Christmas, with people of Ukraine in our hearts. The warmth of solidarity in the cold winter of war

The Ukrainian Health Ministry thanks Sant'Egidio for its help

 As Christmas approaches, Pope Francis has called on everyone to live the festivities with sobriety and humility, making a concrete gesture of support for the people of the country at war who are "suffering so much":
“Let us not forget... Christmas, yes.... But with the people of Ukraine in our hearts. And let us offer concrete signs of help for them.”
Andrea Riccardi also writes in the Corriere della Sera about the conflict in Ukraine, suggesting a Christmas truce. "Christmas Day will be ten months" since the beginning of the war. "Seven million Ukrainians have fled abroad, almost 16% of the inhabitants. The country remains scarred by death and grief, much of its infrastructure destroyed, as well as lots of civilian buildings. A less demanding, but nonetheless significant option would remain: a Christmas truce, based on humanitarian reasons and the Christian-Eastern commonality of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples. This is not a new idea. Benedict XV proposed a Christmas truce in 1914, during the Great War." Read more
The constant work of our Communities in Ukraine continues. In these long months, they have never stopped being close to those who have been suffering. They now need our help even more: the cold has arrived, there is no electricity and no heating. It is getting cold in Ukraine, freezing cold. The words of Pope Francis and those of Andrea Riccardi are an urgent appeal not to forget .

The Community of Sant'Egidio has sent 65 truckloads of food aid, clothing, blankets, medicines over the past 10 months which have been distributed to the population battered by the war in the centres of Kiev, L'viv, Ivano-Frankivsk. More than 50,000 refugees have received support from the Community during this period. Recently, we have also sent power generators to allow aid to continue in this harsh cold weather.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Health has expressed its thanks for the help our volunteers are offering, gratuitously, to the suffering population.

Recently Hilde Kieboom, Vice-President of Sant'Egidio, visited the Community of Lviv, expressing the greetings and solidarity of all the Communities of the world.

But we do not stop here. The collection of medicines and basic necessities for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters continues throughout Europe. This Christmas season, in addition to collecting gifts as usual, we are also collecting medicines that will then be sent to the cities in Ukraine where the Community is present.
And despite the war and the cold, Christmas will be celebrated: even in Ukraine, children, the elderly, refugees, displaced persons will be able to enjoy a moment of serenity and friendship.