JTS visits Ukrainian refugees
Forty-four million people in Ukraine have been suffering with fear and pain due to the war, started by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the number of refugees in Ukraine is about 800 thousand as of May 18, who moved to neighboring countries. Two and half million people scattered to other countries all around the world and are looking for safe places that they can stay until the end of war.
Since the beginning of the war, South Korea simplified the process of visa approval for Korean Ukrainians. As a result, 600 people moved to Korea as of the end of April. Most of them are women, children, and seniors.
In the middle of April, JTS started emergency relief for Ukrainian refugees with NoMo (New Options, More Opportunities), an organization to help Koreans in the former Soviet Union.
In early May, we delivered blankets donated by In-sung Jo, an actor, along with a letter from him, to 166 households of refugees. The refugees said “Thank you” in Korean and smiled, which was heartwarming.
In the middle of May, we delivered the packages of essentials to 64 households located in all parts of Korea. We delivered JTS packages of food and essentials to 50 households. Other volunteers visited 14 households to determine their needs, and then assembled and delivered packages to them.
Every refugee had their own suffering. Since they cannot have medical insurance without the legal status of refugee, they cannot visit hospitals. It is heartbreaking to see the people who suffer from loneliness, language barriers, and poor living conditions in a foreign country.
A sixteen-year-old girl had to hide in an underground bunker for two weeks in Ukraine and moved to several countries before she came to Korea. She was taking care of her sick mother and she also worried about her sibling, who couldn’t come with her. A father was afraid that his son won’t be able to achieve his dream of being a dancer.
All Ukrainian refugees were warm hearted despite their suffering. We hope that JTS helps improve their difficult lives as refugees.
We also hope that they have a comfortable time while they stay in Korea, and go back to their country safely and happily when the war is over.