Happy Child logo

Refugees continue to arrive at Zaporizhzhya refugee centre

April 29, 2022, 22:45 238 Author: Laura Bicker www.bbc.com Cars packed full of women, children, prized pets and hastily gathered belongings piled in every free corner, continue to arrive at the refugee centre in the south-eastern city of Zaporizhzhya.

They are from all over the south of the country - Odesa, Melitopol, Kherson and Donetsk. It is rare that someone escapes from besieged Mariupol.

Kyiv said plans are in place to evacuate civilians from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol where Ukrainian forces and civilians are encircled by Russian troops. But, so far, there are no signs that a humanitarian corridor has been set up.

On Thursday, the UN chief said everything was being done to facilitate the rescue of civilians from the city.

We met one family who had spent two weeks and two days to get here, skirting various checkpoints and, at one stage, walking with their two young children in a shopping cart.

When the war started the family hid in a basement bunker. They spent more than six weeks underground eating canned supplies to survive while listening to relentless shelling. They counted 60 to 80 air strikes on some days.

As his family hid, dad Serhii fought. He was eventually told to lay down arms and leave on 13 April, which is when he grabbed his family and escaped.

Mariupol is no more, he told me as his family received help at the refugee centre. He is determined to fight again. His three-year-old daughter Anhelina grabs my microphone and smiles as she says: "Glory to Ukraine."

Happy Child foundation - effective help to the most needy children of the Zaporozhye region, Ukraine, since 2004

They need help:

You donated in 2022

$ 703 284

Our expenses in 2022
To 129 sick children $94 933
Medical equipment: $15 493
Humanitarian help: $171 337
To disabled children: $284 041
To children's village: $14 416
To orphans and poor children: $34 860
"Helpus" - help to adults: $3 522
Service expenses: $23 144
Total sum of expenses: $645 313

$5 922 335

donated since 2007