Villages are almost cut off from the world. The PCPM helps them

There are places in Ukraine where it is only possible to get aid between shellings. Orichiv, which had a population of 15,000 before the war, is now inhabited by only a few hundred people. A town known for its beautiful greenery with flowers and modern schools is destroyed. This is one such place where any help is critical. PCPM volunteers are reaching out to the village.

When volunteers arrived in Orichiv there was relative enthusiasm among the residents. There had been no shelling for two days, which had not happened since the full-scale invasion.

– Unfortunately, this did not last long. After 1 p.m., already at the city corners, we had to stop, due to the shelling of Orichiv. Fortunately, it was not as intense as in previous months. In addition, the temperature reached 37 degrees Celsius, so the shelling, in addition to the destruction, causes numerous fires, which the local fire brigade is unable to extinguish on its own,” says Andrzej, a PCPM volunteer who has traveled to this region of Ukraine for the umpteenth time.

While the grasses were still burning around the houses, the volunteers managed to reach the residents.

– It started to get quite noisy, but the Ukrainians told us that it was Ukrainian troops responding with gunfire. We have little time to distribute the aid packages we have brought,” adds Andrew.

Most needed products

When volunteers go to a place like this, the most important thing is to provide the most needed products. After consultation, they agreed that hygiene products would be the most urgent, as the villagers still have the opportunity to grow vegetables in the garden. Hygiene products, on the other hand, required for daily living, are nowhere to be found.

– Soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, and toothpaste are things we take for granted and practically use every day with our eyes closed, but in those conditions and their situation – in Orichiv – these are products whose presence in everyday life is not a certainty, especially because of the prolonged war,” says a volunteer.

PCPM helps not only residents but also animals

Many people have joined in to help the animals in Orichiv, with some volunteers from Zaporizhia cooking meals for the dogs and taking them to Orichiv and Preobrazhenka. The PCPM, thanks to its cooperation with a Polish foundation that works for animals, provides dry food for the dogs. At the same time, this sends the message that we remember not only the residents but also the animals who are completely unaware victims of this war.

Importantly, in addition to food and hygiene products, our volunteers also helped the firefighters.

The fight against the effects of the shelling depends on the local services, mainly firefighters. The PCPM provided various types of specialized equipment for working on the rubble, in addition to basic items of personal equipment for firefighters. Ukrainian firefighters face much greater challenges unprecedented in Poland. The biggest danger for Polish firefighters when working on rubble sites is unstable ground, structures, and other elements that hang overhead.

– For the firefighters in Ukraine, the job is doubly dangerous because the Russians are even hunting them. It looks like this: the emergency services arrive at the site of a shelling, at one time, among other things, to extinguish the fire, evacuate the wounded, and look for people under the rubble, and at the same time the Russian troops often carry out another attack in the same place,” says Andrzej.

Such a tragic situation occurred in Komyshuvakha. In this town as well as Kharkiv, the PCPM has been supplying the local fire brigade with equipment for a long time. Both units came under fire from the Russians while fighting the effects of the bombing. A total of five firefighters died on the spot and many were injured, without mentioning the destroyed equipment or vehicles.

In addition to personal equipment for the firefighters, the PCPM provided lighting equipment, devices for measuring the current on debris, specialized chainsaws, belay harnesses for working at heights or on extremely unstable ground, saber saws, and multi-gas detectors.