IW Croatia & Moldova helping Ukraine Refugees

Posted by | Apr 24, 2022 |

Inner Wheel members in Croatia & Moldova helping Ukraine Refugees.

Touched by all the shocking news on all media about the horrors happening in Ukraine, the members in District 191 responded immediately and cohesively – LETS HELP!

It has been over 30 years since the war in our country, Croatia, but the memories of the painful years have remained fresh. It is this fresh reminder that united our response.

People who suffer need to be given a strong message, “You are not alone, we can help.“

We sent a letter of support to each of the 6 email addresses of Inner Wheel Clubs in Ukraine. Soon, we received two answers. They replied that they were trying to leave Ukraine and settle temporarily in one of the neighbouring countries which is closest to their home. They will contact us as soon as they arrive.

At the same time, on Whatsapp group, the District committee members were searching for information, discussing and analysing the possibilities of how to act, to help effectively and efficiently, that is, to act urgently.

The number of refugees was growing in all surrounding countries. We were watching Moldova as a small and not rich country that cares for the growing number of women and children. We saw Inner Wheel members selflessly providing their own homes, organising all possible assistance to the people… we saw that they know what, how and to whom and we knew their forces and sources are limited too…

So, the decision was made – let's make them stronger. Let's make their effort easier and share the care. Let's take advantages of our organisation – our friendship, our trust and understanding and our desire to help and support.

At a prompt meeting of the District Executive Committee, it was decided to urgently organise a fundraiser to help Ukraine refugees in Moldava. Each member was asked to donate according their capacity, as soon as possible.

Our contact there in Moldava was Natalia Vavilina, Past President of the Inner Wheel Club of Chisinau Elite Europea. She sent 2 bank account numbers. First a trial payment was made, and after that 2 more payments, in total 9.000 euro.

We received feedback from Natalia in pictures – shopping carts full of necessities, large rooms filled with beds in a small hotel 15 km from Chisinau where 60 people were settled... sad images showing interrupted lives.

Meanwhile, more and more Ukrainian refugees arrived in our country too. Within a very short time, we collected all necessities from a list and drove to delivery them: clothes, toys, household appliances, hygiene items, a playground, children's bicycles… etc Our members were involved daily, in socialising, helping mothers, introducing them to the city, planning the activities for kids, helping with health care, birthday celebration… including all the seemingly trivial little things of a normal life. Such as, all that we women will do in giving help to others: spoken and written words, positivity in hugs and laughter. We want them to feel safe and protected, adapted to the community, accepted by the people with an increase sense of confidence.

There is a verse in a Croatian children's song, “When small hands come together anything is possible.” In other words, in the spirit of Inner Wheel – Strong women – stronger world. We continue to help with deep faith that these times will soon be gone.

Snježana Petrović-Tkalčec