Two cousins have fled their native republic for fear of being handed over to the army and authorities by their own family – after one of them received a draft notice on Friday, Sept. 23rd. This generational and political divide between them and their own family has caused them to flee immediately and leave everything they have ever known behind. With the clothes on their backs and internal passports in hand, they headed straight for the nearest border. Abandoned by their families, they now need our help and support for the long journey that lies ahead of them. Lacking international passports, they are unable to find quick safety – as they are unable to fly to countries that offer asylum.
Of the cousins described, one is my best friend, whom I have spoken to every single day for the last several years. I was welcomed by their families as one of their own when I visited for the New Year, weeks before the outbreak of war in Ukraine. I was shown love and respect during holiday celebrations with the family. It’s difficult to believe that these are the same people who were willing to hand over their sons’ lives to an unjust cause. The cousins stand with Ukraine and hope for peace in Europe. It is now my job to help them, as they, too, are victims of war.
The funds will be transferred to the cousins via a safe method of payment. They will use this money for living arrangements, food, and transportation until they can reach a safe destination that will not deport them back to their native republic.