Church World Service to launch aid program for Ukrainian refugees

Roman refugees (Image credit: Remix News)

A Christian humanitarian group, Church World Service, is set to launch a programme which is targeted at helping Roma refugees living in Moldova, who were displaced by the invasion of Russia in Ukraine.

Earlier in the week, the group’s regional director for Europe and the Middle East, Steve Weaver, told The Christian Post about the help that his group has rendered to Roma communities previously. One of such was the program that has been operating for 15 years in Serbia.

Weaver said, “There has been a historical marginalization and mistreatment of Roma people that has caused limited access to resources such as education, not to mention discrimination and exclusion from the communities in which they live.

“CWS’ vision is a world where everyone has food, a voice, and a safe place to call home. This vision includes the resources and empowerment that our Roma-focused projects intend to support."
He added that communities in Roma have issues with inclusion and marginalization in several countries. More so, they are dealing with the myriad of hardships that is common with refugees who run away from war zones.

Weaver continued, “We believe that empowerment is essential in providing lasting solutions. In our work with Roma, it’s a priority for CWS to work with Roma-led organizations whenever possible.”

A CWS humanitarian response leader, Andrew Blakely, who is based in Moldova, admitted that the war in Ukraine caused more challenges for Roma people.

Blakely said, “Ukrainian Roma were already one of the most economically disadvantaged and marginalized communities in one of Europe’s poorest countries.

“Now they have been displaced to another country that is equally if not more economically disadvantaged. It is also a place where prejudice against the Roma people persists.”

It will be recalled that in February 2022, Ukraine was invaded by Russian forces with the claim that they were protecting the right of territories. This has led to many people being displaced in the past months.

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