Ukrainian boy, 16 years old, will arrive in Newfoundland today on a plane carrying refugees


Less than a month after Russia invaded Ukraine, Kelly Power received a message from an old friend asking if he could take his 16-year-old brother and go to New Found Land.

The boy was in Ukraine and his sister was trying to get him out. She lives in Newfoundland and she worked with Power at a pharmacy four years ago. Even after her sister moved, they became friends and remained friends.

Power, 52, said he never thought about agreeing to take the boy.

“If I say no, he won’t be able to go anywhere,” she said in a recent interview. “I was his exit.”

The teenager will now arrive in the capitals of Newfoundland and Labrador on Monday and will carry up to 175 Ukrainian refugees on a plane from Poland chartered by the state government. The flight, led by the state government, takes Ukrainians to Canada’s easternmost states and works to ensure that they are safe, contained and cared for, unrelated volunteers. It is part of a large effort supported by people like the network and power of Ukraine.

The state opened a satellite office in Warsaw, Poland in March to help Ukrainians fleeing Russian attacks resettle in Newfoundland and Labrador, defeating Ottawa in almost two months. ..

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Thursday that the federal government would open an office in Warsaw to help Ukrainians come to Canada, and on Sunday a sudden visit to the capital Kieu to officially reopen the Canadian embassy.

Newfoundland and Labrador Immigration Minister Gerry Burn claims that the plane arriving on Monday is the first government-approved plane to take Ukrainian refugees to Canada. His department had not confirmed how many people would be on board as of Sunday night, but a spokesman said Friday 175 was “work.”

Power becomes emotional when she talks about everything he needs with a teenager arriving on Monday (whose name has agreed not to be published by the Canadian press): clothes, bedding, he. English help, friends.

She said his sister worked hard with a team in Warsaw’s Newfoundland and Labrador office to give him a visa, a passport, and a way to fly out of Ukraine to Poland.

A trip to St. Johns would be difficult, Power said: he left his parents and his dog behind. He has never boarded a plane and is just 16 years old.

Adilia Dragan was preparing a box of clothes and supplies for teenagers on Friday afternoon. A 32-year-old woman from Russia lives just outside St. John’s and hosts a Facebook group dedicated to sending medicines and supplies from Newfoundland to Ukraine.

Currently, the group is dedicated to helping refugees arriving on Monday flights.

Dragan said he receives dozens of Facebook messages every hour from Ukrainians and those who are trying to help them. She created a spreadsheet that tracks Ukrainians who contacted her for a flight on Monday and matches them with volunteers who provide furniture, clothing, or a place to live. Some rooms in her house are flooded with piles of donated supplies, and she has placed a public drop-off site where more are waiting.

Dragan and her volunteer team put together a box of clothes, shoes, food, toiletries, dishes and dishwashing liquid. Arriving at the airport on Monday, we will have a customized package for everyone on the list and other items for everyone else. plane.

“I’ll have a sign and some pamphlets,” she said. “And when people come out, we greet them in Ukrainian and give them information so they can contact us and tell us what they need.”

Mr. Dragan said that St. Johns is overwhelmed by the people who provide support, but he always needs more volunteers, supplies and donations.

“People are great here,” she said. “I love Newfoundland people. They are the best people. These people can’t be found anywhere else in the world.”

The three mothers have her own full-time job, and she has all the jobs to send aid to Ukraine (counting £ 4,000) and preparing for the arrival of refugees has become the second full-time job. I said there is.

“My husband, he has a family in Ukraine, and my best friend is Ukrainian,” Dragan explained. “I just want to help.”

Sarah Smerry

Canadian press