They are still children, most between the ages of one and three, and they usually live in an orphanage in the town of Kropyvnytskyi, 80 kilometers north of the Black Sea region besieged by Russian troops. The brutal war in Ukraine and the horrific images of unimaginable war crimes drove them to flee. In the small Burgenland town of Burgauberg-Neudauberg, the group of 96 (63 children, 23 caregivers and their 10 children) have been there since their arrival on March 40th after a nearly 27-hour drive across the Ukrainian war zone, Poland, the Czech Republic and finally Austria finally safe again.
When you look at the faces of the children and their carers, you can only imagine what they went through during the four weeks they had to spend in the basement of their orphanage. The children, a third of them severely disabled, hid there with their carers from the Russian bombing raids and were exposed to hunger and cold. You can still feel their fear and exhaustion, even if many of them are already laughing out loud again.
The evacuation was a tour de force and at the same time a wonderful interaction of different forces. was mid-March kleine herzen drawn attention to the emergency situation of the children by our cooperation partner Mykola Kuleba (Save Ukraine). Within a week, we and our supporters (see list below) were able to prepare the group's transport and accommodation in Austria. The former Hotel Gogers serves as accommodation. The vacant building, which belongs to the SeneCura Group, was prepared for the arrival and needs of the children by employees and long-term partners as well as numerous volunteers from the region.
Save Ukraine organized the escape in Ukraine and brought the group safely to the Polish border. Thanks to the support of the Austrian foreign office, the Austrian consulate general in Kraków, Poland, the police special unit Cobra and the army fighter commando, the evacuation went without incident. The children and their carers were cared for by a team of volunteers led by kleine herzen picked up at the border and taken to Burgenland in two buses and seven ambulances from the Lower Austrian Red Cross. Seven children had to be taken straight to the hospital due to the strain of the journey and their poor general condition.
In the meantime, the group has settled in well, and there is a lot of hustle and bustle in the corridors of the former hotel. The willingness to help among the population and those responsible for politics is huge, and we are happy that the children can enjoy the normality of everyday life after all the drama. But we still need your help to take care of the children. Please donate. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!