Atlanta, Georgia (CBS46) – A Georgia nonprofit with feet on the ground in Ukraine, its teams and partners help evacuate children and families and provide assistance to hard-to-reach areas.
One of the Ukrainians on that team spoke to CBS46 Sawyer Buchi about evacuating 30 children in an orphanage who are now safely outside the war zone.
Kostya Vorobayev calls himself a two-time survivor of the war. He survived the Crimean invasion in 2014 and is now living in war again.
“Every day you feel a new wave of despair, there is no hope as you see devastated cities, as you see corpses in the streets,” said Vorobyev.
Kostya and his wife have a one-year-old son. He loves his child very much, but he will tell you that he feels a fatherly love for every child he works with. Kostya is a Ukrainian representative of the non-profit organization YouthReach International.
“We are committed to establishing what we call guidance communities…in fact what we are trying to do at a local level is identify and solve the major problems faced by orphans and youth at risk,” said YouthReach International President/CEO Rob Brown.
The organization creates hubs all over the world. They work with children who do not have parents, children who need mentors, children who need support, and children who need a family. They have been in Ukraine since the 1990s and the relationships the organization built, may have been saving lives.
“We helped 30 orphans escape from the Donetsk region, where the war began and is continuing,” said Vorobyev.
It can be easy to watch the news coming out of Ukraine and feel utterly helpless, but the organizers of YouthReach say helping Ukrainian families is a team effort, and say donations big or small make a difference, and so does prayer.
The 30 children are now in a safe place in a country on the border with Ukraine. The YouthReach International team who helped them evacuate, and who risked their safety, are still working with them.
“It is normal for me to jump like a father who sees his child in a fire. He does not think, said Vorobayev.
“We are helping people who are stuck in their places either because of age or because of medical issues or the fighting around them is too intense for them to leave. We still have ways to provide assistance to these people. We are also helping people move to safety,” Brown said, once he arrives. people to those places, we help them establish their presence.
One day, Kostya will tell his son about the Ukraine he knew before the war – the Ukraine he knows will never be the same again.
“Deep in our hearts, we have hope that the war will end, that we will return but when? How? Nobody knows,” Vorobyev said.
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