Cariboo woman raises funds for Ukrainian refugee shelter near Prague – Lake Country Calendar
A woman living in the Cariboo helps raise money for a shelter on the outskirts of Prague that houses Ukrainian refugees fleeing war.
Sandra Kelly Klassen said her sister Colleen Kelly, who lives near Prague, is busy helping and supporting the shelter in any way she can.
“We are doing our best to help financially across the Atlantic Ocean,” Sandra said from her home in Deep Creek, north of Williams Lake.
Last week, Sandra kicked off a fundraiser with the crowd – Jar of Honey, for Ukraine – and already many people in the region have contributed or spread the word.
“Everything is happening at a rapid pace as refugees pour into Prague by the thousands,” Sandra said. “The donations from our friends and family and the people who responded to the GoFundMe page are making a difference. We are happy to do what we can to help alleviate the pain and suffering of Ukrainian refugees. »
Both Sandra and Colleen were born in Williams Lake, where they lived until 1976. Sandra returned to the Cariboo in 2008 with her husband and they love the area, she said.
Colleen moved to Prague in 1992 and worked there until two years ago when she moved about an hour out of town.
Colleen noted in an email that 20 women and children arrived by train on March 7 at the shelter after fleeing Ukraine amid the Russian invasion and were in desperate need of help.
“These refugees were offered an old building belonging to the municipality of Zbraslav on the outskirts of Prague and the number of 20 quickly increased to 60.”
Her friend Katerina Altenburg asked her to publicize the shelter.
Altenburg told the Grandstand by SMS, the shelter has running water, a kitchen, a room where children can play and learn, two televisions to help them discover the Czech language and keep up to date with current events.
“Czech national television has started offering Ukrainian translation for the news,” she said.
There are many refugees for whom there is no shelter and many stay in school gymnasiums and the government organizes tent camps, which she says “is better than nothing but The situation is grave and heartbreaking.”
“The only consolation in all of this is the incredible solidarity people have shown so far and hopefully will continue to do so as this won’t be resolved in a matter of weeks.”
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, March 15, Colleen said the situation was getting worse and arriving refugees were traumatised.
When asked what they need, the refugees cannot answer, despite having almost nothing with them, she added.
READ MORE: British Columbia family in Ukraine helps thousands of refugees with food and shelter
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