Because there is still hope
Publish date 13-11-2023
The satisfaction of having managed to feed especially the elderly and children has no limits: the thanks that shines on their faces repays us with both hands
Since February 24, 2022, the world has witnessed, with involvement at different levels depending on geographical proximity, a war - if possible even more absurd than others present in the world in the meantime - due to Russian aggression towards its "sister" Ukraine. The powerful of the Earth are still witnessing the tragedy which continues to see an increase in the number of military and civilian victims on both sides, together with the stellar costs of the conflict in terms of armaments and environmental disaster. Every day that passes, the horizon of peace in the territories involved narrows more and more like a pincer. Not to mention that at the end of the clashes - because in any case we will get there somehow - the gulf of hatred and resentment between the two peoples will continue to widen. Like in the Balkans. What remains to be done then?
Lock yourself away in disillusionment/despair? We who are fortunate enough to have lived in an "arsenal of peace" for 40 years now can testify that there is always a time for hope. Small perhaps compared to the vastness of the drama but tenacious. We see it every day in the gestures of solidarity of people who help other people, without getting tired. It is like the ship's rudder, always small compared to the size of the hull; however, it is he who allows and directs its movement. Man also has a rudder within himself that directs his actions. It's up to everyone to choose how to handle it. And suddenly discover that so many know how to do it right.
FROM THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE
«Two days of travel to arrive on Tuesday 27th in Zaporižžja where in the evening we have already delivered mattresses, blankets and some food to an association of volunteers who manage a huge basement, a sort of bunker, where dozens of refugees have found shelter of the occupied areas and other people terrified by the continuous bombing of the city. On Wednesday morning, delivery of all medical supplies (about a ton) and two generators to the Zaporižžja hospital. Then, wearing bulletproof vests and with a military escort, we approached the front in the area south-east of Zaporižžja near Huliaipole. After various turns on roads complicated by potholes, mud and the closure of some sections which turned out to be too dangerous due to ongoing bombing, we arrived at a village where we distributed bags of food and panettone to hungry people, mostly elderly people, but very dignified in their suffering. Cries of emotion upon our arrival, smiles and hugs of gratitude and the continuous 'boom' of the bombs in the background.
We passed 3/4 km from the front but in Huliaipole (a town practically razed to the ground where we had already brought food in April) they didn't let us in due to the too great risk of being intercepted as an aid column to be stopped.
Early on Thursday morning we visited the Basilian nuns who welcomed us with the usual hospitality (splendid breakfast!!!) in the climate of peace and serenity that characterizes their monasteries. We have also left them a good dose of aid, especially food, to alleviate the suffering of the multitude of refugees and veterans from the front, wounded, mutilated or still in shock, who expect spiritual but often also material support from them.
Next we went to the Nikopol area, south west of Zaporižžja on the right side of the Dnieper river (which constitutes line 0). On the right bank the Ukrainians, on the left bank the Russians. Exactly in front of Nikopol, clearly visible on the left side of the river (once kilometers wide but now reduced to little more than a secondary river following the destruction of the downstream dam) the nuclear power plant that has been talked about so much and is still talked about still these days. Even in this area he delivers food to the villages: same emotions, same emotions and same hugs.
Last stop in the areas south of Nikopol, previously occupied and now liberated. Destruction everywhere, burned and abandoned tanks, rubble under which, they say, there are still bodies of Russian soldiers abandoned during the hasty retreat.
Here too, deliveries of bags of food and two generators for the school built hastily after the destruction of the one in operation before the war; and here too there are great needs, great and moving gratitude and a lot of dignity.
From there, around eight in the evening we left to return to Baia Mare with the aim of arriving by Friday evening to allow some of us to go to Cluj in time for an early Saturday morning flight.
Objective achieved... even if it cost us to drive continuously even during the night with only a couple of hours of sleep lying in the now empty cargo beds of the vans... But the satisfaction of having managed to feed especially the elderly and children has no limits: thanks that shows on their faces repays us abundantly."
In spite of everything, the compass of the path points to hope.
NP Ottobre 2023
This is the diary of the aid that has arrived in Ukraine to help the population in recent months. People who help other people, without calculating the effort, the risk, the convenience. Pure free.
MATERIAL COLLECTED AND DISTRIBUTED
4 vans left Sunday 25 June in the afternoon from Baia Mare (Romania) each with 2 drivers
more than 3,000 km traveled in 5 days crossing Ukraine in its entire width from the far west to the far east
Approximately 8 tons of material delivered including:
250 bags of various food (salt, rice, pasta, legumes, tuna, canned meat and jams) ready to be distributed to individual families
hundreds of panettone
boxes of legumes, rice, pasta
baby food boxes
medicines and other medical supplies
mattresses and blankets
baby diapers and adult diapers
7 generators (2 at the hospital in Zaporižžja, 2 at a school in the liberated territories and 3 more in different villages near the front)
We were joined by 2 further vans from the Ukrainian association with which we collaborate with another 5 tons of material largely deriving from Sermig donations.