We are STILL here!

Since 2015, Deafbridge has been deeply engaged with Ukraine, initially focusing on supporting Deaf camps, church planting, and various activities tailored for the Deaf community. However, with the onset of the war against Ukraine in 2022, our involvement shifted significantly towards rescue and relief operations.

Having served on the front lines for six months, it became imperative for us to prioritize healing from the stress and trauma akin to PTSD symptoms. Our focus extended to providing refugee assistance and support to families who evacuated to the United States, while also ensuring our Ukrainian team received the necessary help and healing.

In October, the Deafbridge team revisited Ukraine to assess the current situation among the Deaf community. Shockingly, approximately 9000 Deaf individuals still remain in the “Hot Zones,” with somewhere between 1500 – 3000 residing in the Kharkiv region, currently targeted by increased Russian aggression. Urgency surrounds the need to expedite evacuation procedures for the Deaf in this region, and Deafbridge is poised to offer assistance.

Whether operating on the ground in the war-torn regions of Eastern Ukraine or coordinating resources and training remotely, our commitment to providing humanitarian services to the Deaf remains unwavering. Unfortunately, emergency communication and support are still severely lacking for the Deaf in crisis situations, leaving them vulnerable and isolated.

Reports from our partners on the ground paint a grim picture. Despite the escalating threat to Kharkiv, the city has seen an exodus of its hearing population, leaving behind a deserted landscape. However, the Deaf community persists. Some are unaware or skeptical of the danger, while others lack the means to evacuate. Many remain out of fear or due to communication barriers.

Deafbridge intends to intervene by providing emergency communication access to those left behind in the region. Simultaneously, we will resume leading rescue operations and delivering aid to Ukrainians in need throughout the area. Our efforts also extend to facilitating connections between evacuated families and our refugee assistance partners.

However, to sustain these critical operations, urgent funding is required. The costs of fuel, vehicle maintenance on war-torn roads, and provisioning rescued individuals are substantial. Additionally, expenses related to transportation, vehicle purchases, temporary housing, and daily operational costs for our courageous team on the ground are mounting.

We appeal to your generosity to support this mission and help save lives. Your contributions, no matter how small, will make a significant difference. Together, let’s extend a hand of hope and support to those facing unimaginable challenges in Ukraine. Thank you for your compassion and God bless!

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