My heart breaks, my brain explodes, my tears flow. I do my best to keep a poker face. I have to take care of my family, here and there, I have to go to work every day, be sharp for my patients; I need to be able to sleep a little bit at night, I need to stay focused. I need to help!
I’m Aurora Morariu and I need your help to be able to help a little!
I am originally from Botosani Romania. City in the north of Romania, on the border with Ukraine and Moldova. 100,000 inhabitants including my parents (75+yrs) and some childhood friends, old friends, good friends, bosom friends, best friends, heart friends, school friends, college friends and Facebook friends. When the war broke out in Ukraine, I called my parents, who live 50 km from the border with Ukraine, with the intention of putting them on the first flight to the Netherlands and securing them here in the forest of Hattem. But they absolutely did not want that! “We can’t just leave our lives behind, can we?!”
Romania has a total of 530 km of border with Ukraine. In addition, 680 km of border with Moldova that is now also open to refugees from the war zone Ukraine.
Within a few weeks, Botosani has become a war zone: a cold, wet, silent war. In the air they see heavy traffic from a short distance, at night the silence breaks by explosions, during the day the silent tragedy of thousands of refugees who can no longer even mention their name.
10 March 2022 Since the beginning of the military conflict in Ukraine, 78,977 refugees have entered Romania and 82,762 refugees in Moldova. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, this is the fastest refugee exodus so far this century, with more than 1.7 million people fleeing Ukraine in just 10 days. Currently, more than 2,000 refugees, mostly women and children, enter Botosani every day.
Humanitarian organizations are currently struggling to send aid to Ukraine through the normal channels, now that the ports are blocked and the roads have become treacherous due to bombing. The humanitarian corridors are logistically difficult to approach, a cruel example of a bureaucratic jungle. The International Committee of the Red Cross has expressed concern that Russian attacks in densely populated areas are endangering children, the sick and the elderly. The scale of the need is enormous. The United Nations has called for $1.7 billion to help with relief efforts, and estimates that 12 million people in Ukraine and 4 million refugees will need help and protection in the coming months. We are talking about grandmothers, single mothers with their children, newborn babies. The men are left behind.
Now that the official systems are failing logistically, the reception procedures are usually carried out by volunteers, coordinated by local aid foundations. One of the most active aid organizations is "Grup Civic Botosani" led by Daniel Caslariu (https://www.facebook.com/Grupcivic).
Volunteers spend sleepless cold rainy nights to bring the refugees to safety. Volunteers from all over the country come to these high transit points (Stanca and Radauti-Prut) to help distribute emergency kits (drinks, food and hot, dry clothing) and transport to temporary shelter locations. The beds for the refugees are arranged very quickly via the local network and social media.
Refugees are then taken to private homes, local hotels, restaurants, schools, sports halls and summer camps for children. These refugees are usually in transit. Only 40% of them stay in Romania in the hope that they will get their old life back. The rest choose the way to the Western countries.
All these efforts are again mainly coordinated by the local volunteers.
The cruel reality at the moment is that the volunteers are becoming exhausted while the flow of refugees is only increasing.
In particular, there are few volunteers at night at a time when help is most essential. In the first week of exodus, we saw refugees coming in with a good financial status. Now we mainly see people coming in who were struggling financially in Ukraine. People with an income of €100 per month without any savings and material possessions
Humanitarian aid from abroad is facing enormous logistical problems.
The humanitarian aid flow has now been allowed by the Russian aggressor. In practice, it appears that bureaucracy and logistical challenges make the flow of aid slow and difficult.
The Rotary Club Botosani has found a very ingenious way to make humanitarian aid to Ukraine possible:
- The Rotary Club Botosani has taken the initiative to centralize the food and materials that civilians need in the war zones in Ukraine. In this sense, they organize an interface between the Rotary clubs in the conflict areas and those in District 2241 – Romania and the Republic of Moldova.
- They have built warehouses on the border with Ukraine where the humanitarian goods are centralized (logistics storage hubs). Transport routes were then set up to Ukrainian cities near the border (Siret, Stanca Costesti, Radauti-Prut). The aid organizations in Ukraine are aware of these resource storage nodes and then also come to collect the goods themselves and bring them where they are most needed.
Local companies and local citizen initiatives in Romania, as well as organizations such as Rotary Geneva, have donated money and goods through Rotary Botosani to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid to Ukraine in this way.
Rotary Botosani collects the following tools:
✌ Food: baby food, milk powder, canned meat and vegetables, canned fruits, sugar, hyper-caloric bars (chocolate bars, protein bars), cereals, pasta, rice, water, tea, coffee, koekies. disposable cutlery
✌ Personal hygiene care products: toiletries, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes, toilet paper, diapers, wet wipes
✌ First aid kits, flashlights, batteries
✌ Beds, duvets, sleeping bags and isoprene films, thermocouple for children and adults.
✌ Medications: vital life support (adrenaline, norepine, atropine, ephedrine), corticosteroids, antihistamines, antihypertensive drugs, heart attack medicate, lung medication, antibiotics, analgesics, hemostatics, antiseptics, disposable masks, surgical gloves, bandages, syringes, needles, suture material
✌ Medical products: ambub ags, laryngoscopes, endotracheal tubes, laryngeal masks, suction pumps, blood pressure monitors, tonometers
The Rotary Botosani has contacted several hospitals that have made their shortages of medicines and equipment known through these channels.
Locally in Botosani we can already arrange many medical and paramedical products without delay, through a reliable and committed pharmacist Mrs. Simona Mocanu of Luci Farm SRL Botosani https://www.confidas.ro/profil/7109839/luci-farm-srl. She has been involved with the local activists from the beginning of the crisis. It is willing and able to non-profitly deliver a large part of the medication on this list to Rotary Botosani and to redistribute it through their transport routes.