While a working ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine continues to elude the government and separatist forces, winter has officially arrived for the civilians trapped in the crossfire. Many have fled, but many cannot. For those left behind, the bitter cold is an unrelenting foe against which there is little hope. Because of the fighting, most cities and villages are without power and access to natural gas for heat. While the militia fight, people are freezing to death in their homes.
Last winter, Convoy of Hope Europe reached out and provided 300 wood stoves for families caught in this desperate situation. These stoves serve a dual purpose. Not only do they heat homes, but they also provide a flat surface for cooking.
Surviving in a war zone is difficult in many ways outside of the direct threat of violence. Food supplies are interrupted and businesses close or flee. Jobs are lost, and those left behind are now unemployed with no way to support themselves. Food is scarce even for those who can afford to buy it.
Over the last year, Convoy of Hope Europe made a commitment to helping those stranded in the war zone. We provided seeds and gardening tools for families to grow their own food. Many were able to can and store enough to last through much of this coming winter. In addition, we funded a new school for Ukrainians who commit to moving to the towns and villages in the war zone and act as point person for humanitarian aid distribution. These volunteers are trained in supply distribution, reporting, and counseling victims of trauma. Three classes have graduated, and those graduates are now serving in twelve cities and villages along the front lines of the conflict!
Now that winter is once again upon us, we want to continue to provide Hope to those who have lost everything. Last winter we purchased and distributed 300 stoves. This year, with your help, we can do more!