March 2, 2022

ADRA Romania Steps Up to Assist Ukrainians Displaced by War

‘Hope for Ukraine’ initiative is moving quickly to provide much-needed assistance.

Andreas Mazza, Inter-European Division, ADRA Romania, and Adventist Review

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Romania is stepping up to assist those affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began February 24, 2022. In a tense environment where many feel panic, the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church moved quickly to help those in need.

ADRA Romania is coordinating a newly minted “Hope for Ukraine” initiative, which seeks to help those affected by the war, meeting their immediate needs by providing information, food, clothing, shelter, social assistance, and psychological support.

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A team from ADRA Romania managed to deliver vans with much-needed items, included mattresses, across the border into western Ukraine. Leaders reported that volunteers returned safely on February 28. [Photo: ADRA Romania]

“The Seventh-day Adventist Church stands in solidarity with Ukrainian refugees seeking shelter in Romania or transiting our country,” said Aurel Neațu, president of the Romanian Union Conference (RUC) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. “We offer help through our institutions and volunteers, and we have created a working group with the directors of the Department of Ethnic Groups, the pastors from northeastern Romania, and ADRA Romania. We have opened the doors of our accommodation centers nationally and regionally, and connect our food and accommodation offerings from our faithful with requests received from the border,” Neațu said.

Neațu said the Adventist Church is involved in managing the situation and is in contact with Adventist church members across Ukraine, through representatives of the church in the city of Chernivtsi. “Romanian Adventists are praying for the Ukrainians in crisis, for the victims of the war machine, and for peace in the region,” he said.

Hope for Ukraine

ADRA Romania leaders said the agency’s latest moves are in alignment with a longstanding history of stepping up in moments of crisis and disaster. “As always, in times of crisis, in addition to the pain caused by unexpected disasters, one can also see human solidarity in action,” ADRA Romania president Robert Georgescu said. “The refugee situation is a call for responsibility and compassion to give priority to life and human dignity.”

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ADRA Romania has been actively collecting and storing items, which are then donated to support displaced families in Ukraine as the war rages on. [Photo: ADRA Romania]

Georgescu explained that behind the testimonies and statistics, “there are real people with sad stories about suffering and loss, as well as hope and motivation. These are people I have never met but who need help,” he said.

ADRA Humanitarian Convoy Returns 

On February 27, after 29 hours, the ADRA humanitarian convoy in Ukraine arrived. Thousands of donated items — mattresses, blankets, pillows, linen, hygiene products, medicines, and food supplements — were distributed in Chernivtsi. A significant portion were transferred to other vans and transported to Kyiv and other areas of the country.

According to information received from local authorities in late February, since the beginning of the war, ADRA Romania is the only humanitarian organization that has made a donation export, with the exception of another donation made by a monastery in the area.

ADRA’s Hope for Ukraine humanitarian convoy did not encounter any difficulties, leaders reported.

Emergency humanitarian assistance for Ukrainian refugees, provided by ADRA Romania volunteers, continues at five border crossings.

About ADRA Romania

ADRA Romania is part of ADRA International, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s global humanitarian arm, which is one of the most extensive nongovernmental organizations in the world and active in more than 118 countries. Since 1990, ADRA Romania has been leading projects inspired by the motto “Justice, Compassion, Love.” ADRA Romania brings joy and hope to its beneficiaries by promoting a better future, sound values, ​​and human dignity. 

The original version of this story was posted on the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in Romania site and reposted on the Inter-European Division news site. Adventist Development and Relief Agency in Romania site and reposted on the Inter-European Division news site.