EUROPE/HUNGARY - The reception of Ukrainian refugees has become an integral part of the life of the Salesian community of Kazincbarcika

Wednesday, 1 June 2022 displaced persons   religious institutes  


Kazincbarcika (Agenzia Fides) - Kazincbarcika is a city in northern Hungary, where the Salesians run a parish, a Salesian house, two schools, a dormitory and various other apostolic activities, with which they take care of the poorest young people, especially the nomadic minority. The vast Salesian house is located near the border with Ukraine, which is why refugees fleeing the war have continually been arriving there since the end of February. Now the reception of refugees has become an integral part of the daily life in the Salesian house in Kazincbarcika and in the "Don Bosco" boarding school. When Ukrainian refugees began to arrive in large numbers in Hungary - reports the Salesian agency Ans - Fr. Béla Ábrahám, Director of the house in Kazincbarcika, proposed to register the Salesian work as a refuge and reception center officially recognized by the competent authorities. The Salesians then began to collect supplies and other materials, such as household appliances, to prepare accommodation for the refugees, who began to arrive in the first half of April. "From the very beginning, the parish took on the task of providing them with hot and nutritious meals every day", explains Fr. Geza Nadudvari, Secretary of the "Santo Stefano Re" Salesian Province of Hungary. In this way, five families - made up of women and children - arrived in Hungary to join their husbands who had emigrated to the country about a year before the outbreak of the war. The second wave of refugees came two weeks later: three Ukrainian mothers with two children each were able to find accommodation in the Don Bosco boarding school: currently the boarding students have been moved to the first floor, while the second and floors have been reserved for refugees. Providentially, many people and organizations of goodwill have come together to help these refugees: some provide food, sweets, clothing or toys, others offer their time and expertise, helping with bureaucratic procedures or providing medical or psychological assistance. Most of the refugees welcomed by the Salesians hope to be able to return to Ukraine to resume their lives, but those who will not be able to return home - because there is almost nowhere to return - will have to start a new life in Hungary. "The Salesian Family of Hungary will continue to offer all possible support to help them integrate into our society and provide them with a new and welcoming home", adds Fr Nadudvari. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 1/6/2022)