•   
  •   

UK News How a tiny charity in Scotland saved the lives of 50 orphans in Ukraine

12:10  04 april  2022
12:10  04 april  2022 Source:   metro.co.uk

Oscars 2022: Guests will wear blue ribbons in support of Ukraine

  Oscars 2022: Guests will wear blue ribbons in support of Ukraine Every year Oscar guests seem to wear a ribbon or button to highlight a certain cause. This year it will be a blue ribbon in support of Ukraine, according to Showbiz411.And this year it will be a blue ribbon in support of Ukraine as it endures a miserable war with Russia, according to Showbiz411.

When the plane finally took off from Warsaw, great cheers and applause erupted from the seats. Aboard were 50 orphans who had been evacuated from Ukraine and were finally making their way to safety in the UK.

The children, ranging in age between two and 17, had never flown before and until hours before the flight on 23 March, they didn’t even know where they were going. None of them had passports.

Looking at their faces, it would have been hard to guess that they had just fled a devastating war zone, let alone the suffering and trauma they had endured even before the war. Instead, the excitable kids were all smiles and laughter as they were shown around first class and indulged with gifts, treats and toys.

Britain's beautiful towns bursting with history

  Britain's beautiful towns bursting with history From Roman walls and medieval masterpieces to Anglo-Saxon treasures, many of Britain's towns and cities are bursting with history. Here we take a look at some of Britain's most fascinating places where the past is inescapable.

Their fraught journey – which has seen them set up a temporary base in Perthshire – was one that risked failure at any time. But it was finally made possible thanks to the collective kindness of football fans, hardworking individuals, various charities, private businesses small and large, interpreters and international ambassadors, along with many others.

The herculean effort to bring the children to safety from a war still raging in Ukraine, was led by a charity called Dnipro Kids, which was set up by Hibernian FC supporters after the club travelled to the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro in 2005 for the UEFA cup.

At the time, a handful of supporters arranged a collection for local orphans, which later grew into an established charity, with the aim of supporting children from orphanages across Dnipro.

Putin 'running out of missiles' because all the parts are made in Ukraine

  Putin 'running out of missiles' because all the parts are made in Ukraine The Russian military's stock levels are said to be 'pretty bad'.The engines of Russian military helicopters and key components for warships, cruise missiles and the majority of the nation’s fighter jets are all made in Ukrainian factories, the Telegraph reports.

‘We are very much invested in these children,’ explains Chairman of the charity, Stevie Carr. ‘For many years they’ve been a big part of our lives and we’ve been a big part of their lives. It’s one big family.’

The herculean effort to bring the children to safety from a war still raging in Ukraine, was led by a charity called Dnipro Kids (Picture: Tom Maddick SWNS) © Provided by Metro The herculean effort to bring the children to safety from a war still raging in Ukraine, was led by a charity called Dnipro Kids (Picture: Tom Maddick SWNS) The children missed one flight to the UK due to paperwork issues (Picture: AP) © Provided by Metro The children missed one flight to the UK due to paperwork issues (Picture: AP)

In fact, as soon as Russia invaded Ukraine in February and the city was hit by intense shelling, the members of the charity committee knew they had to help get the kids out fast.

However, the decision to become a refugee and endure a long, uncomfortable and possibly dangerous journey is a big one.

The children’s guardians – known as ‘mums’ – who live with them at the orphanage, were hesitant at first. They would have to leave their homes not knowing where they were going or when they would return.

The Coca-Cola Company: How it all started

  The Coca-Cola Company: How it all started According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Coca-Cola “is a cultural institution in the United States and a global symbol of American tastes.” Founded in 1892, the Coca-Cola Company manufactured and sold syrup for the soft drink of the same name. Here’s a look at the interesting history and evolution of this soft drink corporation.

Leaving their keys for neighbours, in case someone else wanted to use their houses, they packed their bags. As men between the age of 18 and 60 are forbidden from leaving Ukraine, it meant that the mums, some with children of their own, were forced to take on the guardian role alone.

Stevie Carr (L) is chairman of the charity which has helped rescue 50 child refugees from Ukraine (Picture: Dnipro Kids) © Provided by Metro Stevie Carr (L) is chairman of the charity which has helped rescue 50 child refugees from Ukraine (Picture: Dnipro Kids)

Two other orphanages also requested help, and it fell to Dnipro Kids to evacuate 50 children, their orphanage mums and two of their biological children.

Duncan MacRae, the charity’s media manager, helped lead the effort, which turned out to be an exceptionally complicated operation.

‘I sourced a coach in Poland which would drive to Dnipro to get them out,’ he explains. ‘But things were getting more dangerous by the hour, so that wasn’t an option in the end.

The charity helped some children escape Ukraine by train… (Picture: Dnipro Kids) © Provided by Metro The charity helped some children escape Ukraine by train… (Picture: Dnipro Kids) While others had to flee by a coach organised by Dnipro Kids (Picture: Dnipro Kids) © Provided by Metro While others had to flee by a coach organised by Dnipro Kids (Picture: Dnipro Kids)

‘Then we decided that we would have to get them out by train, which was quite difficult as so many people were travelling and there were big crowds and crushes at the train station. But young children have been prioritised in getting people out of the danger zone so we were fortunate that we could get three orphanages onto the train and on the 13-hour journey through to Lviv [a city near the Ukrainian border with Poland].’

Coatbridge actress takes to stage in new Scottish musical Orphans

  Coatbridge actress takes to stage in new Scottish musical Orphans Amber Sylvia Edwards is appearing in the world premiere of an innovative theatre adaptation of the cult film.Coatbridge actress Amber Sylvia Edwards is working alongside some of the industry’s top names in the new theatre production of Orphans, based on the cult Peter Mullan film of the same name.

Meanwhile Stevie was on a coach bringing another group of kids towards the border, where they endured a six-hour wait to cross.

Relying on charities and donations, the children were given hotel accommodation where they could be fed and rested. The group then settled in Poznan, Poland, where they faced a two-week wait until, with the help of the British Embassy, they had the requisite paperwork to get the kids on the plane.

The children travelled for 13 hours to get to the hotel in in Poland (Picture: Dnipro Kids) © Provided by Metro The children travelled for 13 hours to get to the hotel in in Poland (Picture: Dnipro Kids) The children were looked after for two weeks by the hotel, which Duncan called ‘amazing’ (Picture: Dnipro Kids) © Provided by Metro The children were looked after for two weeks by the hotel, which Duncan called ‘amazing’ (Picture: Dnipro Kids)

‘We had the team from the embassy in Warsaw, bringing translators, to get it done as soon as possible,’ adds Duncan. ‘We missed a flight because we couldn’t get the paperwork done in time. It’s been very impressive to see how many people are determined to make it happen.’

He says that while the evacuation was distressing for the kids, they have worked hard to keep their spirits up. ‘Before Covid, Dnipro Kids used to take them on trips twice a year. So even though they are from different orphanages, they are all good friends,’ explains Duncan. ‘It’s good for them all to be together and have each other. It’s the first time they have left Ukraine so it’s a bit of a novelty.

Prince Philip's dignified funeral: a look back at the royal family's heartbreaking day

  Prince Philip's dignified funeral: a look back at the royal family's heartbreaking day The Queen and members of the royal family attended the Duke of Edinburgh's ceremonial royal funeral at St George's Chapel in Windsor on Saturday 17 April 2021 - take a look back at the best photos

‘They are really resilient. They have just made the best of if. The kids are all just bubbly and laughing and smiling all the time.’

Duncan calls the staff at the hotel in Poland ‘amazing’ and describes how they did all they could to make things comfortable for the children.

‘The kids had access to a play area where they played air hockey and basketball,’ he says. ‘Staff screened movies for them and took them bowling. They haven’t been bored. There’s been plenty for them to do. The older ones are always helping to take care of the younger kids. It’s really nice to see. They are just so supportive of each other.’

The older children have been helping take care of the younger ones (Picture: Dnipro Kids) © Provided by Metro The older children have been helping take care of the younger ones (Picture: Dnipro Kids)

After the paperwork was organised, Duncan and Stevie were ‘ecstatic’ to finally get them on the plane – provided for free by Virgin Atlantic – and to Edinburgh via Heathrow.

Now, they are temporarily staying in a hostel in Callander in Perthshire, before moving to Edinburgh where they plan to settle.

‘The kids are okay. Where they are now is just a temporary respite,’ Stevie explains. ‘We are keeping these children together – we wouldn’t split this group up. They’ve been through a lot.

‘The long term plan is open to discussion with them. We’re hoping to have accommodation with learning facilities close by, so we can keep them all in one building and they can start learning English. The orphanage mums are very keen on that.

The Pertshire hostel accommodation where the children and their ‘mums’ have been staying. (Picture: Dnipro Kids) © Provided by Metro The Pertshire hostel accommodation where the children and their ‘mums’ have been staying. (Picture: Dnipro Kids)

‘From day one the kids have been pretty good,’ adds Stevie. ‘They have treated it as a big adventure. Where they are now is lovely and secluded. They have space to play outside and Sterling Council have been brilliant providing things for them to do. There is bike hire nearby, so they have been out riding bikes and having a great time.’

Boris and Zelensky ate chicken soup and roast beef during surprise Kyiv visit

  Boris and Zelensky ate chicken soup and roast beef during surprise Kyiv visit Mr Johnson made a secret journey by car, helicopter, military plane and train for the five-hour visit.Mr Johnson made a secret journey by car, helicopter, military plane and train for the five-hour visit, becoming the first leader of a G7 nation to travel to the Ukrainian capital since Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Like all the committee members, Duncan and Stevie are volunteers with full time jobs. The help they have provided has been their own time and they have both made considerable sacrifices. Stevie is self-employed, and he gave up weeks of work to make the rescue.

Sadly, not all the orphanages that Dnipro support could travel. Three orphanages have not been evacuated as some of the children are too unwell to leave. The charity is in constant contact with them and supporting them however they can.

The children are settling in well, but there have been moments of upset in the quieter times (Picture: Dnipro Kids) © Provided by Metro The children are settling in well, but there have been moments of upset in the quieter times (Picture: Dnipro Kids)

Meanwhile back in Perthshire, in a touching move, local school children have made the kids handwritten cards welcoming those who have been able to make it to the area, and provided gifts of toys and treats.

‘They have received a really warm welcome, everyone has been generous,’ Stevie says. ‘Every time we have needed something, someone has stepped up and provided us with what we’ve needed. Someone from Ruby Ruby shoes [a small business in Dunblane], came and measured them up to give them new shoes. People have been great.

‘There has been a huge collective effort to help these kids. We wouldn’t have managed to get this over the line if people hadn’t stepped up to help when needed.’

Despite some tears, the children are happy – and they are safe again (Picture: Dnipro Kids) © Provided by Metro Despite some tears, the children are happy – and they are safe again (Picture: Dnipro Kids)

While the children’s journey has ended, in another way it has just begun. No-one knows how long the war in Ukraine will last, and when the orphans will see their home again.

Dnipro Kids has met their immediate needs, but they will need further emotional help. The charity has recruited psychologists and art therapists, to help them understand and process the trauma of leaving their homelands as refugees.

Mayor: More than 10,000 civilians dead in Ukraine port city

  Mayor: More than 10,000 civilians dead in Ukraine port city KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Six weeks of brutal Russian siege have left more than 10,000 civilians dead in the southern port city of Mariupol and corpses “carpeted through the streets,” the mayor of that cut-off city said, as the West warned that a Russian convoy and other troops and weapons were on the move for a suspected planned Russian assault in Ukraine's east. Mariupol has been the site of some of the heaviest attacks and civilian suffering in the 6-week-old war, but the land, sea and air assaults by Russian forces fighting to capture it have increasingly limited information on circumstances inside the city.

Duncan says that it’s in the quieter moments that the gravity of the situation hits.

‘One of the kids was crying the other night,’ he says. ‘She wanted to go home – she was worried about her teddy bears. A friend in Dnipro went round to the house, checked on the teddies and kept them safe for her.’

But despite tears being shed over toys and friends left behind, for now, the children are happy. And they are safe.

‘The children are quite resilient,’ says Stevie. ‘The ones we have to look out for and take care of are the orphanage mums. They have a lot on their shoulders. There have been tears and upset and we’ve had to try and reassure them. But I think they are turning around to the idea that Scotland is not a bad place to be.’

The task is now to get them settled, Stevie adds. ‘There are lots of things we need to think about now, education, accommodation, the needs of orphanage mums. It’s an ongoing thing. I never really sat down and thought what a big task this would be. As everyone has, you just do what you can.’

Now the children are in the UK, they will need ongoing support. Click here to sponsor a Dnipro Kid for £10 a month.

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing Claie.Wilson@metro.co.uk

Share your views in the comments below.

Get your need-to-know latest news, feel-good stories, analysis and more by signing up to Metro's News Updates newsletter

Mayor: More than 10,000 civilians dead in Ukraine port city .
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Six weeks of brutal Russian siege have left more than 10,000 civilians dead in the southern port city of Mariupol and corpses “carpeted through the streets,” the mayor of that cut-off city said, as the West warned that a Russian convoy and other troops and weapons were on the move for a suspected planned Russian assault in Ukraine's east. Mariupol has been the site of some of the heaviest attacks and civilian suffering in the 6-week-old war, but the land, sea and air assaults by Russian forces fighting to capture it have increasingly limited information on circumstances inside the city.

usr: 0
This is interesting!