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How Henrico-based ChildFund International is helping families impacted by war in Ukraine

Poland Ukraine War
Posted at 5:30 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 18:04:21-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- As the war in Ukraine reaches the one-week mark, the international non-profit ChildFund International based in Henrico County has been among those trying to assist the families impacted by the Russian invasion.

For Ben Phillips, responding to disasters is all part of a day's work as Emergency Management director with ChildFund International.

However, Phillips said what they are dealing with in Ukraine is as difficult as anything he has seen.

"Horrific trauma and people just not knowing when is the next air raid siren going to go off," Phillips said.

CORRECTION Poland Ukraine War
CAPTION CORRECTS DATE A family arrive at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Wednesday, March 2, 2022, after fleeing from the Ukraine. The U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday that around 660,000 people have fled Ukraine for neighboring countries since the Russian invasion began. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

It is under those circumstances that the non-profit and their local partners are helping families and children by providing essentials like food and medicine and even some online schooling, according to Phillips.

"Without a really ambitious educational goal, but just so that the kids can be doing something and keep their minds off the fact that they're really scared and traumatized and don't know what's going to happen," Phillips said.

While also dealing with logistical challenges like supply chain issues and having to do things like sending money directly to a supermarket.

"And then someone from the community who's pretty brave and willing to go outside will go to the supermarket and just pick up a bunch of that's there," Phillips explained.

And for some of those working in parts of the country that under direct threat, there is the worry about their own safety .

"One place might be safe today, but it's not safe tomorrow," Phillips said. "Or people move with their family to get them to a safer place and then they go back to try to continue the work."

Phillips said while that while their main focus is on getting help to as many people in the country as they can, they are also setting up for their second phase of operations and helping with refugee operations in the neighboring countries of Poland and Romania.

Click here to for more information or to help ChildFund International.

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