The Juntos por la Vida foundation, based in the heart of Valencia, is working with the city’s Ukranian consulate to organise the evacuation of the largest possible number of children and some adults from Ukraine to Valencia.
The evacuees will travel via Poland and are expected to arrive in Valencia next week, although there is no specific date yet.
The regional government is supporting the plan to move around 560 Ukranians who are trying to flee the war in their country following Russia’s invasion.
The situation in Ukraine is getting worse by the day which is why the NGO wants to make the evacuation as soon as possible. One of the girls who is waiting to be evacuated, Veronica Kaminska who lives in Sukachi, about 3 km from Ivankiev, sent a message on Saturday morning to her host family in Valencia, in which she said, in a frightened voice, that “my village is on fire, the houses are burning, and we are hiding”.
The president of the Juntos por la Vida in the Comunitat Valenciana, Clara Arnal, plans to travel to Poland next Tuesday to organise the arrival of the evacuees from Ukraine and the journey by plane to Valencia.
Evacuation by road
The evacuees will be moved by bus from Ukraine across the Polish border, and from there three charter flights will take them to Valencia. This will be an air corridor, for which full planes are being arranged with different airline companies. The flights will not leave from an airport close to the border because their airspace is already occupied, but instead from an airport in Krakow.
The NGO, together with its Ukrainian counterpart, is organising the grouping and movement of children and adults from the Chernobyl and Donbas areas in Ukraine by bus, although communication problems are hampering the work. Road problems are also delaying the organisation of the evacuation.
The Honorary Consul for Ukraine in Valencia, Pablo Gil, has already presented the proposal to the regional government after meeting with its President Ximo Puig, who has offered the necessary help for the evacuation. The Consul thanked Puig for his solidarity and support.
Family foster care
Both the consulate and the Foundation are also working on the preparation of the necessary documentation for the transfer of the evacuees. The NGO is already creating the list of children to be evacuated, and is collaborating with other foster care associations.
The children who will arrive are from the Chernobyl and Donbas areas and will be taken in by Valencian families who take part in the humanitarian summer foster care programmes that the foundation has been running for the past 20 years.
According to Clara Arnal, the children are suffering the horrors of the conflict where they have to take refuge in basements, and there is a shortage of everything. With their evacuation to Valencia, the children will be able to rest from the war, and from the fear they are suffering every day with the bombs falling near their homes.
The foundation has expressed its gratitude for the solidarity of all the families who have offered to take in the children arriving in Valencia, and added that there are already enough, so there is no need for more host families. However, anyone wanting to help the charity can volunteer, visit their shop in Ruzafa (Calle Buenos Aires, 11) or donate clothes and accessories in good condition https://www.juntosporlavida.org/espai-solidaria