• Photos: C4I Ukraine
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Emotional moments in Cherson

Koen Carlier - 19 November 2022

After the Russian retreat from Cherson, residents have lived between hope and fear. We visited some Jewish elderly in Cherson. These encounters were very emotional!

After we published an article last Monday about the cry for help from Cherson, the city that was occupied by the Russian army for such a long time but which was liberated on November 9, we immediately went to work. Meaning: busy with packing food parcels and obtaining official documents to enter Cherson.

On Tuesday we left for Odessa with a big load of food parcels. On Wednesday we did the same with an even bigger load. Then on Thursday we drove to Cherson with a fully loaded truck and our minibus. The distance between Odessa and Cherson is only 220 kilometers, but it took us over five hours.

Up to Nikolayev it went smoothly, but once we passed that city, we ran into one roadblock after another. On the way to Cherson we saw dozens of villages that looked largely destroyed and deserted.

Some roads and bridges can no longer be used, so we even had to drive stretches on dirt roads through farming fields.


Once we arrived at the Jewish community in Cherson, we were welcomed like liberators. We are definitely not. Nor are we heroes. In fact, we told the people there: ” Those of you who stayed here are the heroes.”

We do not know the exact number, but there are probably about 1,000 Jews still living in Cherson. We are now working intensively with the Jewish community there.

The person in charge of the Jewish community was surprised that our help and coordination went so quickly. When we reviewed this ourselves, we were also amazed at how it all went. In this we do recognize the blessing of the Almighty!

In this video, you can see how we arrived with the aid convoy in Cherson and are unloading the food parcels:

The hundreds of emergency food parcels we delivered in Cherson will be distributed to the Jewish elderly in need as soon as possible. Of course, we visited some of the Jewish elderly ourselves. These were very emotional visits.

Many people feel lonely. In addition, the days are short and dark, without heating it is very cold in the apartments and there is no running water. As you can probably imagine, the smell in these apartment buildings is not particularly pleasant….

Nevertheless, our visits made the Jewish elderly people optimistic: “A food parcel and water is the most important thing we need right now.”

We would have liked to stay in Cherson for a few more days. However, we also had to bring five Jews to our shelter in western Ukraine and from there this group of five will leave with another group from Zaporizhzhia and Dnepr next week to the Israeli consul in Kishenov, Moldova. And then they will be leaving for Israel for good.

After that, we will prepare a new aid convoy for Cherson. The need in the city is enormous. Not a single grocery store is open, all stores are either shut tight or damaged. Sometimes we saw old ladies on the street selling some goods, but in general there is nothing available.

As we drove past Freedom Square, we saw hundreds of people waiting for humanitarian aid:


Upon their withdrawal from Cherson, the Russians also destroyed power and water supplies. No one knows when that will be restored.

I want to thank everyone who responded to the cry for help from Cherson. We are working hard to meet all requests for help. Will you please join us in prayer for the situation in Cherson?

Please help!
The coming days will be very cold and the first snow also fell in most of the country. So our emergency aid continues to be of great importance. Make a donation today to help those in need. One food parcel costs € 15 | US$ 15. You can make your donation below. Thank you in advance for your help and prayers!
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