Ukraine orphans evacuated by Scottish soccer followers' charity to journey to UK – The Guardian

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A bunch of fifty orphans evacuated from Ukraine by a charity established by Scottish soccer followers will arrive within the UK on Monday.

After drying tears for deserted teddy bears and navigating the calls for of worldwide forms, the youngsters could be “welcomed with open arms”, stated Steven Carr, chair of the Edinburgh-based charity Dnipro Kids.

He flew to Ukraine a number of weeks in the past to supervise the evacuation of the youngsters, who’re aged between two and 17, from the town of Dnipro to Poland, the place they’ve been staying in a resort in Poznan and supported by native refugee organisations.

Priti Patel, the house secretary, introduced final Friday that Ukrainian authorities had confirmed the group would be capable to proceed their journey to the UK.

Duncan MacRae, media supervisor for the charity, stated the weekend had been used to finalise paperwork with the British embassy group from Warsaw.

Speaking from Poznan, MacRae defined: “It’s a very complex operation and every time you think you have things sorted, something else becomes unsorted.”

The kids have been having fun with the play space within the resort, he stated, and employees had organised different actions resembling ten-pin bowling and watching films.

The charity started in 2005, when a bunch of Hibernian FC followers travelled to Dnipro for a UEFA Cup recreation and organised a group for native orphans. Within a 12 months, Dnipro Kids had been formally launched again in Edinburgh, elevating £16,000 in donations from supporters.

In the intervening seven years, the charity has supported six “orphanages” – family-style lodging for kids whose dad and mom have died or who’re in any other case unable to take care of them due to psychological sickness, bodily incapacity or dependancy.

The children stay in good spirits, MacRae stated, and are discovering the worldwide media curiosity of their journey “funny and a bit bizarre”. Their “house mothers” are understandably extra anxious: “I don’t think they’ll relax until we are all on the plane.”

There are plans to maintain the group collectively initially, and they’re going to spend their first few weeks within the Scottish countryside close to Callander.

The charity has organized for Ukrainian-speaking baby psychologists and artwork therapists to be available as soon as the group attain their momentary sanctuary, whereas kids in a neighborhood major college in Edinburgh have been making playing cards explaining find out how to adapt to life in Scotland.

The group will probably be accompanied again to the UK by Ian Blackford, the Scottish National celebration’s Westminster chief, who urged the deputy prime minister, Dominic Raab, to intervene of their case ultimately week’s prime minister’s questions, accusing Home Office forms of leaving them stranded.

An preliminary group of kids and younger folks made a 13-hour journey on crowded trains from central Ukraine to Lviv because the bombardment of their metropolis started two weeks in the past, earlier than travelling throughout the border to Poland. They have been later joined by one other group who have been evacuated by bus.

The kids have been allowed to take one backpack every, containing garments, toiletries and treasured toys.

“One little girl had a collection of teddy bears, but she could only bring one small one. She was crying in the night, worried about the other bears. We called a friend still in Dnipro and they went back to the house to pick them up, so now she knows they are safe.”


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