Supporting women forced to give birth in subways under Kyiv

published on 8 Mar 2022

Since the crisis in Ukraine began more than a week ago, more than 22 babies have been born to women fleeing the violence who are sheltering in the subways under Kyiv. 

The Salvation Army has provided nappies, hygiene products and formula for the mothers, who are often giving birth prematurely because of the stress.

The Salvationists have also provided emotional support for the women and their families as they seek refuge from the conflict.

A Salvation Army Major, who cannot be identified due to security concerns, said: “I have received a message that 22 babies have been born in the subways. They are in dire need of baby food, diapers and hygiene products.”

More than 15,000 people, mainly women and children, are thought to have taken refuge in the subways of Kyiv to escape the fighting.

The Salvation Army, which has churches around the region, is working on the ground to provide emotional support as well as practical help. 

The charity’s churches in eastern Europe are using cash donations from supporters all over the world to source items such as food and drink, clothes and blankets, baby food, nappies and formula and other necessities locally.

Donating cash rather than goods is the best way to help at the moment, as goods from elsewhere in Europe and the UK have to be sorted, cleaned, and then delivery to distribution points has to paid for. The Salvation Army in the region can use the money to source goods locally.

Women and children are particularly vulnerable as the crisis unfolds, and there is a danger of being targeted by human traffickers in the guise of people coming forward to help. Expectant mothers are particularly in need of support.

The Salvation Army Major added: “We are fasting, praying and reading the bible. We feel we have no-one to rely on except God. I found an image on the internet where a young girl was depicted it was Ukraine. She said ‘we have no-one to rely on except for God alone.’ That has become my motto’.”

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