Evacuation from Ukraine

This Ukraine situation is VERY urgent. Each person with disabilities we bring over borders is a precious life saved.


Upate from Pete: 3rd December 2022

making candlesThis picture was taken on Monday this week at the day centre for adults with disabilities.

You will see tins on the table. Each one will be re-cyled, filled with a special candle wax, sealed and sent to the front-lines for Soldiers.

So, we'll buy tins of food for to help feed those vulnerable then the tins are available for making the candles.

Next week, we'll buy the next load of candle wax, weighing 100 kg to try and keep up with the demand....

Final step, the finished candles are taken to Petro, our contact in Poliana, he sends them direct to the front lines.

The candles are very useful because they don't give out too much light and also provide a small amount of heat to keep drinks/food warm.

It's wonderful that, people with special needs are providing such a worthwhile gift.

Update from Pete: 16th August 2022

Update from Pete: 14th May 2022

Here's a report on the work that Pete's being doing with the evacuation of refugees from Ukraine. Click here to download

Update from Pete: 2nd April 2022 

Some of the new group of 27, we collected from the borders yesterday evening. Police will check most days to see that we keep everyone together, they protect against trafficking which is very important.

On one evening, at the church where buses were leaving for Italy, 2 Italian men were found to be offering lifts to people for Italy... Thankfully one of the volunteers saw this and security were called and they were told to leave. We live in a sad world and we must be very careful and we take our responsibility very serious.

So this group are enjoying their 1st day to relax. Children running everywhere brings a real joy to my heart. They will stay for two or three days while we organise where they will go.

We have a family looking to get to Vienna because they have family nearby and in Bruno (Czec Republic) Most will probably go to Italy, but this needs to be sorted properly beforehand.

As I often say, each person is special and potentially, a life saved. Thank you for your prayers and support.

Update from Pete: 31st March 2022 

Every picture tells a story. Here's a brief idea who are on these pictures:

  • Small team of 11 for Germany. Will explain more about this team later.
  • 5 pictures, taken immediately before leaving for Italy
  • Isabelle & Stefan drove from Germany to deliver aid for Ukraine.
  • Nicu & Martin load our vans for trip to Ukraine. (only 15 mins after unloading from German van)
  • Tiring train journey from Vienna to Marburg in Germany. Not easy, with wheelchairs and life's belongings.
  • Group arrived to Italy and enjoying a breakfast
  • One of the buses used from Oradea to Vienna.

I wanted to show faces of some of our groups. Yesterday, was our 1st day with no Ukrainian refugees, but it's been a stressful time.

On Monday evening, our larger group left to Italy. Our groups always go to Vienna overnight, to connect early morning trains. Through the church, volunteers are in Vienna waiting for the group, to provide early breakfast and help to train station. Thankfully, train journeys are free for our refugees. 

You can see from the video, the Italian group arrived safely and being looked after.

Sadly, we hit major problems with our small group going to Germany. Connections in Vienna were great as always and some even stayed on trains all the way into Germany to help with wheelchairs and luggage - amazing. But whilst "en-route", the place for the group to be staying for first few days until longer-term accommodation to be sorted, decided they couldn't manage having two wheelchairs, when they expected one. (the 2nd wheelchair not so vital) anyway, after many phone calls... they still wouldn't accept, so I was left with this vulnerable group already anxious and exhausted from travelling through the night with nowhere to go.

Without doubt, this was the worst day I've experienced in all my time in Romania.

With only 30 minutes until the group arrived to Marburg late yesterday afternoon, a facility was prepared and people organised to collect the group at the train station. This was only because of a friend called Ephraim who is German and had lived in Marburg, had made hundreds of phone calls on our behalf, despite him being crazy busy looking after a large group of Ukrainian refugees in a different part of the country. As a result of this, I've now taken on more responsibility for the next stages for this vulnerable group.

As a result, I didn't join Nicu and a colleague called Martin who works with us and is from Netherlands. (see them on the picture loading vans) to go on a long journey to Ukraine, but to a different border which is very busy with refugees.

I've stayed to help support our group in Germany but also tomorrow, I'll be at Halmeu border with Ukraine to collect a small group of 8. All I know just now, they are two families, one with mum disabled, daughter disabled and dad just had an operation. We should arrive back to the centre approx 11pm.

Thank you again for all your messages of encouragement, prayers and donations.

Update from Pete: 10th March 2022 

Tomorrow, I return to Uzhhorod with Nicu from People to People Founatiion. We still need to improve connections, especially on border controls. It's understandable we have frustrations and delays with so much chaos.

Nicu was telling me, just last night alone, we had more than 3,500 people coming into Oradea and this is just through some of the churches, so many more. This is between midnight and 5am.  4 trains with 500 each and 4 coaches with approx 60 people. At least another 500 from churches.

Remember, this was only last night!!! And we estimate at least 80% transmission, going straight out to places like Vienna on trains. This is the scale here in Oradea! We had 35 where I was staying, Inc disabled. For me personally, it's such a struggle when people become numbers... only in transit. It's hard to not get emotional.

A group we have staying contains a number of mum's with children who have special needs. I'm trying to set up a location for around 6 or 7 families with similar issues. The idea is to then have maybe 10 days to prepare them for arriving to Austria or Germany. To discover their complex needs and move them together as a little community to where a special school etc will take care if them.

The leader wrote to me this morning which brought tears to my eyes. 

Good morning. Peter, I am very grateful to you for what you are doing. My children said yesterday that there is good in the world. You have become an example of the fact that strength is not aggression and malice, but love for people. I thank you for restoring their faith in people who live by conscience. If it is possible to resolve the issue with the education of children in our group, parents are ready to do their best.  God's blessing to you and hope to see you soon.

Update from Pete: 9th March 2022 

sadie letterToday has been relatively quiet. Helping individuals with practical things including shopping, exchanging money, taking to train station and airport.

Ukrainians can travel for free on international trains.

Our donations have reached around £650 which is great... as long as it's increasing. We still need a huge surge to cover costs, but I can't allow myself to worry about this.

Between the rushing around, I especially enjoyed times with children who have special needs. This brings sunshine to me!

Another Ray of hope, came from the daughter of my Niece. Her name is Sadie. On hearing about my work, she decided to write a letter to her Head Teacher and ask the school to do a "no uniform day" to help with our work. How brilliant is that???

Maybe, Sadie's inspiration will encourage you to also be creative? I'll send a picture of her letter. "well done Sadie".

We were on alert, preparing to collect a group of 130 but, they made the journey across Poland. My friends also in Poland arrived tonight to collect a group of disabled tomorrow lunchtime.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and support.

Update from Pete: Early Morning 8th March 2022 

I'm currently in the town of Uzhhorod, Ukraine. As I probably mentioned before, this is the Transcarpathian region and its being used to send all kinds of desperate, vulnerable people for evacuation to Romania and Poland.

I'm staying upstairs in a little centre on a creaky little bed. The upstairs provides accommodation for temporary stay.

The centre Manager is called Oleg and he's key to finding those with disabilities requiring evacuation.

We have a train left the town of Lviv at 00.25 and should arrive here approx 08.30am. Then we have a bus to the borders of Romania near Satu Mare. Next, we try to access a special train sponsored by Rotary direct to Oradea or, we have vehicles will drive the three hours from Oradea.

This group has 55 and included are:

23 children, from them 15 with disabilities. 1 child in a wheelchair and 2 adults in wheelchairs.

In Oradea, we have accommodation in family groups but because so many children and disabled, we pay close attention to child protection issues.

After Oradea? Decisions yet to be decided.

So, this is my evening... challenging but nothing compared to what people are facing.

Here's an article on the BBC entitled 'Chaos, upheaval and exhaustion for Ukraine's disabled children':  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60648735 

Please keep donating via our partner People to People Foundation. Link is at the top of this page and donate to 'Help to Ukrainian Refugees'

Update: 6th March 2022

Today, Pete is travelling to Satu Mare and then to Uzhhorod in Ukraine today. Then tomorrow he'll be heading back to Romania with 55 mums and children who have disabilities. It's expected that every day or two a new group will be evacuated from the Ukraine to Oradea. 

Nicu Gal from People to People Founation in Oradea has organized 150 beds which is a good step as people transit through Oradea, although transiting may not be as easy due to the disabilities that people will have.

Update: 6th March 2022

If you'd like to make a financial donation to support the work in helping the Ukrainian refugees, this can be done via one of our partner's websites - People to People Foundation in Oradea, Romania.  Donations can be made in British Pounds, Euros or US Dollars. Just click on the relevant button next to 'Help to Ukrainian Refugees'.


Update: 6th March 2022


I contacted my friend Roman who is on the video for my 1st humanitarian aid trip he is part of Rotary in Uzhhorod. He gave me a contact called Volodya who is "Co-ordinator" for Rotary. I spoke with him two days ago.

In the conversation, he told me about a centre and I asked, could I visit him and the centre the next day (yesterday).

When I joined Volodya to visit Oleg, I was holding back the tears.

Oleg has been Manager for 20 years of this centre. They provide a range of support, mainly for children of all ages. The centre is quite basic but with beautiful pictures on the walls and equipment which is obviously well used. It was cold as we walked around. They have small buses outside because of donations from Rotary. Whilst walking around I discovered Oleg has a son with Cerebral Palsy, hence he is committed to his work. He spoke about struggles in Ukraine with fuel prices and because he depends on gas, he must limit the use. They need 1, 800 euro to provide gas effectively.

HE NEVER ONCE ASKED ME FOR Anything and I found out this information when asking questions during my little tour.

Then... I began to talk about what we want to do in Oradea, to evacuate people with disabilities... Oleg immediately turned to me with tears in his eyes and gave me a huge handshake! What a moment!

Our conversation changed at this point. It was my turn to have tears in my eyes when Oleg told me about three areas of need....

  • young children with disability
  • young children with mum
  • adults with disability.

Because Uzhhorod is central to Transcarpathian, they receive hundreds of people from areas like Kyiv and the major towns being bombed.  Upstairs in their building, they provide sleep and support for these people. 

Oleg has a national responsibility for the whole region to support these people and is in regular contact with the Ukraine Director - in fact, he called her when I was there. Her name is Tatiana and is now based in lviv, not too far away. Oleg called Iryna, his Deputy to come straight into meet me. She is excellent with English and also in organising. Iryna and I began discussion how we can work together.

Already, I sent out an appeal for aid because tomorrow, I will return to Uzhhorod with Tijs because he has especially on his heart, the terrible situation of orphans also arriving to Uzhhorod because of losing families in these towns.

Please pray for the situation here and if you’re able to help with materials or financially, here’s a list of types of humanitarian aid Oleg and Iryna asked for:

  • Linen - any kind, sheets, blankets, pillows, sleeping bags etc
  • Mattresses!!!
  • Thick foam, to be used like a mattress.
  • 1st aid items, including bandages, plasters, paracetamol etc
  • Diapers (pampers) for children and adults.

Information regarding how to make a financial contribution will appear here soon. I'm just talking with the organizations with which I partner to see how best to do it.

Update: 3rd March 2022: 5:30pm

This work comes under Evangelical Alliance in Germany and a good article was done explaining all this work to evacuate disabled from Ukraine. Read more about how things started with the evacuation process here: https://www.europeanea.org/german-disability-working-group-evacuates-persons-with-disabilities-from-ukraine/

evacuation german disability working group - (c) PerspektivForum Behinderung EAD

Update: 3rd March 2022


We just transported a group of 37 from Poland to Germany, near Stuttgart.

Now I will leave to the Ukrainian border with Hungary. I'm in process of setting up evacuation and delivery to Oradea, working with our amazing team to provide shelterr, food and preparation for next stages.


Update: 2nd March 2022

Yesterday afternoon/evening we transported our group in 6 vehicles. We arrived to Lodz where my friends Alicja and Sandro organised pizza.

group in Lodz

We arrived at 10pm and left again at midnight after this picture and drove through the night until 9am this morning... 💤. This afternoon, we drive on to Stuttgart, another 5 hours where they will stay.

Beautiful people. Very tiring for them and us as drivers.

We must increase our efforts because each day becomes more dangerous. Each person who arrives is probably a saved life - can you imagine this? It's incredibly hard but rewarding.

I WILL send details for making financial donations soon. Sorry for the delay, but everything happening at such a fast pace. Meanwhile, if you can help in a practical way...

Thank you to everyone!  God bless EACH PERSON from Ukraine who arrives.

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