oh, the pain for some of the older ones who’ve been forced to grow up all too soon and realize how cruel the world can be.

A new place needed to be found, and thankfully has been, in Switzerland. The move was arduous and lengthy, but it finally was completed. However, there are new challenges to overcome:

  • A new government with different regulations and laws
  • A language barrier
  • A culture barrier (Poland was very familiar, culturally)
  • Children having to readjust to a new location
  • The cost of living being higher

—and more, so much more. On top of this, there are an additional 36 children traveling from Lviv, Ukraine to Switzerland to join Wings of Hope by the end of July or beginning of August, with the youngest being under one-year old. Some of the challenges include finding new beds and cribs, integrating the children and the emotional struggles of new faces, less attention individually, as the love must be spread even further.

As Wings of Hope and these children enter this new phase, your support will be greatly needed. And during these rough economic times, we understand it’s a huge sacrifice for some, and asking is not easy. But we do ask for your continued support.

While many people have tried to mail items (clothing, toys, medical supplies, etc.), with the higher cost, regulations and laws of Switzerland, this slows down the process of getting these much-needed things to the children immensely. Giving financially is the best way.

Therefore, we ask with humble and grateful hearts to consider either a one-time donation of any amount, or a monthly pledge that would be easier to maintain. Your gifts will be able to provide the much-needed assistance these children and their chaperones need, as they hunker down for what may be a long and protracted war.

We thank you and may God bless you for all you do!

Irina Sipko