• Bread is the staff of life

    IMG_3291 (Medium)We have a saying, “Bread is the staff of life”! It had always been that way through centuries! However, no one could have ever imagined that in the 21st century, when the echoes of the WWII almost fell into silence, when the world’s civilization surpasses the limits of the human mind, here in Ukraine, in the country with the best fertile land, where the climate allows getting the highest yields of crops, people would in lack of bread. Moreover, the reason for this is nothing else but the war with its cruel aftermath – hunger, cold, death. People who did not leave their home and stayed in the war zone in the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts have been experiencing a great demand of food, especially bread. In 2015, the winter became for many a season of hunger, cold and harsh time for survival. For people who have been cut off from the accustomed welfares of civilization, living without electricity and heating, hiding in basements, in constant fear of attacks, in small towns and villages under consistent shelling, and where the war is a reality, the bread is now an unaffordable luxury.

    From February 2015, Zaporozhye City Aid Center is providing bread to those who live within the area of ATO operations. Small towns of Krasnohorovka, Mariinka in Donetsk oblast became the places of frequent destinations for our team, where we deliver weekly the foodstuffs, medicines, care products and presents for children.

    Bread distribution trips have become a separate direction of the activities of the City Aid Center. Each delivery includes min. 1000 loaves of fresh aromatic bread.

    Today’s trip, on March 4th, appeared to be very busy and rich with meetings.

    For safety reasons, we had to wear armor vests and helmets (provided by our guides from the Ukrainian Army). People were very grateful for the support, even if it was just one loaf of bread, showing understanding that we could not cover all their immediate needs. Some people could not hold back their tears; for them the smell of fresh bread is now an unaffordable luxury.

    We see many people, whom we met before, and the new participants are willingly sharing with us their sad stories. A disabled person with his problems, another person who did not have his pension paid, other people with their homes that are now destroyed, some lost their dear ones…

    More than a hundred of children were waiting for us by the volunteer’s center in Krasnohorovka. The first thought was that we might not have enough presents for all, but we had just as much as we needed for those who came and we even left some for those kids who could not come. These children have experienced shelling and the war is something they know close up, having no kindergarten or school to go. The education process has been disrupted, and only few people can afford getting their children to school in one of the neighboring towns.

    Many live in basements, although they are not homeless people. For them the basement is now the only safe shelter, as their apartments and houses were destroyed by shells and now turned to ruins. As the prospects to receive new accommodation are very vague, they try to improve their temporary “home”.

    Tears in the eyes of people we meet, their words of thanksgiving encourage us to work even harder and do all we can to come back, even though at times it does not seem possible. In spite of hardships and troubles on the way, breakdowns of vehicles, else, the City Aid Center is ready to carry on their activities, meeting challenges and doing good works to support the needy.