As the war in Ukraine is in its second year and likely to enter a protracted phase, Ukrainians remain at risk with no safe place for refuge and thus are forced to seek refuge in other countries. CSAN together with SJOG launched the Homes for Ukraine matching service in September 2022 and has since successfully supported over 200 people displaced by the war.
Whilst many Ukrainians are already displaced in neighbouring countries, and there are many others currently located in Ukraine in urgent need of shelter, the SJOG and CSAN matching scheme is encouraging those who can to consider hosting and supporting Ukrainians through this difficult time. The matching service brings hosts and guests together and facilitates safe travel to the UK. Where possible, the scheme will link with hosts’ local diocese and parish communities.
SJOG would like to share the experience of one Ukrainian guest, Anna, who recently arrived under the SJOG Homes for Ukraine Scheme:
“In the midst of turmoil and constant shelling in Kharkiv, my family found a glimmer of hope through the “Homes for Ukraine” program, offered by SJOG. Our journey began when we were introduced to the program, which was to become our lifeline out of a perilous situation. This program not only provided us with an escape route but also paved the way for a brighter and more peaceful future for my son, who has Asperger’s syndrome. The program offered us a lifeline to escape this perilous situation, and we are incredibly grateful for this chance. A remarkable couple, Anna and Edmund, quickly became our sponsors, but they would soon come to mean much more. They enveloped us with care and support, evolving into more than just sponsors; they became family.
The transition from a war-torn region to safety was made remarkably smooth, thanks to the program’s efficient handling of every detail. From swift paperwork processing to speedy solutions for any issues that arose, SJOG’s “Homes for Ukraine” program made sure our needs were met every step of the way.
In a world filled with challenges and uncertainties, the “Homes for Ukraine” programme shines as a beacon of hope, providing not just refuge but also a chance for a brighter tomorrow. Our story serves as a testament to the power of compassion and the impact it can have on those facing the harshest of circumstances.
We are profoundly grateful to the “Homes for Ukraine” programme for introducing us to such kind and compassionate individuals who have made this challenging journey so much easier for our family.”
This October, the Pope has called for ‘the Rosary to be dedicated to peace and reconciliation in Ukraine’. We further call upon the Catholic community to pray for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters – those still in Ukraine as well as those displaced by the war – and encourage those who are able to host, to consider registering for the SJOG matching service at: http://sjog-homesforukraine.uk or search ‘SJOG Homes for Ukraine’ on Facebook.
The purpose of the programme is twofold: to evacuate people from the warzone and prevent homelessness amongst those Ukrainians already in the UK. If you wish to rent your property, which is also possible, feel free to get in touch with SJOG via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit CSAN’s website for more information on the Ukraine conflict and other ways to support at: www.csan.org.uk/ukrainetoolkit/