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Dignified Assistance to Ukrainian Refugees and IDPs by CADIS in Partnership with Tzu Chi

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Under the project "Creating a dignified welcoming center and facilitating humanitarian assistance to Ukrainian refugees in Poland as well as internally displaced people (IDPs) in Ukraine," Camillian Disaster Service International (CADIS), in partnership with Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, is providing shelter, psychosocial, medical, and humanitarian support to the Ukrainian refugees in Poland and Ukraine. This work is being done through the local partner The Camillian Religious of Poland, which has organized itself into three teams: the Camillian Mission for Social Assistance (CMSA), which takes care of the first reception assistance at the Warsaw public transport central stations as well as the temporary shelter of 19 refugees at the Saint Lazarus Pension House for the Homeless in Ursus, the Seminarium Sw. Kamila community in Łomianki, which takes care of a temporary shelter of the 30 refugees in Łomianki township, and an overall coordinating team from the Institute of Patient Rights and Health Education. The project is primarily funded by the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation with 1.5 million USD.

The two shelters in Łomianki and Ursusin the Warsaw area are sheltering 49 Ukrainian refugees, including 29 women, 1 man, and 19 children. The two shelters are equipped with beds, wardrobes, tables, chairs, and fixtures, and each center has a living room with TV sets, a refrigerator, microwave oven, coffee maker, kitchen wares, and supplies, as well as kitchen, dining room, and laundry. Residents in the shelters are invited to assist their cohabitants as volunteers, and some are offered employment in the project to perform specific duties and responsibilities as a way to build mutual trust, respect and confidence.

Apart from attending to the physical needs of the residents at the shelters, each shelter also provides psychologist and social worker services for both adults and children. They also organize family activities, including celebrations of Mother’s Day and Children’s Day, and cultural activities and skills development. Activities included outdoor family picnics, games and sports competitions, animation performances for children and adults, and a pop and rap music concert by local bands as well as a Ukrainian band in Poland. The center in Ursus organized a creative robotics workshops, where the participants built and programmed their own robots from blocks. They were provided with materials, bricks, and tools for building robots. This activity allowed the children to develop their creativity and logical thinking, solve technical problems, and work as a team.

In addition, the Łomianki shelter has already opened a kindergarten at the shelter, with permission from the government. The school is open to the in-house children and children refugees living close to the center.

Inside Ukraine, assistance to internally displaced people (IDPs), is being provided on one hand in the form of assistance to public hospitals in Odessa and Kramatorks, on the other hand through direct relief in the form of food and non-food items for Ukrainians in Bucha and Chernihiv, in collaboration with the Dobra Fabryka Foundation.

The Camillian Disaster Service International (CADIS) is a humanitarian and international development Foundation of the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm (Camillians). The Order of the Ministers of the Infirm (CADIS' Founder) was founded in Italy in 1586 by Saint Camillus de Lellis, the patron of the sick, nurses, and hospitals. Their charism is to serve the poor sick even at the risk of their own lives. For more information, visit cadisinternational.org.

The Buddhist Tzu Chi Charity Foundation is a global non-profit humanitarian organization founded in 1966 by a Buddhist nun named Dharma Master Cheng Yen in Taiwan. Its missions of medicine, charity, education, and humanistic culture have brought relief to over 127 countries. The heart of Tzu Chi is embedded in its name: in Chinese, “tzu” means compassion and “chi” relief, to relieve the suffering of those in need while creating a better world for all through compassion, love and hope. For more information, visit tzuchi.us.

For additional information and media inquiries, please write to Tiffany Tu, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, tiffany.tu@tzuchi.us or Giulia Calibeo, Rosource Mobilization Officer, Camillian Disaster Service International,

g.calibeo@cadisinternational.org.

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