Care in Action’s founders, Werner and Janice Lehnis, have guided the Germany-based charitable organization’s work in support of vulnerable children in Ukraine for over two decades. With the onset of the Russian invasion, Care in Action brought together a group of German-based volunteers to support efforts in Lviv in the face of massive humanitarian need. To date, the ‘Starnberg team’ has contributed to Care in Action’s mission in the following ways:
Thanks to the generosity of two donors, we purchased a multi-purpose van in Germany, which was then driven to Lviv and handed over to the team for use there. This van is of utmost importance in increasing effectiveness in at this challenging time. The team in Lviv is now able to transport refugees from the train station to shelter quickly and efficiently; previously volunteers’ cars were used when available. We can also effectively deliver donated food to hostels and refugee camps; the UN estimates that half of Ukrainian children are at risk of hunger and we are doing our part to reduce trauma for children. In addition, the van transports our staff members and volunteers to refugee camps and to the more impoverished rural areas as they work to ensure children's safety and lead development programmes.
The volunteer group in Germany has been very active in fundraising since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine. This has helped Care in Action to leverage its relationships with private institutions in the area to increase support for Ukraine, including Bavarian International School, Munich International School and various corporations and NGOs which have held fundraising campaigns. Hundreds of individuals from Germany and around the world have heeded our requests for donations with extremely generous giving. We are humbled and moved by this amazing show of support and willingness to help with our work in Ukraine.
With the opening of a new Care Center in Lviv, volunteers in Starnberg bought needed supplies and collected donated children’s toys and clothing, baby supplies, bedding, and foodstuffs to support this wonderful facility. The group also procured 21 new laptops, shelving, and other accessories necessary for the center to function as a place where refugees and vulnerable children can find shelter, food and help for education. The items were packed into a rented van which was funded by a volunteer who drove to the Ukraine border and then delivered supplies to the center. This enabled us to deliver much needed medicines to a center for disabled children, where children had previously gone weeks without anti-convulsive medications and other essential drugs. Medicines were sourced and funded thanks to the work of Starnberg Rotary Club.
Finally, early in the crisis the volunteers helped 23 Ukrainian refugees settle into temporary housing in the Starnberg area. Thanks to the benevolence of local hosts a number of families have found places to stay, assistance with resettlement issues, and even school placements for the children. The team has worked to ensure as smooth a transition as possible to life in Germany.
Care in Action continues to work tirelessly to support vulnerable children and families in Ukraine. The German volunteer team supports those efforts through fundraising, procurement and other assistance. As our founder, Werner Lehnis, said recently:
“It is wonderful to see all that can get accomplished when people of good will put their hearts, heads, and hands to a common task.”
None of the good work would be possible without your donations and continued support. From all of us, we send a massive thank you to our donors!
Your gift can change lives for the better. Donations enable us to fund the services and programs that strengthen, empower and prepare children in care to enter the working world and lead a productive, independent life.