One of Poland’s largest resorts is now a last resort for more than 700 Ukrainian orphans who were forced to flee amid the Russian invasion of the country.
Children aged 3 to 18 and employees of the state-run orphanage fled Odessa, Ukraine within an hour’s notice, traveling more than 48 hours on trains and buses to escape violence. force by the Russian military against civilians.
“A lot of kids told us I didn’t come here, why are you taking me, I want to live in Ukraine. Oh, bomb? Nothing. They don’t understand,” Yulia Nikandrova, manager of Odessa Child Protective Services, told CTV News, Anchor, Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme on Wednesday.
LaFlamme, reporting from the filming resort of the orphanage in Ossa, Poland, looks at the children being sorted in boxes of donated clothes being picked up by trucks. Tonight, they will sleep in the boardroom and dine in a luxury resort restaurant, all run by volunteers.
“Food, shoes, dolls, clothes, shampoo,” exclaims Nikandrova, listing the generous donations made for children.
But what they really need, she says, are child psychologists.
“We need hands… people… because these kids, if you see them taking, taking, taking, taking, taking,” she said, gesturing as if the children were frantically picking up things. “Because they think tomorrow is absent.”
For these kids, tomorrow feels unpromising.
“We want to go home,” Nikandrova said. “We love our country and we want to come back and we have to come back because these are Ukrainian children.”