Ukrainian refugees embrace Sydney with new hub
Posted On May 7, 2022
Displaced Ukrainian Iryna Zaiets doesn’t watch TV anymore. As Russia continues to wage war on her country, she says she can’t bare it.
Zaiets is one of thousand refugees from Ukraine now in Sydney‘s warm embrace.
A hub in the city’s west is providing food, clothes, classes and comfort. But only a fraction of the people who’ve fled their homeland to get here have registered for any assistance.
“They help us very much and we’re happy,” Zaiets said.
She was grateful for everything but admitted it was a tough situation.
“I don’t watch TV. It’s too hard to,” she said while crying.
Each Saturday, the Ukrainian Youth Centre at Lidcombe transforms into a sanctuary for hundreds of those who’ve been displaced.
Ukrainian Council of NSW’s Andrew Mencinsky said many families were forced to flee for their lives and now will have to start from scratch.
“Clothing, footwear, kids’ toys, car seats, toiletries and for Ukrainians who have arrived here with nothing but the clothes on their back,” he said.
He said the refugees were told there was psychological support available.
“We tell them … you don’t need to speak to them but if you want to you can,” he said.
“Within 20 minutes most of them are talking to that psychologist.”
Ukrainian apartment block turned into giant doll’s house by Russian bombs
Of the 2500 Ukrainians who have arrived in Australia since February, 1000 are in Sydney with many more on the way.
Another 4600 visas have been approved, the majority for women and children desperate to find safety and a better future.